I just voted. My vote is in!!!!! Is yours?
After that I dropped off a couple things at the dry cleaners. I have to tell you a funny story about one of the items the I left to be cleaned. I went into the local thrift shop, run by volunteers and whose proceeds go to support the library. This little library is self-supporting, operated by volunteers, sustained by community support only. They have turned down funds that would take a lot of pressure off them and and probably improve their facility or contents; instead they chose to go the hard way. But, you see, by avoiding public library funding or other institutional or governmental sources, the women of the little town of Capitan have kept that library completely uncensored. No one can tell them what books they can't have or what books should be there. They want no one sticking their noses in from some faraway place, and by golly they do it! The community even backed them in a fund raiser to build a new addition and expand the library. Still no outsiders to point direction.
I've donated quite a lot to the thrift shop. That is where most of my garage sale left-overs went. And I stop in occasionally to look for treasures. I specifically look for small occasional tables that I can refinish to suit my casual Southwestern style, but I often find various other things of interest, too. And the other day, I happened to wander into the clothing section. I wasn't looking for anything, just browsing. I walked out with three coats, a brand-new windbreaker in a pretty iridescent champagne color, and two long coats, both nice and warm, styles that can be worn with slacks or dresses. One has a zip out liner and is hooded; the other originally had one, but it was not with the coat. Since the coat is already very warm, so I didn't think it was important. One thing I didn't have is a good warm coat long enough to cover my knees. My knees get cold, even in pants, during the winter. So for $12.00, I am well-coated for the winter.
So last night Linda and I were talking about a number of things, and the thrift shop came up. Linda buys a lot there, because she ruins so many clothes while painting. She also buy nice dresses over which to drape her hand-painted silk scarves for display. So I grabbed the coats to show her and get in my brag about my great buys, and she got a funny look, grabbed the lined coat and looked at it really closely. As she started to smile, I said, "It's your coat, isn't it?" and she said yes! We both just burst into laughter. She said she had worn it just a few times, which was obvious, and I told her that I'm really happy she decided to donate it!
Before heading home, I stopped in a grocery for a couple items and decided to get something from the deli for lunch. Ahead of me in line at checkout was a group of four young men in late teens or early 20s and a woman aged to be the mother of one. They were all in German garb. They are some entertainers for OctoberFest. The checkers and sackers were enjoying a lively discussion with them, joking and generally having a fun time. When it was my turn to check out, the checker was talking about them, how he enjoyed them being here each year, etc. What he said next knocked me for a loop.
In a low voice he said, "And they're the right color." My brain locked up!!! No, surely I didn't hear that right!!! My hearing loss ... No one says those things ... It couldn't be ... No, I misheard ....
I hadn't collected my wits when he made it even worse. He said, "We have enough Mexicans around here. What we need is more like them."
No, he didn't just..... YES, HE DID!
I was staring at his face, and I'm sure my jaw was on my chest by this time. I finally found my voice, and I said, "I'm offended by that."
His reply? A shrug and, "Oh, I'm sorry." But he said this without the least sign of remorse, and began checking the person behind me!!
I stood right where I was and said, "Some of the best people I know are Mexicans. Or African Americans. Or from the Middle East. I can not believe you actually said that. I repeat [raising my voice a little] I am offended."
He didn't even acknowledge me, but went ahead checking the other person.
I started out of the store, and as I passed the service desk I did a 180 and stepped up to the window. Two women were there, one had been sacking while the Germans were there. I told them I was upset, and she looked at my face and said, "I can see you are. What can I do?" I explained the situation, and both of them went white as the color drained from their faces. They asked me which checker, and I showed them. They said they would advise the manager as that was totally unacceptable. It was only at this point that I realized that both of them were Mexican or at least part.
I stopped to talk with another employee who was checking on ordering something for me, and as I exited, one of the women was straightening the entryway, and she looked at me and smiled, saying thanks for telling them. I said I was just astounded that anyone would say such a thing out loud and to a stranger, and she said, "He had better get used to it or move away, because there will always be a lot of 'us' here. The manager is Mexican. He is not going to be happy."
I'm still spinning a little from all that. It is beyond me how someone can speak words like that. I get upset with individuals of all kinds, but I don't think I have a prejudice against a whole race or nationality or ethnic group, at all. How can someone have it in for an entire group??? What is wrong with people like that?
OK, I need to go take a long walk. Back later!!