Yesterday morning, at about 3:00 a.m., halfway awake, I grabbed the end of the bed sheet to pull it up over me. My hand slipped and I literally punched myself in the lip. I immediately felt my lip start to swell. I got up out of bed, went into the bathroom to check out my injury. My lip was split and indeed it was swollen. As I stood in the kitchen with an ice cube on my face, I wondered how many other people surely must have done the same thing.
It’s not funny! Okay maybe a little.
My Big Fat Mouth
Yesterday afternoon our bowling league met at Il Giardino’s restaurant for our end of season luncheon.
Our league is called the "Tuesday Morning Ladies”. This year there were seven teams. The members range in age from the 40’s to the oldest who is 92.
Two of the four members of my team rarely showed up to bowl this year. So our team, most of the time, was just Sandy and me. I guess that might account for us coming in 7th.
The luncheon was pleasant. That is up until the moment when the topic of conversation turned contentious.
Before I continue, I should explain that I am very low key and extremely quiet. I usually sit and read or knit while I wait for my turn to bowl. Oh, I cheer on the others, but other than that, as I said, I keep to myself and keep quiet.
Okay, back to the luncheon.
I was sitting across from the 92 year old, Mary. I always liked Mary. We would exchange pleasantries whenever we bowled her team. Mary does not look, or act like you might expect a 92 year old woman to act or look. She is one of the best bowlers in our league. She still has a spring in her step and is mentally sharp. You might guess her age to be at least 20 years younger. I felt so sad when Mary’s husband of 69 years passed away a few months ago. I was inspired to see her pick up and continue to carry on with life.
Somehow the conversation at our table turned to our welfare system. I was taken aback when I heard Mary say, in a disapproving and judgmental tone, that the highest percentage of unwed mothers in this country are black.
I could not let this go. I just couldn’t sit and smile and nod my head as if I agreed or condoned her statement.
I said, “Mary, that is not true.”
“You don’t think so?” She asked.
“No absolutely not!” I replied.
“Well, she said, most of ‘them' are on welfare.”
I said, “Look, first, one thing I cannot tolerate is when someone makes such a broad and generalized statement.”
“Second,” I continued, “there are all types of people who need help at various times in their lives.”
“And finally,” I said, “I suspect that most people who are on any kind of public assistance would prefer that they didn’t have to be.”
Mary, began to strongly disagree with me.
I could see that the other people at the table were becoming uncomfortable with the way the conversation was going. There was a lot of seat shifting and eye averting going on.
I backed off and someone else changed the subject.
Later, when I reflected on the incident, I realized that Mary, along with the coach of the Clippers, Donald Sterling, are part of a generation who continue to have deep seated and strong prejudicial feelings.
Also, like Sterling, Mary staunchly denies begin a prejudiced person.
Would ignorant be the better way to describe those people?
Perhaps my big fat lip got in the way today, but I did not regret expressing my opinions. I do, however, feel a little sad that my opinion of Mary has now been somewhat altered.
I got an award for having the “Highest Individual Game” of a 204. Our team got an award for having the “Highest Team Game”. Not bad for a two woman team.
That 204 was an anomaly.