March! Spring time! The birds are chattering about. The grass is green. The trees are in bloom! And....and...and.....the weather is calling for even more snow.....son of a chicken biscuit. I love winter and all but, this winter has been bitterly, bitterly cold. My Lab, who LOVES the cold weather so much have to fight to get her to come back inside said, “This winter is full of NOPE.”
This March is a bit busy for me. I am helping a friend run her booth at a convention. Husband has a birthday. My Abby Normal is turning 9. I guess that means hip and joint supplements and senior dog food. Then I get to go bridesmaid dress shopping. My little sister is engaged! I'm so happy for her. She asked me to be in her bridal party, so dress shopping we go. She wants to do navy and sunshine yellow. I can totally rock those colors! Oh and the Super Pet Expo is at some point this month.
The greatest event EVER comes this week. I get to go see a recording of “Welcome to Night Vale” with a friend. I'm so excited! Cecil! Carlos! Steve CARLSBURG!!!!
So, I had an experience the other day that I wanted to share. Two actually. I think the universe wants me in the right place at the right time or maybe I can't keep my mouth shut. The first one, almost got me arrested. The second made a woman cry.
1. I was in Walmart at 2 am. Don't ask why. It is what insomniacs do. After a certain time, Walmart closes down all the registers, leaving one open, and lock one of the doors. The register that is left open is one closest to the doors that are locked. I'm assuming this is to funnel people and help to keep the thieves from I dunno. Usually, it isn't that busy at 2am on a Thursday. (Don't ask how I know this.) I'm in line and I'm behind a lady who is probably in her 30s -ish, and her mother who is wheelchair bound. According to the stickers on the back on her mother's wheel chair, she has Spina Bifida. She also is, visibly, mentally handicapped. She was helping her daughter take the items out of her cart and place them on the belt. It was taking her a bit because her mobility is limited. They had a fair few groceries, but that is beside the point. The mother turned to me and smiled and apologize for being slow. I waved her off and cracked a joke. The lady behind me, on the other hand, was the cause of my issue. Apparently, she was in a hurry and didn't understand why she had to wait in line. She kept making rude noises every time the mother would have trouble placing things on the belt. I turned to give her a dirty look. She was barely in her twenties and a good five inches shorter than I am, which was unusual since I'm just a shade over five foot. I was okay until she opened her mouth. Here are some of the horrible things she said.
“I don't know why they let people like that out late at night. She should be at home, not holding me up.”
“Seriously? How many time is she going to drop the same fucking thing?”
“How long does it take to put a fucking banana on the fucking belt?”
“How long is this going to fucking take? I have places to be!”
At this point the daughter is pissed and the mother starts to cry and apologizes for being slow. It was at this point where I turned around, about to say something to her. I was going to fuss at her, but she decided to say, “Why are the fucking retards out this late? Isn't there a law that prohibits that?”
Needless to say, that didn't sit very well with me. I was so pissed off that I didn't hold back. Security got called over. There was also a police officer that happened to be there who came over as well. She thought it would be, I don't now......smart....to try and get in my face. It didn't work out so well for her. We were separated and security and the police officer managed to get the story. It was a bad day to be her because the police officer and the manager both have children in a wheelchair. She was unceremoniously thrown out of Walmart and told never to come back. It was funny though, because the officer told me to stay put for a few minutes until the lady left. I cracked up and apologized. I explained to him that it I had zero tolerance for people like that. He understood, but told me to do something constructive with it instead of getting into arguments in Walmart, but he commends me for standing up. The daughter thanks me and the mother tried to apologize again. I told her to not apologize for people like that and that she was beautiful just the way she was.
I have only just become aware that this type of discrimination exists. It was with the unintentional help with my friend Fayetteville, whose daughter has Spina Bifida and is wheelchair bound. I thought that people were more accepting of people with disabilities. My eyes were further opened because of my friend, Hazel, who is an Aspie and is a big advocate for Austism. I became more aware that this discrimination happens to the point where people actually take their lives or even murdered. It baffles me. I can't wrap my mind around a mother who would kill her son because he is Austic. A child with a disability is going to be hard work. There will be ups and downs, but you love them just the same. A child with a disability loves just the same as a child that doesn't. I think we need to work to keep that in mind, to pass that around. It is okay to be Autistic, to have Spina Bifida, to have no limbs, to be in a wheel chair. You are all beautiful just the way you are. Don't let anyone tell you any different.
