1/25/2009

Speaking Up, Yielding Dialogue

After feeling as if I couldn't communicate anything to save my life (foot in mouth, having to repeat myself constantly) all week, I finally enjoyed one of those moments where things came out O.K. Plus, I got to get something off my chest. (Would that I could take care of a more irritating something, though, but way down the road.)

Sometimes at the bookstore, I work up at the cash wrap. It is surprisingly steady on the weekends, despite being past Christmas, but we do have downtime where a few of us cashiers joke around. Often (because most of us are single and have an appreciation for God's handiwork) we point out the cute customers shopping in the store--sometimes by way of a discreet post-it note system.

This afternoon, I was in for a few hours covering part of a shift for a co-worker who needed time to work on a group project for college. One of the cashiers with me was a fellow I'll call "Romeo"--a nice fellow, young as in maybe not quite 20, and open about the fact that he is gay--and he was craning his neck at a shopper and saying to me, "He's cute- Oh, wait, he's got a kid with him. You can have him." He said it lightheartedly, and added, "Breeders--oh, you heteros."

"Hey," I said. "I resemble that remark." I was trying to laugh it off, but I was a little hurt, because it brought to mind the fact that I was mocked in such a way on Thursday, when I was here (note: I don't know the person who took the photos, and not all of the signs represent my views).

So I told Romeo about it. How a group of young homosexual men, maybe around his age, maybe a little younger, had yelled, "Breeders!" at me and the people I was with, because of the reason we'd come there--and that it just was something I believed in--and how I felt about it. That it stung, and that I'd never point and yell at anyone like that, for any reason.

I kind of braced myself to be rejected for my somewhat controversial views, even if I had expressed them softly, but (as deep down I had a feeling he would be) Romeo was really nice about it. We wound up having a pretty good discussion about issues, actually, and even about kids. He showed me a picture on his phone of his adorable little niece.

I'm glad I went on Thursday, and I'm glad I had that moment today where I felt O.K. to tell someone about it.

5 comments:

Pam said...

that's great that you stood up for your own views. the older you get you'll find that you're more willing to protect yourself and to tell everyone who disagrees with you to fuck off.

Ashley said...

My favorite sign in that link was "Bail Out Babies."

Ha. :) It made me smile.

nightfly said...

True story - back in my table-waiting days, a friend and fellow waiter flipped ugly on me for defending traditional marriage (we're going back 15 years now). Years later I ran into her again and the first thing she did was thank me for that conversation (which I'd forgotten). She said that she eventually went to church because of what that conversation started her thinking about.

You never know what might happen when you stick to your guns!

Laura(southernxyl) said...

Wow, nightfly. That's a story to hang on to.

I'm always reminded of my "witness" as they say in the SBC. If I talk about being a Christian, I know the non-Christians around me notice if I don't act right, which for me would be losing my temper. (I have a short fuse - it's not easy to light, but once it's lit it gets away from me fast.) That tends to keep me more or less straight. As you say, you never know what effect you're having on people.

Kate, my smiling comeback to that coworker might have been, "Yo mama was a breeder." Heck, do they want the human race to die out? We don't have all the bugs worked out of that artificial womb thing yet.

Kate P said...

Pam--hey, thanks for stopping by! Pam's a newbie blogger, gang. And, uh, yeah. . . I guess I did stand up for my beliefs. :)

Ashley--yeah, some of the signs were cute, especially the ones children made themselves. (And I'd much rather my tax money went to helping moms and babies, y'know?)

'Fly--what a cool story! It's true; you never can tell what kind of impact your words will have.

Laura--oh no, not the "yo mamma" comebacks! :) And you're right; you can't be a hypocrite. You have to practice what you preach, especially when actions can speak louder than words!