Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I Hate Being Right

On Monday morning, while driving the Husband to work (well, to the bus stop) there was a snippet of a news story on NPR. A man had opened fire in a Unitarian Universalist church in Tennessee, killing two. We had been talking over the radio, so the Husband hadn't really heard the whole story.

"Do you think they'll blame the gays for hating Christians?" he asked.

"Wait, didn't they say it was a UU church? The shooter probably went in because he saw that little rainbow flag icon on the sign outside," I said, only half joking.

Of course, a few hours later, I found out I was right. And not surprisingly, the shooter's reading list included Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, and Michael Savage. Did these hate-mongers drive him to kill? Probably not, but they sure as hell didn't tell him that gays and liberals are fellow human beings.

This story has really reminded me that I'm always on the lookout. Does Neighbor X look at us askance when we leave the house in the morning?

I'm of two minds about it. On one hand, being aware of my surroundings is a good idea. I've always been aware of what's going on around me. I'm constantly annoying the Husband by saying, "Did you hear what the couple at the next table just said?" or "Did you see the bright pink hair on that old lady?" They are really unintentionally rhetorical questions, since the answer is always: "No."

But the observations never go away, and they are frequently coupled with questions of safety. Are they relevant? Probably not. I live in liberal, suburban Massachusetts. We're not even the only gay people on the block.

I've previously told the Husband that I want a house with a big yard with a big fence around it, set back from the road. Ostensibly, this is so that our neurotic dog can safely enjoy herself in the yard, and so that we'll have a little privacy. I haven't told him that I'm also hoping that it'll give me a little break from constantly observing.


  1. I'm big with noticing what's going on around me too -- and it drives my husband crazy too. But there isn't the same undercurrent there. That has to be really hard and really tiring, in addition to being maddening. There's just no excuse for that kind of hate.

  2. It makes me sad to think that for all of our vigilance, we will probably never be safe from crazy folks or their dogmas. 'Course, it makes you wonder if he was a veteran who could have been saved if the VA mental health program was worth a hill of beans.