Why can’t some people just let other people who are minding their own business alone? How many bigots does it take to screw in a light bulb? None: They don’t see the light; they live in darkness.
This is vent day but I am sure that this has happened to other folks who read the blog. I stopped going to dog parks years ago for a variety of reasons. I know there are dog parents reading this who love dog parks, have success with them, and they provide a fantastic outlet for their dogs to play, sniff, roam, interact, and release energy. I am not down on all dog parks, so more power to those who have had success with them.
For those curious dog parents, here are the six reasons I stopped going to the dog park.
We have a deck in the place of a back yard where we reside, so there is no place on our premises to allow our dog to run and play in a fenced-in area. This is not a problem because we have access to an area where Dexter can run, play, and be off leash due to his voice recall training. Other folks do this, too, and there is never an incident, our dog is happy, and we’ve gotten to know quite a few pet parents who like the “not like a dog park” environment that exists in this particular area.
But there’s always that one idiot.
You know that saying about “there’s one in every crowd?”
We found him at the park recently.
While standing a few feet from my spouse, this guy who comes to the park to walk (without a dog) approaches me. I’ve seen him before so his “hello, how are you” was responded to with friendly pleasantries. Then he asked me out.
“Oh, no thanks, I’m married,” I replied.
“Oh, I never see you here with your husband,” he shared.
(ack, he’s been watching me, but okay)
“And your dog is really cute. He’s quite the runner.” Blah blah blah – I tried to tune him out after “never see you here with your husband.”
I don’t wear a sign nor do I blatantly share with folks that I am married to a woman, but I made a concerted decision last year not to hide it either. I am proud to be married and with the same person for nearly 21 years. I doubt most people reading this introduce themselves and follow up with their marital status. If asked if you are married, chances are you answer honestly. I do the same thing.
“That’s because my wife and I come here together,” I told Mr. Making the Moves.
“Ohhhhh, you’re gay.” His lightbulb went off.
I didn’t reply and proceeded to walk away, moving closer toward my wife. “I’m just not that into you and even if I were dating guys, I still would not be that into you” came to mind but I bit my tongue.
“What happened, couldn’t you two find the right guys so you married each other?”
And the flood gates opened.
“I’m just not that into you and even if I were dating guys, I still would not be that into you,” floated into the air as I walked away, this time, with quicker speed.
A derogatory expletive was hurled my way and I just ignored him.
This is a dog blog but it is also a blog about reality and the life of someone who identifies as a lesbian: Me. What gives people the right to be so hateful and derogatory if they are rejected? And to clear the air, would I really choose a life where I couldn’t find “Mr. Right” and so I “settled” for a woman because it was a better option?
I didn’t justify that with an answer for Mr. Rude and I won’t justify it with an answer now.
A seventh reason I stopped frequenting dog parks is because the few I did frequent had a pick-up joint vibe to them. I can handle myself, but the reason for taking our dog to the dog park doesn’t include being cruised.
The old Carol would have ignored the guy at the park and just let him ramble. I don’t need to take a stance on who I am and to whom I am married. In this case, I did. And it will happen again and again and again. Someone, somewhere, is being derogatory to someone because of their sexuality.
Someone, somewhere will say something mean to another person because they don’t like the fact they are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, have a different skin color, ethnic background, or some other reason that sets them off.
If you are that someone or know of that someone or perhaps you, yourself, have been harassed by someone for being a different than mainstream (whatever that is), do something to stop it. Say something. Speak up.
It isn’t cool to say “that’s so gay.” I often wonder if we say “that’s so Bob” or “that’s so neighbor on 123 Main Street” in response to something different, would that stick and become a cultural norm?
Probably not because calling someone gay and doing so with a derogatory tone or intent is so much, what, cooler?
Whatever the case, let me play with my dog in peace. And if you don’t like the way I was made, move along, I have no time for ignorance.
Ever experience anything similar? How did you handle it?