Sunday, April 19, 2009

A quick word about living in the Southern USA

Friends there's no escaping the bigotry and the hatred, nor the scornful glares of those people who think their purported moral superiority transcends basic human decency.  Even a mild dose of this bullshit is enough to ratchet my mood from slightly anxious to seething cynicism.

An anecdote to highlight my frustration:

Yesterday at a gathering of friends my wife and I shared a conversation with a youngish grandmother, aged around 50 or so.

The event was to commemorate the recovery of a neighbor's daughter whose foot had been crushed in a car accident.  The injured girl was projected to be off her feet completely for 20 weeks and at just over 10 was able to hobble around with a brace on.

Sunshine and the cool sweat-covered drinks made the affair pleasant and calm.  Though most of those in attendance were strangers I felt like I was in the company of friends.  Now the young grandmother was interested in sharing stories of travel and adventure.

She talked about a 6 week journey across 30 states with her grandparents.  We spoke of the Grand Canyon and Las Vegas on the honey moon.  We shared with this woman the taste of noodle soup in Bangkok, the mangrove swamps of Costa Rica, our various trips to Europe and a certain midnight stroll across the dark continent.

As we shared I made an off hand remark that our honeymoon was last year.  Our two and a half year old daughter ran around on the grass making people smile and soaking up attention like a sponge, as usual.  The wheels began to turn in the head of our fellow story teller and rather than have her struggle with the implications I explained.

"We were only married last year, and Alex was born before that."

Straight, simple and perfectly mundane.

"But is she your daughter or?" The woman asked.

"As far as I know," I joked.  Her expression turned sour and she did not laugh.

From that moment the lady who had spoken with us, who had been delighted to hear about our lives turned utterly indifferent and quickly shifted her attentions to every other party guest EXCEPT for my self, my wife and our daughter.

This is why atheists get angry at christians.


mdross said...

That's why I get angry at EVERYONE. You can replace moral superiority with classism and bigotry and you'd have the west coast. When it comes down to it there isn't much difference.

When i first moved out here people told me don't live in east san jose. No one could give me a reason. After driving though you can see its all Hispanic people. Most of the neighborhoods are just as nice. There are some sections of poverty, but EVERYTHING out here is a little small, old, and dirty looking compared to the new suburban developments back east.

Another place I was told to never go was East Palo Alto. Turns out the reason for that was because black people live there! oh no!

This is supposed to be the "hippy love everyone state." But no, they'll hate you if you're different, poor, or gay.

Veko said...

I'm in the same boat as you. My girlfriend and I have been living together for over a year now and, since we first started living together, have struggled against her parents who refuse to give us any sort of help, even mutually beneficial help, because we're not married.

The sad truth of it is that her mother's always telling her to leave me since I'm an atheist.

I hope Jesus wasn't as big of a dick.

P.S. I like your blog.