Straight White Male.

PrintPRIDE week. Sitting in a coffee shop, I overheard part of a conversation from the table next to me, “When is MY day? I wanna know, when will there be a day for me, a straight white male. When will there be a day to celebrate me?!!!” Shocked, stunned and disgusted, I gathered my things and removed myself from the situation. At that particular moment, a response from me would not have been pleasant.

One Mother’s Day many years ago, as we were getting ready for church, I asked my mom, ‘’Why isn’t there a Children’s Day?” My mom answered, “Everyday is Children’s Day.” I nodded as if I understood.

Today I nod, because I do understand.

As children we assumed the world would take care of us, and for the most part, it did.  Adults looked after us, fed us, dressed us, protected us and provided a place to lay our heads. Television programs were designed for us. Family vacations were planned with our schedule and our enjoyment in mind. The world revolved around us, and everyday was “Children’s Day”.

Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are days set aside to remind us (children) that someone else (Mom, Dads and other adults) are out there working to make life comfortable, and safe for children.  They are days set aside for children to take a moment and say, Yes, you ARE an important part of my world and you help make me who I am. I honor and respect you as you have honored and respected me.

So… Dear Straight White Male, I say to you, everyday is Straight White Male Day!

Pride Week, Black History Month, Native American Month are special days set aside to acknowledge someone other than the Straight White Male, but they are days created for your benefit, for you to look closely at those who are not like you.

These special non ‘Straight White Male Days’ give you a chance to examine your privilege, your entitlement, your history, your place in this world. It’s a time for you to recognize the role diversity played in making you YOU! You can acknowledge the other people who struggled to make life work in a world that did not value their existence.

Consider the non-‘Straight White Male Days’ a time to renew your spirit and give honor and respect to those who have done the same for you throughout history.

Reflect and give thanks, we all have reason to celebrate.

Happy Pride.

 

Lost and Found.

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The Phone.

Hanging out with my sisters and our mother one Thanksgiving weekend, we walked into a casino. I threw $60 dollars at a slot machine, it caught it, and five minutes later, I was ready to go home.  My mom was seated at a machine dropping in nickels one at a time and getting a return in multiples with each push of the button. I hovered around her and grunted until she reached into her fanny pack, pulled out a twenty and said, “bring me back ten.” Okay!!! Somebody else’s money!

Two seconds later, with $400 in my hand, I found my mom again. “What time is it?” she asked. “We’ve been here 5 minutes and 2 seconds, I’m $330, dollars ahead, it’s time to go!” I reached for my phone intending to touch base with my sisters but couldn’t find it. It probably fell from my lap when I got up from that last slot machine! I retraced my steps but the phone wasn’t anywhere in sight.

The remainder of the day circled around the use of the ‘Find My iPhone‘ app. My husband joined us at the casino as the iPhone app was new to me, and it’s capabilities came across with conflicting results through tales from my sisters.

The adventure filled our hours. Like treasure hunters deciphering a map, we ended up at a convenience store near the casino where a grey bearded man dressed in a black Members Only knock-off was holding my beeping phone in his pocket. With noisy slot machines in the background, the police (who just happened to be there) and a mall cop swooped in and confiscated my property. After all was said and done, I heard one officer say, “That was cool, I’m gonna have to get that iPhone app!”

 

The Keys.

A couple of months ago, I unlocked the door, walked in the house, set the keys down, went to my easel and started painting. Less than 10 minutes later, my husband asked for the keys. “Aren’t they on the table? I just put them down.”

They vanished from sight.

I once read a book about the tiny little people that live in houses and borrow things when the big people aren’t looking. Things like keys, pencils, socks and sunglasses will mysteriously disappear. One minute they’re on the table, the next minute they’re gone.  I felt like my keys had been “borrowed” by the little people.

The next morning, I still couldn’t find the keys and things got complicated. I needed to get my daughter to school, but the locked Toyota was in the driveway directly behind the Volvo that was parked in the garage. I was frantically trying to squeeze the Volvo through the ridiculously tight space when a police car patrolling the neighborhood approached the house…. Officer Alan stopped and asked if I needed help. Much to my daughter’s disdain, she arrived to school in a police car. With a wink, he promised not to turn on the lights until he got close to the school.

Three weeks later, I noticed the water in the sink next to my easel was draining a bit slow.  I placed my hand in the garbage disposal, and found my keys.

 

The Purse.

Last Friday after my daughter and I finished shopping at the art store, I opened the rear door of the car and placed our new items inside. We got in and began our drive back to Walnut Creek for lunch.

Once inside the carpark, I realized I didn’t have the small clutch I’d been carrying. I called the art store to ask if I’d left it there. We checked inside the car several times, but we couldn’t find it. I then drove to the bank, cancelled and replaced my cards, and my daughter and I carried on with the rest of our day.

Irritated with myself as I realized I probably placed the purse on the top of my car and drove away. I also imagined I’d left it in the store where someone picked it up. There were several scenarios that could have taken place. I tried not to be upset as I knew things could have been worse. There wasn’t anything of much value in the purse. I’d replaced my bank cards. My phone and my keys were in my jacket pocket. The most annoying thing would be going to the DMV to replace my driver’s license.

My thoughts kept going to the person who picked up my purse and the disappointment I felt towards them. It happens all the time. It’s easy to walk away with something that doesn’t belong to you. Keep the twenty dollar bill. Maybe try to purchase something using the ATM card. As tempting as that might be, it’s just as easy to go up to the clerk and say, I found this in the parking lot. I know what I would do.

I remembered the man that picked up my phone a few years ago in the casino. I remembered him being near the slot machine when I went back to look for it. My sister spoke to him. Not too long after, once I figured out how to use the Find My iPhone app, the phone beeped for hours in his pocket.

I want to believe in good. I want to be good. I want to do good. Spread good. But life gets in the way. Doesn’t it?

Saturday morning, less than twenty four hours later, special delivery. My purse was returned.  There was a note inside.

Hello!

Found this on the road in Oakland today. Your lipstick was smashed by a passing car so I threw it away to avoid further mess. I hope calling American Express so they could let you know it had been found does not cause any complications. Have a nice day!

Dustin

Thank you Dustin. Your kindness brought me to tears.