It’s Not Fair To Force Your Beliefs Unless They’re My Beliefs

, , , , , , | | Friendly | July 17, 2019

(I’m attending my local parent and baby group when a new mum arrives and sits next to me. We’re making polite conversation.)

New Mum: “Any plans for the rest of the week?”

Me: “Vaccinations are tomorrow, so I don’t think we’ll get much more done after that.”

New Mum: “Oh, I don’t believe in vaccinations.”

Me: *thinking, “Here we go,” and waiting for a lecture* “Oh, right.”

New Mum: “But I don’t think less of anyone who gets them. I even understand why you’d get them. I just don’t want to take any risks with autism. Anyway, your baby is lovely. How old is he?”

Me: *surprised that she’s not insane* “She’s a girl actually and she’s four months old.”

New Mum: “But you’ve dressed her in such boyish clothes.”

Me: “I’d say gender-neutral rather than boyish. It’s only jeans and a jumper, basically the same as I’m wearing.”

New Mum: “You shouldn’t dress her like that. She’s going to grow up confused and won’t know if she’s a boy or a girl. It’s really not fair of you to force your beliefs on her.”

(At this point, I realise she is crazy and a hypocrite, so I politely turn to the woman on my other side and start speaking to her, instead. The New Mum starts speaking to someone else and I mostly tune her out until she says this:)

New Mum: “Oh, I don’t give my son any toys. I don’t want him to become emotionally invested in material items.”

(Yep, definitely crazy.)

A Woman’s Place Is Anywhere She D*** Well Wants

, , , , , | | Legal | July 12, 2019

(It’s very hot and late at night, and I’m trying to find cool air on the terrace. My very loud, thick, stupid, and rough neighbour is on his terrace and he’s so loud I cannot help but overhear what he’s complaining about.)

Neighbour: “Yeah, dat girl cop stops me and she wants to control things and all, and I tell her, ‘Nah, stop pissing me off, get back to the kitchen, do some cooking, clean up, leave me alone.’ And then she writes me down, the b****. And ya know what? I’m even scheduled to go to court! Just because I told her to go do women stuff! Life’s a b****!”

It’s A Gateway Candy

, , , , , | | Right | July 11, 2019

(I’m in a candy store shortly before Valentine’s Day. A customer and her elementary-school-age son come in. She’s helping him find candy he can share with his class.)

Clerk: “Maybe these?”

(He shows her a box of those little pastel hearts that have messages printed on them.)

Customer: “Okay, we’ll get those! But we also need something for the boys.”

Clerk: “Oh, uh… You mean, a candy that’s more… masculine?”

(The clerk looks surprised, probably because this is a strongly LGBTQ neighborhood, so it’s odd to hear someone assigning a gender to something like candy. Still, he tries to help.)

Customer: “Oh, what about these for the boys? Candy cigarettes.”

Clerk: “Uh, uh, okay…”

(She and her son go to check out. After a moment of banter…)

Clerk: “Would you also like to buy some of our Breaking Bad candy crystal meth?”

Customer: “What?!”

Clerk: “Well, uh… to go along with your candy cigarettes…”

No Pride In Her Daughter

, , , , , , | | Related | July 10, 2019

I am a non-binary lesbian and have more or less known this since I was 15, but I did not formally come out to my mother until a few months ago. When I first tried to come out to her, she’d become aggressive and angry. Later, as she mellowed out, she would frequently tell me that she loves me no matter what, but that if I changed my mind about liking girls then she’d be okay with that. If I tried to tell her how much that backhanded “support” hurt me, she’d yell at me and say I was trying to hurt her feelings. I decided not to tell her anything.

Things got better after I transferred to a school in another state. For three years, I lived on my own, became a lot more secure in my identity, and met a lot of friends who were unconditionally supportive. Last year, I moved back in with my mom for a new job that had a very supportive and progressive environment. I felt safe enough to come out on the first day, and with the exception of a few minor slip-ups, everyone from my teammates to upper management had no problem referring to me in gender-neutral terms. It made it that much more difficult to come home every night and pretend to be something else around my family.