2. The second event was in Cafe Rio. I was sitting there eating chips and queso, which is soooooooo delicious. There was a mother with her three children. They were at the table right next to me and I overheard their conversation. The oldest son was around 17 and he was talking to his mother about his therapy session. Apparently, he is the one who is picked on in school because he is a geeky, dorky, nerd. Story of my life. He was going on about how the counselor said that he should accept the way he is, but how he doesn't think she is right and how he should just try to conform. His mother asked him how he would feel about trying to change who he is. He replied that he didn't care because if he stopped being himself, he would have more friends and not be picked on. That is where I came in. Normally, I mind my business, but my heart hurt listening to this boy because I have been there. I said, “Excuse me. I'm sorry to interrupt, but you're wrong about that.” He looked at me and asked me what I meant. I gave him the following speech:
“You only say you don't care right now because you think it is your only option. You may try to change yourself to fix your social standing, but deep down you will care, because you will be a fake. I understand what you are going through. I went to a very small elementary school in Texas where I was tormented because I was the smart one. The popular kids didn't understand me. I wrecked the grade curve. I was socially awkward and I had no friends. I loved Star Trek, Star Wars, and read books about science fiction and space. I played video games and loved watching Batman and X-Men. Nobody got me. I was alone and they picked on me to the point that I transferred schools. At my new school I tried to be fake, tried the wear the popularity mask and I hated myself. I had to pretend that everything I loved was stupid and everything they loved was wonderful even though I found it superficial and petty. There came a day where my new friends were picking on a girl. She was an outcast too. Instead of standing up for her, I joined in. She left the bathroom in tears and I hated myself everyday after that. I eventually apologized but the damage had been done. Don't change who you are because they want you to. That means they won. You fight to be who you are meant to be because it gets better for us. I know life is hell now, but it gets better for us. You know why? Because we are dreamers and we make our dreams into reality. We are writing books, inventing the electronic book readers you saw in Star Trek, inventing ways to go Mars, and new games and computer systems. You know where they are? Working manual labor jobs. They are the managers at restaurants and the car lot owners. They will never be more than menial. We invent space travel and colonize planets. They work for us. They only wish they were as awesome as we are. It gets better. I'm thirty and I'm sitting here reading the novelization of Star Trek: Wrath of Khan and I don't care what anyone thinks of me. I'm proud to be a geek. Because I know I am awesome. They just don't see how awesome we are. Don't let them change you and don't let them break you. You are beautiful just how you are. It will get better.”
And with that, I dumped my tray and left.
Those two events happened on the same day, come to think about it. Weird. But I hope I helped that young man. I know it is rough and it may seem like it isn't going to be okay. So many teenagers are bullied to the point of suicide. I applaud schools that are taking a harsher stance on bullying. It is NOT okay.
Anyhow, now that I have bored everyone with the recent events in my life, I would like to move on to my Creative Life. I am at the start of month three of the Year of Creative Pursuits and I think I'm doing okay, so far. My February goal were met. I finished the blanket and started working on a new novel. By the way, a big thank you to those who have helped me rough out a plot on this random crazy idea. You know who you are. Also, I haven't posted pictures of the blanket because I want it to be a surprise. I will get the photos up as soon as she gets it.
So my goals for this month are rather simple. I'm really liking these smaller goal things. It isn't so overwhelming.
1. To continue research for my newest crazy novel idea
2. To work on character development for said crazy novel idea
3. To start work on a new blanket. I want to use up some of the insane amount of yarn that I have collected. This one doesn't have a due date. I just need something to do when I am enjoying telly with the hubby and I don't want to play a game or write.
4. Read a new book. I have a list. A long list. I need to get on it. It doesn't take me long to read a book. I read “A Fault in Our Stars” and I'm about half way done with the novelization of “Wrath of (Benedict Cumberbatch!) Khan”.
5. To be more supportive of the other people in YCP group and actually read their blog posts. I'm so bad at it! They are courteous enough to read and comment on mine. I need to do the same.
6. Write a letter to my pen pal. A real letter. With an envelope and a stamp and everything.
So those are my goals. A bit more than the previous couple of months, but really doable. On that note, Assassin's Creed is calling my name. As I said before, I need a hobby that doesn't kill my hands.