So Much For Midwestern Hospitality

, , , , , | Friendly | September 13, 2018

(I’ve just moved to the Midwest to be closer to family. I graduated from a university in a southern state a few months prior. A couple days after I arrive, I have to go run some errands. Since most of my clothes are in the moving truck that has yet to arrive, I throw on a [University] sweatshirt, jeans, and sneakers. I’m at the grocery store when an older man walks up to me.)

Man: “Young lady!”

Me: *startled* “Yes?”

Man: “You shouldn’t wear that.”

Me: “Excuse me?”

Man: “You shouldn’t wear that!

(He gestures at my sweatshirt. I look down to check for stains or rips, thinking I may have missed something while getting dressed. I find none.)

Me: “Why?”

Man: “You are in Illinois, not the South. Show some local pride.”

(I have a slight Southern accent, which I can turn into a full-on drawl on command.)

Me: *with a smile and full drawl* “What I wear is none of y’all’s business. I’ll wear this as much as I please. Now, kindly leave me alone.”

(The man huffs and walks away, muttering about “those people.” And that was my first introduction to small Midwestern towns.)

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, , , , , , , | Friendly | September 13, 2018

This is a story from a few years back, when fad veganism was starting to gain traction.

At our college we had this one girl who would always hop onto whatever fad she could when they were gaining popularity. A lot of students disliked her because of her preachiness, and because it was extremely obvious that she was doing it purely for the holier-than-thou feeling, and didn’t actually believe in any of the causes she pledged to support or be into.

So, enter her vegan phase, where, day one of fall classes, she was in the cafeteria making this giant grandstand about all the positive of veganism and how it had changed her life, and so on. Everyone just kind of ignored her until she singled out a college freshmen eating a burger and proceeded to roundly mock his size — never mind that he was maybe 200 pounds — and blame it on his diet. He looked really annoyed, and a lot of the other people were really uncomfortable at her doing that to him.

Cue the day immediately after, where she did it again, but this time went up to him and started angrily reprimanding him for daring to eat meat in her presence, making her uncomfortable, and being insensitive to her diet. Without missing a single beat, he pulled the bun off and flung the meat patty dead center at her forehead, leaving a nice greasy stain for everyone to see. She paused for a minute, shrieked like a banshee, and ran out of the cafeteria crying. Campus security showed up a few minutes later, responding to a report of an “assault,” trying to stifle their laughter. They gave him a verbal slap on the wrist for it because he really didn’t do any harm and they were tired of her, too. She didn’t bother him again.

As an aside: a month afterward she was back to eating meat and processed food. Turns out she hopped into veganism without doing even the slightest bit of research, and malnourished herself into the hospital.

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Not Happy Unless She’s Melon-choly

, , , , | Friendly | September 12, 2018

(I walk into a grocery store. At the front end of the store is a display of watermelons, and I put one in my cart. A while later, I’m in the back of the store when another customer notices.)

Woman: “Oh! I didn’t see watermelons in the produce section.”

Me: “No, they were at front, in a display near the self checkouts.”

Woman: “I’m not sure where you mean.”

Me: “I’m headed that way. I can show you, if you’d like?”

(I lead her there and gesture to the watermelons before turning to go check out. She shoots me a dirty look.)

Woman: “Ahem! You’re welcome!”

Me: “I’m sorry, what?”

Woman: “You didn’t say, ‘Thank you’!”

Me: “I helped you. Shouldn’t you be thanking me?”

Woman: “No, because… I… I mean… Young people have no manners!”

(She snatched up a watermelon and stormed off with it.)

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A Long(House) Tale

, , , , , | Friendly | September 11, 2018

(Because my family is Native American, during the State Fair we spend most of our time in the Indian Village. It’s very common for parents and grandparents to simply stay and rest in the village while children form groups together and go off on their own to enjoy the fair, coming back every so often to check in and rest. My family does so this year, and during one of our stops, sitting with friends and family outside one of the replica longhouses on a bench, we hear these two gems.)

Native Man: *over microphone* “And you guys can check out one of our longhouses here in the village. Longhouses have stopped being used since the late 17th century, though some of us still live in them… only now, they’re made out of metal, and we call them trailers.”

(Cue several people around us laughing hysterically. A while later, a slightly drunk couple approaches the longhouse my group is sitting at.)

Woman: *very excited* “Oh, my God! This is a real life longhouse! People used to live here! Can you believe this?!”

Man: *a lot calmer* “Ah, yes, the very first casino.”

(They walk into the replica, leaving my group to look at each other and burst into giggles.)

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They Are Disabling Themselves With Their Ignorance

, , , , , , , | Friendly | September 11, 2018

(I’m out with a friend and his daughter, who, thanks to complications and sheer medical bad luck, is just now learning to properly speak at the age of seven. Despite this, my friend loves her to the point of giving her anything she wants. We’re shopping, and I’m tagging along to help out, both of us having her read boxes and signs.)

Friend: “All right, [Daughter], what’s that?” *points to a bag of cat food I’m lifting*

Daughter: “Kitty! Kitty!” *jumps up and down*

Friend: “Good! It’s food for the kitty. Kitties have to eat, too.”

Daughter: “Kitty!”

Me: *to a passing woman* “Hello.”

Woman: “Why is it out here?”

Me: “What?” *puts down cat food*

Woman: “The [disabled slur]! It needs to be put up!”

(My friend’s head snaps up so quickly and I see a certain hate in his eyes that scares me.)

Friend: “Listen here—”

Woman: “Why don’t you let your poor wife deal with it? Lord knows she’s probably brain dead if she wanted to keep it.”

(I grab my friend’s daughter and immediately take her with me as I get a manager in hope they can diffuse the situation while keeping [Daughter] away from it. I return with the manager to find that the woman is near tears and my friend is red in the face from anger.)

Me: “Uh… Should I take [Daughter] away again?”

Friend: “No. We’re leaving.”

(He walks out quickly and I hesitate before following.)

Daughter: “Dada! Lady sad.”

Friend: “I know.”

Daughter: “Why, Dada?”

Friend: “I got onto her like [My Name] does when his sister is being mean. The lady was very mean and said some bad stuff. So I got onto her.”

Me: “What did you say to her?”

Friend: “Don’t worry about it. She won’t be insulting innocent children anymore, though.”

(I was both terrified and respectful of my friend after that. The look in his eyes when the woman called [Daughter] a hurtful slur for a disabled person was enough to make me know that [Friend] is not to be messed with.)

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