Do people understand that they can be heard?
Do people understand that they live in a bigger world, much bigger world, than they can imagine?
Joe and I were leaving the hotel to go and get some groceries. I've got a stuffy nose so we decided to forgo the movie and just stay in, cook a something 'homey,' and rest. Both Joe and I enjoy having the occasional slow day thrown our way so we were both moving slowly. I read in bed for a long while. Joe puttered around doing laundry and organising suitcases. It was nice. It's been a rainy day so we waited for a break in the weather so we could head out and shop.
The opportunity came just before two.
We headed out of the room and down the long corridor by the front desk. A group of businessmen, travelling together, were checking into the hotel. They formed a longish line up. The clerk was trying to get all the rooms organised. We didn't hear what happened but we did hear one of the men respond to her with a joke about sharing a room with one bed with another of the men. He started to mince around and lisp saying that he'd be the 'lady' tonight. They all howled.
I'm told that I don't have a sense of humour any more.
I do. But it serves the purpose of those who wish the freedom to stereotype and mock others to put the blame on me.
I'm told that I take things too personally.
I don't. But it serves the purpose of those who constantly suggest that they don't mean to be mean to make it about 'me' and 'my issues'.
But, though I do have a sense of humour and though I don't take things personally, I also believe that people have a responsibility to remember that public space is public space. That people can hear them. Does one of the clerks have a lesbian daughter? Is one of the men travelling in the troop laughing to prove that he isn't what they suspect him of being? Is the fat guy in the wheelchair being helped out the door by the man he's loved for over forty years?
I know that I will be told that I should have spoken up. That I should have done something. I may even be told that I am somehow responsible for what happened. But, here's the thing, I don't wish to constantly be taking on the world. I don't want to grow tired and bitter. I choose to choose my battles. Those who know me know I do speak up. Those who know me know that I am a letter writer, an email warrior and that I've even won a battle or two.
I shouldn't have even had to write that last paragraph.
What I should be able to do is go out of a hotel, by a group of businessmen joking about the travel, the rain, their business they were there to do ... NOT the denigration of a whole group of people.