Day 100 ...
I've been counting and it's Day 100.
Let's be clear about something. I've been out and about just as much as I've always been and I've gone to the kinds of places I've always gone. I've been to movies, to food courts, to malls, to waiting rooms, to grocery stores. I've been around old people, young people, and middleagers.
And yet, it's Day 100.
Without hearing the R word.
I began noticing that I was hearing less of it somewhere around February. Then after having not heard it for some time, I heard two adult women, well dressed, joking with one another as they walked along. One said to the other, "He's just so R-ded." As they came by me, seconds after having said it, I said, looking straight at her, "People can hear you you know." She stopped and glared down at me from her pedestal of wealth, privilege and pretty clothes, and said, "Are you speaking to me?"
She was in a huff.
I said, "I am, and I hate experiencing second hand bigotry."
"You know, without me telling you, that the 'R word' is offensive but you still use it, that's either ignorance, arrogance or bigotry. I vote bigotry."
Tears of rage formed in her eyes and she and her friend, stomped off, her best friend looking back and me and calling me a "fat pig". Ah, the wit that some are blessed with.
I remained calm during all of this, and though they probably think I enjoy that kind of confrontation, I don't like it, I do it, but I dont' like it. My heart goes crazy in my chest and I am always shaken up afterwards. Though people may find it hard to believe, because I do this kind of thing regularly (pop by tomorrow's post for a surprising story) I don't like it.
That was it.
For the next 100 days and counting.
It seems like they tapped out a text message to all their little bigot friends saying "Beware Fat Men in Wheelchairs - they will call you out on your use of the R word." Because, I simply haven't heard it - with the exception of some characters in movies - spoken around me.
Are any of you noticing a decrease in it's usage. I know this isn't a scientific kind of analysis but I'd like to know if the trend is in our favour. So please let me know.