Sunday, February 18, 2007

Lessons Never Learned

99% of the encounters I've had with other gay men in this city have been unaccountably harsh. In the age of the metrosexual usually the only way I can tell if a guy is straight or not is if he talks to me. Understandably, this makes me very leery of dealing with gay men, which in turn causes me to be terminally celibate.

I've been sworn at and called names by men who've bumped into me, ignored by store clerks and even refused service by waiters - try and explain that one to a hostess. Recently a man I've never seen and who's never spoken to me complained about me to my supervisor. By far, though, the worst are people who walk away from me when I'm talking to them, especially if it's their job to talk to me.

It happened again today.

I was in Chapter's, in their minuscule video department, when I wondered aloud where a certain title might be. To myself, mind you, which is to say, even more softly than usual. He must have been standing right next to me, because the next thing I heard was a rather harsh "What?" I turned and saw a clerk who's never given me anything but awful service.

"Nothing, I was just --"

That got me a full sigh and rolled eyes (which, by the way, doesn't look any better on a man in his 40s than it does on a 10-year-old girl) and the usual walk away. To be honest, the best he deserves is to be ignored the way he ignores me, but I wasn't in the mood to give him what he best deserves.

"For your information," I said, once I'd cornered him by the till, "I would never ask a rude bitch like you for anything."

"There's no need to be like that," he said, smirking.

"I agree," I said, "And I wouldn't be like this either if this was the first time you'd done something like that to me."

The smirk disappeared. "What do you mean?"

I smirked at him, then rolled my eyes and sighed and walked away.

I don't know what inspired me to fight back another person's rudeness. I've always found the best way is to ignore it. But I consider the situation I'm in to be pretty dire, and such circumstances necessarily call for extraordinary measures. I have no problem with people disliking me once they get to know me (in fact, I practically expect it), but to act this way before I've said a word is unconscionable.

I must be physically hideous and unable to see it. What else am I to think? When I smile at a kid, a kid smiles back at me; when I smile at a gay man I get the finger (and not in the good way). If it happened once in awhile I could laugh it off, but it happens all the time, to the point where it's now getting me into trouble at work - only I haven't done anything. It's very likely preventing me from meeting someone because I'm so afraid he'll be rude that it scarcely seems worth the risk.

The essay, like the problem, seems to have no ending. I guess it's time for me to find one.
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1 comment:

Seumas Gagne said...

Now, if you only could have enjoyed that episode it would have been delicious. When people are jerks to me from time to time it makes me sooo happy because it gives me license to use my powers destructively for a few moment. It can't make me happy, but it does relieve tension!