...the Journal

The Guest
Refrigerator Door

The new magnets are from Jeri's refrigerator. Jeri's fridge has some unusual stuff attached to it.

This is a bunch of figures made by tracing shapes in a stylus. Turned out to look like a mean guy.



* NEW *

Someone suggested I add a discussion board, so I have.

If you have anything to discuss, go to this link. Feel free to start a new discussion on anything.



WHAT I'M READING...

I'm a Stranger Here Myself

by
Bill Bryson

I enjoyed his Australia book so much, I decided to try the one about this country.

also

Battersea Park Road
to Enlightenment

(this is a book I picked up in London)


WHAT I'M WATCHING...

Annie Get Your Gun



That's it for today!

RETURN TO SENDER

7 June 2001

It was a lovely day. The sun was shining. The birds were singing. Flowers were in bloom. There was a lovely breeze in the air. The kind of day that makes you glad to be alive.

I drove to the post office to mail a package to Peggy and to send a Fed Ex to Tom. There wasnít even a long line at the post office. Only one person in line ahead of me.

The clerk who waited on me is a fellow who waits on me occasionally. Heís always been very pleasant. Always a big smile. One time I had my digital camera around my neck and we talked about the fact that he had the same kind of camera and how heíd loaned it to one of his kids when they were in San Francisco and the kid had accidentally dropped it over the side of the pier at Pier 39 and into San Francisco Bay. Iíd comiserated with him about the loss of the camera and we chatted about what a great camera it is.

Iíve watched this guy dealing with customers during rush times. Heís always very friendly and has a big smile for everyone.

As I got to the counter, things just kind of...changed. First he told me that the post office doesnít do Fed Ex and that Iíd have to take Tomís package to a different office downtown. Then he noticed that Iíd packed Peggyís stuff in a "priority mail" box. He told me that he couldnít send that to Australia and that Iíd have to cover up everything on the box that hinted at "priority mail."

It wasnít what he was saying. It was how he was saying it. There was no smile. There was no hint of wanting to be helpful. When I asked if I could use a black marker to cover up the "priority mail" information, he kind of threw the pen at me and told me that I could try, but there would be no guarantees. Then he suggested I just take the package somewhere else.

I have to admit to being very confused. What in the world had I done to this guy? Heíd always been so nice, so helpful, so gracious.

I figured he must be having a bad day and I left to go get into the car. As I got behind the wheel of the car, the seatbelt caught on the button I was wearing on my shirt. The button says: "Come Out - Gay Pride Day - June 10 - Davis"

Oh.

I described the scene to a group of gay friends, who all communicate by e-mail.

"Well. Now you know first hand. Ain't it fun?" said one.

"AAAAAAARRRRRRGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!! What else can I say? " shrieked another.

"Oh, just put it down to Senior Moments. We keep forgetting we're supposed to be unseen and unheard," quipped a third.

"Aren't you just eaten up with curiosity about what horrible, unspeakable things were done by roving gangs of Special Rights demanding Homosekshuals to that postal worker for him to feel so strongly about us?" asked someone else.

It was old hat to this group. And even old hat for me--hearing about it. New for me to experience it. And this was so mild. I thought about the whole gamut of prejudice that gay people experience, from something as subtle as this to cases like Matthew Shepard and all the gay (or presumed gay) people who have lost their lives just for daring to exist.

When we were on our boat trip, I spoke a lot to this 69 year old housewife from a small town outside of Basingstoke. This woman had very definite ideas on a lot of things. One day she was telling me about a coffee shop she had visited in London, but the day she had been there, a lot of gay people were there, she told me. "All those men," she said, peering down her nose in disgust. "It turned my stomach. I had to leave."

Following the boat trip, when she and her husband returned home, they logged on to my web pages to look at photos of the trip Iíd posted. "I have very great difficulty with the homosexual content of your web site," she wrote. "In this country as in the USA we are being taken over by people who behave in a way that was never intended and to me is quite unacceptable.". I havenít heard from her since, which comes as no surprise.

"Taken over." Thereís that old gay agenda again. I have visions of armies in pink marching on city halls all across the country. And what would their demands be? Gee.

How about.... equality.
How about.... respect.
How about.... tolerance.

Radical ideas. How dare they.

Itís been awhile since I ranted about gay rights in this journal, but June is Gay Pride month, so it seems appropriate.

There is such incredible panic in this country about homosexuals. Iím sure 90% of the people who are talking about things like homosexuals "taking over" anyplace are people who have never actually known a gay person and are basing their fear on media-driven stereotypes and some sort of bizarre mental image of what it must be like to be a gay person. (check out this site for the real truth about the Gay Lifestyle.)

What is it that makes gay people not only hated, but subject to physical abuse. Why do people feel itís OK to refuse to allow gay people to have equal rights, itís OK to deny them housing, itís OK to fire them from their jobs, it's OK--even laudable--to beat them up. Yes, there are laws which protect against such things, but they still happen. "What do they fear?" as Steve sings.

I listened to the disgust and hatred in the voice of our boat companion and wonder if she ever actually met a gay person. How can just the idea of homosexuality, which is never going to touch her life, cause her to be so physically ill that she would have to leave a lovely (by her description) cafe where she was enjoying a nice tea with a friend.

It boggles my mind that straight people can pass judgement on how other people "feel." How can someone who has never experienced same-sex attraction possibly know what itís like. How dare they look down their noses and proclaim that it was "never meant to be."

I donít know a single gay person who has gone door to door trying to get all the straights in the neighborhood to sign†up. But I do know at lot of gay people who are head over heels in love with their partners and who couldnít possibly imagine being attracted to someone of the opposite gender.

But does it really matter? Gay people, straight people, bisexual people. We all live together, side by side, Why canít we just accept each other as human beings and forget trying to put labels on anyone.

I donít expect that any of my neighbors, be they gay or straight, plan to come to my house and copulate on my living room floor. But I canít see what is so odious about waving at each other as we take out the garbage or chatting with each other about town gossip over the vegetable bin at the local supermarket.

There is entirely too much unnecessary negative energy in the world. What this country needs is a lot more tolerance and a lot less hatred.

And more understanding by US Postal employees.


One Year Ago:
Rolling in the Aisles


Some pictures from this journal
can be found at
Club Photo


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Created 6/6/01 by Bev Sykes