Sunday, May 16, 2010

Just another motorist.

I love the Allstate commercial that has happy families traveling along the highway. The one where there are no cars, but instead people smiling, swinging and barbequing along the interstate. The anti-road rage message of the commercial is-"What if we treated people on the road as if they were in our homes?" Love it. Beautiful.

But what if we treated people in our lives as if they were just another motorist in our way?

The other day I saw a large black pickup truck run a light, with no turn signal on and cut me off. I knew instantly that this was clearly going to be an asshole behind the wheel. I also intuitively knew that this smart son of a bitch would flip me off for beeping. Having this split second knowledge allowed me to beep, steer and flip them off (and I was 100% correct that those hillbillies would be giving me the finger) while safely making it to my destination.

What if I had this foresight in life?

What if I could tell within a second who would wrong me, and then give me "the bird" for being upset by their actions?

What if I could smoothly give a proverbial finger with my right hand while calmly navigating through life with my left?

Would it always be as satisfying as it was matching the 15 year old redneck sticking his finger out the passenger side window (and knowing that I didn't have to have my window down because MY car had air conditioning)?

Is it really satisfying to always "beat someone to the punch?" Or would it just take road rage off the road and onto our doorstep?

I bet the Allstate man knows. He has a very confident voice. Until then, I'll continue to treat motorists like loved ones, and even treat assholes like loved ones, and go to bed each night feeling one up on the world- at least morally. And maybe once in a while a hillbilly will get to stick it to me, but at the end of the day I get to be me and they get to be a hillbilly, and there's a victory in that.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Will I ever be loved?

Now the title of this sounds depressing if you don't read it correctly. You have to read it in the voice of a 7 year old boy with autism, who once asked me, "Will I always beeeeee wuhite?" When I started to say, "Yes," he punched me in the face.

This incident occurred over three years ago. Three days prior to his white anger outburst, I had come home to open my computer to find a slew of emails entitled "Re:Your Craigslist Ad". I didn't recognize the email of the account (which was the handle of jimmythesquirrel), but immediately upon opening one of the many emails recognized the pictures of me and my fiance which he was shopping around online to pick up men. I wish he had had the skills to at least crop me out. The next thing that struck me was that he had listed himself as a 180 lb jock, when in reality he was a 210 lb couch potato. I wondered if the men answering these ads wanted to replace our welcome mat with a scale.

You know how in movies a person speaks to themselves outloud? I had always thought it was an artistic choice, or a way to help a B list actor who couldn't show the emotion with their face. Well, it can happen naturally, as I heard myself whisper over the open laptop, "He's gay.?!" In between hysterical phone calls, I grabbed my post its that the SPCA had given me. They had a cartoon dog and cat frolicking in the sunshine, and across the top in a font that resembled a child's innocent scribble stated"A note from Kate Mullen." I simply wrote "Found your emails," and then stuck the post it to my laptop and laid down my engagement ring for effect. My friends arrived in moments to fill trash bags with my belongings and I never saw him again (well the last part isn't true, I saw the back of his fat head in a parking lot three years later, but I like the dramatic effect of never seeing him again. I didn't choose to see him in the parking lot, so I will not allow that to wreck my story).

Three days later I was back at my internship singing Kelly Clarkson songs in the cafeteria with my buddy, "Daniel". He stopped signing and asked me "Is Alyssa black?" I said yes. "Am I white?" Again, yes. "Will I allllways beeee wuhite?" I think I got the y sound out before his closed fist met my cheek. We stood there staring at each other for a second. He then asked, "Will I have to eat lunch with someone else now?". The next 10 minutes involved me carrying him kicking, screaming, spitting towards our quiet room. I finally got him into the room, and turned and shut the door. I leaned back against it catching my breath. My cheek stung and my mind was racing, "Your fiance is gay, and you are starting out all over again. You've just been punched in the face, and behind this door is a child screaming-I'm angry because I'm white. This is your life-Laugh or cry Kate". I laughed.