I made an enemy.
And probably did something mean.
I'll let you be the judge.
I got on the bus this morning greeting, as I do, the other occupant who was a very large woman sitting on a four wheeled scooter. The driver chatted with us both while strapping me in. Once on our way my fellow passenger was startled by the movement of the bus and laughed and said, "I should be used the bus by now, sometimes I'm just so ret#rded." I immediately said, "Please don't use words like that, I find hate speech upsetting and I work with people who are very hurt by that word."
Predict what happened next.
She acted like I victimised her!
In all of what she said, including that it didn't mean anything, it's just an expression, she mentioned that she had a 15 year old boy with, and this is a direct quote, "the mind of a six year old." She went on about how she makes sure no one calls him names. She wasn't using the word as a name so it was OK.
I asked her if she spoke like that in front of her boy and she said that she did. Her answer was defiant. She was angry.
I was angry too.
I said, "That's just really lardass thinking."
She said loudly, "What did you say to me?"
I said, "I said, that I thought that it was so lardass that you think that it's OK to use words like that in front of your son."
"Don't you call me names, you are really fat yourself."
"I'm fat but I don't have lardass thinking, thank God."
"I am going to report you for being offensive."
"Why, I'm not calling you a name. I'm just using a word, it doesn't mean anything." My point was made.
She got off the bus, stopping the scooter on her way down the ramp and said, "I really hate you." There was such anger in her voice.
I don't get how people don't get that words hurt. I didn't really mean to upset her to the degree that I did. I just thought that if she heard a hurtful word used in the same way that she used the 'r' word, she might think twice.
It didn't work.
Or maybe it did.
All I can say is that if I see her again on the bus, I'm going to be very, very quiet.