I rarely do this, but I'd like to now. I'd like to pick up, in a blog post, a thread of the conversation that was happening yesterday. I really liked the thoughtful, and tremendously kind, way that discussion went. There was something else though, that I've been thinking about regarding what happened at the museum and why I didn't, as many of you noted, just speak up at the time.
I think that, after a brief bit of discussion, the whole thing would have been settled.
But, if I'm being honest, the reason I didn't speak up wasn't so much because I was tired. Though, I was, indeed, tired. I think it was because 'sometimes a museum needs to just be a museum'. Joe and I hadn't been to the place since we went to the UK and we were looking forward to just going there together. Since we got back we've been doing things for work and things for other people and things that needed to be done. We enjoy our lives and we enjoy the tasks set before us, but we also enjoy just going out and being together. Our trip to see the Mayan exhibit kind of fell into that category for me.
So, when I spoke with the woman, asking her the question I had in mind and when she used a word that, to me, is outdated at best and offensive at worst, I had a choice. I saw Joe, out of the corner of my eye just happily looking at one of the artifacts on display. If I chose to bring up 'language' at that moment, I knew that I'd see his shoulders tense up. I knew that the whole feel of the afternoon would change, not so much for me, but it would for him.
Sometimes it has to be about him.
Joe doesn't know I'm writing this, he'll read it in the morning (hello Joe) and I know he'll tell me that he wouldn't have minded me speaking up. I know that he fully supports the work that I do and the voice that I have. I know that he's developed his own voice and tackles the situations we face in his own way. I know all that. But I didn't want him to have to 'not mind' - does that make sense?
Maybe I did it more for me than for him. Who knows? All I know was that I passed up an opportunity I had to have a, probably minor, confrontation because I wanted Joe and I just to be a couple at an exhibit.
Perhaps it was the wrong choice.
I wonder if any of you, in consideration for those you are with, ever just let something slide. I'm sure you have, at least once or twice, so tell me ...