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Encounters with friends & strangers

A Splash Followed By A Splash Of Kindness

, , , , , | Friendly | September 28, 2023

About thirty years ago when I was three or four, my mother, younger sister, my mother’s friend, her son, and I visited a larger city close to my hometown. We got pizza and then explored the city. At one point, we were resting at a cafe with a fountain close by, and the friend’s son and I went there to play. (My sister was still too small for it.)

I fell in, and the fountain was deep enough that I got completely submerged. The other boy, who was around twice my age, quickly pulled me up, but now the adults had a soaking wet, crying child on their hands.

They quickly walked away with us, frantically trying to think of what to do. A man nearby noticed them and asked what had happened. When they explained, he invited us all into his home above his restaurant. We went with him and put my clothes in his dryer.

As far as I was concerned at the time, the worst part was that I lost the toy I had gotten with my meal at the pizza place.

Once In A While, Bigotry Has A Happy Ending

, , , , , , | Friendly | September 27, 2023

My sister is gay, and I have been in full support of her from the word “go”. As an ally, I have been exposed to all manner of homophobic bigotry, but I have also had the pleasure of being involved in that rarest of rarities: the bigot who realizes they’re being an a**hole and changes their ways.

One of my friends had the displeasure of a lust-struck stalker during high school. [Stalker] was dealt with by the school authorities before anything terrible happened, but [Friend] has NOT forgotten her. [Friend] also happened to get married shortly after graduation, and I had the pleasure of being the best man at his wedding; it was abundantly clear that they loved each other very much because it was the sappiest, most sickeningly-sweet ceremony I have ever been a part of.

Less than a week after the wedding, same-sex marriage was legalized in America, and the entire Internet seemed to make an event out of it. I ended up having to give [Friend] a ride home after he blew a tire, and the conversation eventually turned to the celebration, whereupon [Friend] proceeded to make the most inane argument I’d ever heard of.

Friend: “What is even the point of letting them get married?”

Me: “I really hope you didn’t just say what I thought you said.”

Friend: “Like, what purpose does it serve? Why not just have the [male gay slur]s marry the [female gay slur]s like the rest of us?”

I proceeded to slap [Friend] and get into a shouting match that achieved very little. The long drive ahead of us let us both calm down, and I managed to make my point with a little less emotion and a little more tact.

Me: “Can I ask you something?”

Friend: “What?”

Me: “Why did you marry [Wife]?”

Friend: “What the h*** kind of a question is that? Why do you think I married her? I love her! I want to spend the rest of my life with her!”

Me: “And what if you weren’t allowed to? What if, for whatever bulls*** reason, you were prohibited from marrying [Wife], and you had to marry [Stalker], instead?”

Friend: “What the actual f***?! That’s not funny! Why would I ever be in a situation where I had to marry that a**hole?”

Me: “Because that’s exactly what you suggested: that two people who love each other should not be allowed to marry each other, and should instead marry someone else entirely.”

[Friend] was silent for the rest of the drive. When I got him home, he apologized for his outburst (albeit without looking at me) and got out of the car.

A few days later, [Friend] and I met up, and I got a genuine apology; he admitted that he had mostly been judging the matter on account of it “being different” rather than actually on its own merits. [Friend] is now an LGBT+ ally who is all too willing to go off on someone who acts homophobic in front of him, and I count myself lucky that I happened to learn his former position at the right place and the right time to correct his course.

Interesting Definition Of “Friendship”

, , , , , , | Friendly | September 26, 2023

One time, a woman I knew asked me (another woman) if I wanted to be friends and invited me to “hang out.”

It turned out that her definition of “hanging out” was for her to sit there in her apartment, smoking and ignoring both me and her toddler while she engaged in multiple — clearly social, not business — phone calls.

After about two and a half hours — way longer than I should’ve put up with it, I know — I finally got tired of it and left. Clearly, she just wanted me to watch her kid for free while she gossiped on the phone all day.

She glared at me as I left. Oh, well…

Impatience Didn’t Work Out So Well For You, Did It?

, , , , , , , , , , | Friendly | CREDIT: NotGayRyan | September 25, 2023

My friend and his wife just moved into their first house about six months ago. Then, a strong windstorm came through and damaged their fence. And by “damaged their fence”, I mean the fence was now leaning slightly — about 70 degrees.

Because home insurance wouldn’t fix the fence and it was winter, my friend and his wife were going to wait until spring to hire someone to fix or replace their fence. Well, their backyard neighbor did not like that. The backyard neighbor wanted the fence fixed ASAP.

When [Neighbor] found out they were going to wait until spring, they called the city and complained that [Friend]’s fence was out of code. When the city inspector came out to inspect their fence, it was, in fact, out of code and needed to be corrected.

The reason [Neighbor] was so fixated on the fence being replaced is that [Neighbor] had a pool in their yard and needed to have a fence around their pool for safety.

[Friend] and his wife, now pissed off at [Neighbor], decided to only remove the fence and not replace it. This allowed them to be within city code, and now, when the spring hit, [Neighbor] would have to build a fence on the backside of their yard if they wanted to fill up their pool for the summer.

If [Neighbor] would have just been nice and not called the city, [Friend] would’ve built the fence up in the spring with no problem.

As Long As There’s Food, I’m Game

, , , , , , | Friendly | September 24, 2023

I brought a friend to an anime convention, and we ended up walking past the maid cafe.

Friend: “Oh, my God, that is so typical!”

Me: “What’s wrong?”

Friend: *Pointing to maid cafe entrance* “Look at that! It’s a total male fantasy thing. I can’t believe this is allowed.” 

Me: “Nobody is forced to do it, and it’s something they’ve done at anime conventions for a long time. It’s kind of a tradition now.”

Friend: “And it’s also totally unfair. I mean, you don’t see a room where women can have cute guys serving them.”

Me: *Pointing* “That would be the butler cafe. It’s just down the hall.”

My friend did look quite embarrassed by this revelation and quietly apologized. She actually made an appointment at the butler cafe later.