VERNON, CT – It’s breast cancer awareness month. So when Janna Lombardo, a mom going through chemotherapy fighting the disease, took her kids to the Ron-A-Roll skating rink, she didn’t expect to have to take her hat off.
“I wasn’t going to be on a rink,” Lombardo said, “I told them we were going to sit in the snack bar.”
But signs are clearly posted: no hats, no headwear, no exceptions. See– they are legally liable if someone trips on a hat or headscarf.
“I explained to them that I wasn’t wearing it for fashion. It was because I was on chemo, and they told me I couldn’t go in or I could wear a helmet.”
A helmet?… Sitting in the snack bar?
But wait! What happened to “no hats, no headwear”? Isn’t a helmet headwear? Well, that’s the one exception to the ‘no exception’ rule.
So, you can probably guess what happened with this now irate mom juiced up on cancer-fighting chemicals.
“She didn’t have the nicest reaction to the owner,” said Susan Morison, Lombardo’s friend and a master of understatement. “She took her hat off and pulled out a clump of hair.”
One person said Lombardo sprinkled it on the man’s head like shredded cheese, screaming at him. Probably not the best way to get her point across.
Morison stuck by her friend, saying, “It’s just so shocking that he (the owner) couldn’t show some compassion, some kindness.”
Maybe, but the signs are clearly posted everywhere. She knew what the rules were, and the roller rink could lose their insurance if they didn’t enforce them.
Another woman, Marisol Rodriguez-Colon, a Muslim, faced a similar issue two years ago– remove your hijab headscarf, wear a helmet over it, or leave. She left.
Make no mistake– breast cancer’s a tragic disease, but it doesn’t give Janna or anyone else license to demean another person, and at Ron-A-Roll, it doesn’t give her license to wear a hat.