Picara Baby Carriers

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

In Retrospect

This last weekend was another doozy. I think I have some sort of karmic paying back to do because, umm well, What the hell?
Frank had a big band event this weekend, practices, dinners, concert, raffle, the whole shebang. We've been running around like maniacs and I knew I couldn't do all of it, so I figured S and I would go to the dinners. Easy peasy.
Saturday night dinner and dance, dinner was unpalatable, soup with some sort of organ meat, white bread, no veggie. Not exactly what we're eating right now. So F, S and I head to a local restaurant for a salad and a P, B and J (on wheat no less). We headed back to the hall for the dance. S is having a fabulous time running and chasing with the kids. Some of the teens were out there running crazy as well, all good energy expending fun.
On a break from the bansheeing, we were all sitting on a bench, when one of the older teens (F says she is over 18) was asked to get something by one of her friends. Her response, loud, obnoxious and right in front of S was, "What color does my skin look? You think I'm black or something?"
I had rushing noises in my head like my brain was trying to explode out my ears. My blood pressure rose and fell like Niagara Falls. I could feel the heat rising in my face as I realized, before I had even thought that I was yelling,' EXCUSE ME??", "Excuse me, but what the fuck does being black have to do with anything, :you racist, bigoted, self satisfied bitch: (not what I really said). I did say(I think I yelled a few times too), "Don't ever use that language around me or my child, What does being black have to do with anything?" As S very appropriately pops up with, "My Daddy's black."
Silence, then the beyotch says, complete with eyeroll, "it was just a joke."
"Well, my daughter is 4, those jokes tell her that what she is isn't any good, she doesn't understand any humor in them, and in fact neither do I."
And said bigot walked away.
Strike two for Portuguese festivals. I can't keep bringing S to an environment where such bigotry and intolerance are rampant. Not just leftover anger about the war in Angola or anger about being immigrants and minorities themselves, but BIGOTRY. The old woman who made a comment two weeks ago was, I'm sure, some sweet old granny. The young woman who made the comment this week was raised here. She has the benefit of American schools and culture, and yet she still has the same bigotry as someone 60 years older.
We're failing here, somehow.
So, for now, I had a hard talk with Frank about how I'm not feeling at home here, I don't feel at home at the band events.
I need to work harder at building my own community, surrounding myself with people who I can be myself with.
Oh, and before we headed to the band dinner that Saturday as me and S were hanging out sloblike at home, guess who just drops by? Future MIL and SIL. Umm, ok, don't just drop by. S was wearing her T-shirt I made her that says, "Don't spank me, spank my mama, she likes it."
That went over like a lead balloon.
MIL comments that are priceless: "this place looks like a toys-r-us, if I wanted toys I had to make them myself, american kids are so spoiled."
Toys-r-us?? I don't think so, lady, I buy NOTHING there. I hate toys-r-us, it gives me hives. A Melissa and Doug factory, a Haba toys haven, a handmade, thoughtfully purchased homeschooling environment? YES, toys-r-us fuck no.
And, wouldn't you want your kids to have all the things you didn't? Would you feel angry or jealous that your grandkids have enough to thrive and not just survive?
Even when I was on the edge of survival, S had great toys from friends, family and thrift stores.
So, In Retrospect, there are lots of things I would have said this weekend. If only I'd had a functioning brain that wasn't overwhelmed by anger and annoyance.
Send me comments that I can file away under, "snappy comeback for bigots", please


At 11:01 PM, April 12, 2006, Blogger Becky said...

Ouch. How about "statements like that make you ugly." And people wonder why I like to stay home. I don't like any sort of bigotry or bias. I run into a lot of anti-fat bias out there. Luckily, there doesn't seem to be any racial bias in this area. So far. (Oh, and yes! I consider myself moderately crunchy. I do have a pro-crunchy attitude.)

At 7:00 PM, April 17, 2006, Blogger Shari said...

That is just terrible! I have no tolerance for any kind of bias. It is very hard to raise children with no bias, and assanine comments like that from other people incite me! I am sorry that you had a rough few days. I would just say "that is an ugly and ignorant comment" and walk away (if I was having an okay day) If not I would have taken someones head off.

And Me I think I am crunchy too, and love to see crunchy parents!


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