One day, my mom and I had a huge fight. I wrote her a letter outlining my side of the issue, which included my frustration over the fact that she knew I was gay and yet insisted that I date men and acted disgusted any time I expressed even casual interest in a woman. After she read the letter, we had a talk in which I explicitly stated that I am gay and will never want to date men. She said that she doesn’t want me to be gay because she knows that will make life harder for me, but she supports me no matter what.

Fast forward to last week. I went on a few dates with a girl I’d met on Tinder and we had just made it official. When I told my mom, she reacted with disinterest and told me that I should be dating someone who was going to college and had ambition, someone who wasn’t “below” me, despite never having met my girlfriend. I didn’t want to start an argument, so I brushed it off.

The next day, I was talking to my younger sister, and she told me that she was upset that I hadn’t told her about my girlfriend. It turned out that my mom had outed me to my sister without consulting me. My sister was more supportive than I thought she would be, but it was still completely inappropriate that my mom outed me without my permission.

Last weekend, we attended the wedding of a close family member. During the reception, my 21-year-old sister was having a friendly chat with the best man, who was around 30 years old. My mom pointed out to me that they were getting awfully friendly, and I reminded her that he’s at least a decade older than her. Her response: “So?” That annoyed me, because just the week before, my mom gave me flack because my girlfriend is three years younger than me, though we’re both in our 20s.

Then, she really slapped the cherry on top of the nosy-mom cake: she said that the best man could also be a good match for me. I was furious, not just because she knew that I have a girlfriend, but we’d had a really great conversation about the letter I’d written and I had told her in completely unquestionable terms that I am a lesbian and will never want to date men. When I pointed this out, she’d just laughed it off. I want to think it’s just because she was a bit drunk, but you know what they say about sober thoughts.

Today, I happened to go to her Facebook profile — I have her muted so she never comes up on my timeline — and noticed that she’d put a “Love is Love” filter on her profile photo for Pride month. I’m upset but not surprised that she would show her “support” for social media brownie points while she doesn’t extend the same to her gay child.

When “That Never Happened” Never Happened

, , , , , , , | | Right | July 8, 2019

(I work at an extremely well-known big box retailer known for having virtually everything and a very lenient price-matching policy. However, if I am told a price that I think is incorrect, I am allowed to ask what store it’s from and make sure it’s not ludicrous.)

Me: *preparing to scan an item*

Customer: “…and that’s [price that seems too low].”

Me: “Okay, sir, and which store is that from?”

Customer: “I don’t have to tell you that! The [Company] policy says I don’t have to tell you!”

Me: “Actually, sir, I can ask, and the store you are asking me to price match must be within 50 miles of this store.”

Customer: “No, it says in the policy I don’t have to, and I happen to know insider information about this kind of thing because my ex-wife is the store manager of one of these stores in New York, so you are wrong. I have the personal phone numbers of all sorts of people in the corporate office, and I can get anyone I want fired.”

(I go ahead and give him the price — it is busy and my supervisor has asked me to send someone home at another register — finish out his order, and give him his receipt while he continues to tell me his story.)

Customer: *becoming more smug by the moment* “Once, a cashier at another store, not here, wouldn’t honor the sign saying the pants I wanted to buy were $3 and told me I’d have to pay $15, and it was 3:00 in the morning, mind you, and I made her get her supervisor. Her supervisor told me that I couldn’t pay $3 for the pants and would have to pay $15, and I asked her if she was sure about that because there are laws in this country that require companies to have truth in advertising, and she said she was just doing her job. I told her I had the personal number of [Executive that does not actually exist], and I would be perfectly happy to call him, and I did, and he screamed at her on the phone and told her she’d be fired if she didn’t make me happy! Then she had the cashier change the price for me.”

Me: “Ah, yes… I—”

Customer: *positively gleeful* “Then, that manager told me I am a horrible person! And if you think that’s bad, when my wife was an assistant manager at a [Company] in California, her boss was a gay man who decided he hated women and sexually harassed my wife, and I called [Executive that doesn’t exist], and he not only fired that man and promoted my wife, he made that gay man unemployable in the state of California!”

(I was completely unable to figure out how to extricate myself from this conversation, which actually took over 15 minutes and nearly cost me my break, and in addition, the person I was supposed to relieve wound up being sent home by the supervisor because I couldn’t get away from this man. I found out later from a friend of mine that he comes in all the time and tries to pull that crap on people, and none of it is true.)