One woman had a strange, eye-opening encounter in a Target bathroom.

I went to Target with my daughter last week.

Since it was right after dinner and I'd had three iced teas with my Mexican food, I made a pit stop to the restroom first thing while she went on ahead to check out the swimsuits.


Photo via iStock.

I was alone in the restroom. There were two large handicapped-accessible stalls, complete with baby-changing tables, and two regular stalls. I headed all the way down to the farthest single stall, up against the wall, and I sat down to take care of business.

That's when stuff got weird.

The outer door opened, and someone came into the restroom.

She walked past the three open stalls and stood directly in front of my door. Then she leaned over and placed her eye firmly up against the gap between the door and the frame and stared in at me.

Photo via iStock.

I am not making this up. And let me tell you, it was awkward. Bizarre even. This wasn't a case of someone hoping all those occupied stalls aren't really occupied. Mine was the only stall that was occupied. She deliberately stopped and stared in at me. My startled eyes met hers, and she moved away into one of the larger stalls.

I got out of my stall as quickly as I could, and as I stood washing my hands, her voice called out.

"Sorry about that," she said. "But, you know, Target lets men and homosexuals use just any bathroom. I was making sure you were a woman."

I didn't say a word — because I really didn't know how to answer that.

Was she expecting a transgender woman to be lying in wait?

Hoping to ... what? Urinate behind a closed door? Was a pedophile or a rapist in a dress and a bad wig going to crawl under the stall walls while she sat, even though this is a public restroom in a very busy and popular store, when anyone — including employees with walkie-talkies — could walk in at any time and catch them? And don't even get me started about the homosexuals. I guess she's just worried they'll leave homosexual germs around or something.

I walked out, utterly gobsmacked, and it wasn't until I caught up with my daughter and told her the whole ridiculous story that I realized the complete and utter irony of it. This woman deliberately made me feel horribly uncomfortable just because she was uncomfortable with the extremely vague possibility of someone being different from expected behind a closed and locked stall door.

My daughter raised a brow and asked, "Did you tell her that your teenage daughter has a girlfriend?"

"She probably would have blinded me with hand sanitizer or something," I joked.

Anna just shrugged. "I feel sorry for her. I mean, with everything going on in the world, this is what makes her afraid? She doesn't even know how creepy she's being."

Come on ... the woman had to know she was being creepy. And it was really, really creepy. She just didn't care. Either she had an agenda to let me know she was taking a certain "moral" stance about a policy, or she really is afraid enough to do something rude and creepy even though she knows it's rude and creepy.

In the end, she was still shopping at Target because she needed or liked its products, and her fear didn't stop her from shopping.

Photo via iStock.

And transgender people are quietly and without fanfare using the restroom they want to use and going on about their day, and probably most people don't even know they did it. And the pedophiles and rapists of the world will still find a way to hurt people, as they always have, policy or no policy.

And me? I'm still thinking about how ridiculous the whole thing was. My mind runs through all the snappy comebacks I should have used but didn't. I should have blown her a kiss. Or mooned her through the crack of her door.

Mostly, though, I think about my wise and beautiful daughter. The one with the girlfriend. She feels sorry for that woman. She chose compassion instead of offense or rudeness or insult.

But I still wish I'd blown a kiss.

Pexels
True
Amazon

Shopping sustainably is increasingly important given the severity of the climate crisis, but sometimes it's hard to know where to turn. Thankfully, Amazon is making it a little easier to browse thousands of products that have one or more of 19 sustainability certifications that help preserve the natural world.

The online retailer recently announced Climate Pledge Friendly, a program to make it easier for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products. To determine the sustainability of a product, the program partnered with third-party certifications, including governmental agencies, nonprofits, and independent labs.

With a selection of items spanning grocery, household, fashion, beauty, and personal electronics, you'll be able to shop more sustainably not just for the holiday season, but throughout the year for your essentials, as well.

You can browse all of the Climate Pledge Friendly products here, labeled with an icon and which certification(s) they meet. To get you on your way to shopping more sustainably, we've rounded up eight of our favorite Climate Pledge Friendly-products that will make great gifts all year long.

Amazon

Jack Wolfskin Women's North York Coat

Give the gift of warmth and style with this coat, available in a variety of colors. Sustainability is built into all Jack Wolfskin products and each item comes with a code that lets you trace back to its origins and understand how it was made.

Bluesign: Bluesign products are responsibly manufactured by using safer chemicals and fewer resources, including less energy, in production.


Amazon

Amazon All-new Echo Dot (4th Gen)

For the tech-obsessed. This Alexa smart speaker, which comes in a sleek, compact design, lets you voice control your entertainment and your smart home as well as connect with others.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.


Amazon

Burt's Bees Family Jammies Matching Holiday Organic Cotton Pajamas

Get into the holiday spirit with these fun matching PJs for the whole family. Perfect for pictures that even Fido can get in on.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

Naturistick 5-Pack Lip Balm Gift Set

With 100% natural ingredients that are gentle on ultra-sensitive lips, this gift is a great gift for the whole family.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.


Amazon

Arus Women's GOTS Certified Organic Cotton Hooded Full Length Turkish Bathrobe

For those who love to lounge around, this full-length organic cotton bathrobe is the way to go. Available in five different colors, it has comfortable cuffed sleeves, a hood, pockets, and adjustable belt.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

L'Occitane Extra-Gentle Vegetable Based Soap

This luxe soap, made with moisturizing shea butter and scented with verbena, is perfect for the self-care obsessed.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.

Amazon

Goodthreads Men's Sweater-Knit Fleece Long-Sleeve Bomber

For the fashionable men in your life, this fashion-forward knit bomber is an excellent choice. The sweater material keeps it cozy and warm, while the bomber jacket-cut, zip front, and rib-trim neck make it look elevated.

Recycled Claim Standard 100: Products with this certification use materials made from at least 95% recycled content.

Amazon

All-new Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote

Make it even easier to access your favorite movies and shows this holiday season. The new Fire TV Stick lets you use your voice to search across apps. Plus it controls the power and volume on your TV, so you'll never need to leave the couch! Except for snacks.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.

Of the millions of Americans breathing a sigh of relief with the ushering in of a new president, one man has a particularly personal and professional reason to exhale.

Dr. Anthony Fauci has spent a good portion of his long, respected career preparing for a pandemic, and unfortunately, the worst one in 100 years hit under the worst possible administration. As part of Trump's Coronavirus Task Force, Dr. Fauci did what he could to advise the president and share information with the public, but it's been clear for months that the job was made infinitely more difficult than it should have been by anti-science forces within the administration.

To his credit, Dr. Fauci remained politically neutral through it all this past year, totally in keeping with his consistently non-partisan, apolitical approach to his job. Even when the president badmouthed him, blocked him from testifying before the House, and kept him away from press briefings, Fauci took the high road, always keeping his commentary focused on the virus and refusing to step into the political fray.

But that doesn't mean working under those conditions wasn't occasionally insulting, frequently embarrassing, and endlessly frustrating.

Keep Reading Show less
True

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.