Monday, June 15, 2009

Slice o' life on wry



So, after having eaten at the little table, I go to pay for my sammich at the deli. Counterman who made said sammich rings me up. As he does so, sez:

"Did you hear that woman behind you? Sorry you had to hear that."

I go, "no," truthfully, was engrossed in my book. Had vague recollection of irritating noise somewhere. Why?

"She was just..." the man searches, clearly embarrassed..."vulgar."

I go, "o'rly? How so?" (I have to ask).

He seems more embarrassed. "Just...very vulgar, the things she was saying. She just -assumed-, I guess...you know, because I work behind the cash register? that I'm...homosexual. Like I'd know or care what she was talking about...she just assumed"

I look at him.

A note: we are in, not only San Francisco, but essentially on Main Gay Street in Gayville, San Francisco. And the guy is...well...okay, one doesn't want to stereotype, no; but, well, "being behind a cash register" isn't the stereotype I would've thought of. And, I doubt the woman (whose laughter and a few snatches of her bawdy repartee are sort of coming back to me now, as in a dream recollection, although still v. vague about content) was thinking of that, as such, either.

Oh well. "Homosexual." Bless. One doesn't quite know what to say.

He seems anxious to please. "Your sandwich...did I make it okay?"

I smile. "It was fine. Great. No worries." One tries to reassure in whatever way one can...

19 comments:

Claire said...

Poor guy. Maybe he was just railing against the local "homonormativity"? You know, the same way homosexuals will sometime explicitly disavow the straightness, particularly in proximity to people they consider as attractive potential mates... I'm half serious.

CrackerLilo said...

"And there was a lot of meat, and the lettuce wasn't limp at *all*..."

(Sorry, you know my mind slides to the gutter at the taking off of a hat, never mind the drop of it!)

Well, it's not fun to be talked about or have assumptions made about you when you're minding your own business anyway, whatever the circumstances are. When L'Ailee and I were at the hospital for our friend last week, we mostly communicated in sign--not proper ASL, either, but the home sign my brother and I have invented and taught our wives. The hospital was noisy, so we preferred that. Eventually we heard people refer to a "deaf lesbian couple" like they were curiosities, and realized that the "deaf lesbian couple" was...us! We felt like spies, almost! And being deaf is a neutral thing, just like being gay or bi!

A lot of people don't think of certain traits as neutral, though, unfortunately.

Renee said...

If he didn't have an issue with homosexuality to begin with being called gay would not have been that upsetting. Clearly he saw it in the pejorative and it is hard for me to have too much sympathy.

belledame222 said...

He sounded pretty much the way many, many closeted guys of my past experience sounded, in the way he kind of lowered his voice and hesitated before pronouncing the dread "homosexual." Especially as applied to themselves. Especially when searching for some kind of...reassurance that not everyone reads them, or something. I mean, I suppose he genuinely could be shocked, shocked at the very -existence- of Teh Ghey & the woman's crudeness--I'm sure that was going on as well, probably deeply conservative background. Which, just, -really- ironic place to work, if so. Seriously. Nabe wise, it doesn't get much gayer than right there. admittedly it's a deli and not a leather shop; still, though...

belledame222 said...

also the paranoia that I must've heard & judged, too, whatever must I be thinking; when the truth was a convo like whatever the woman was saying was so not out of the ordinary that it didn't even get me to raise my head from my Sandman comic.

belledame222 said...

plus the whole "it must be because I'm behind a cash register" (you know, -that- classic gay stereotype, as opposed to, y'know, other signals) reminded me so much of this friend from high school, poor guy...admittedly I don't -know-, just...yeah.

Nick said...

Speaking of gayness, I am surprised you haven't ripped into Obama on DOMA yet ( :

Eh I do like this intriguing tale. There's plenty of time for the standard fare bashing of political antics later.

belledame222 said...

I haven't the energy, and there's nothing I can say that others haven't already. Ditto Iran, ditto a whole shitload of things I mostly just pass on other peoples' tweets on.

belledame222 said...

short version: I agree with Andrew Sullivan (yes, I always throw up a little in my mouth when i have to type this, but it's true in this case) when he says:

The truth is: this administration is not hostile to gay equality; it just doesn’t give a damn about it.”

Which, nothing I didn't know, but it still fucking burns. Every goddam time. Just a question of if and how many boots in the ass it might take for -anything- at all.

Nick said...

Belle,

Let me guess: you're a secret neocon who wants A to win, so you can bomb Iranians into submission.

If you were a dude; you'd sound a lot like Ralph Peters in this column: http://powerofnarrative.blogspot.com/2007/05/why-im-hard-for-iraq.html

Summarized by dear old Arthur Silber!

I am on to you, Belle. Dick Cheney's secret warmongering admirer ( :

Alon Levy said...

Peters on Afghanistan: "Stop pretending Afghanistan is a real state. Ignore the opium. Freeze development efforts. Kill the fanatics." Basically, psychopathy masquerading as realism.

As for Iran, my prediction from two years ago that the regime wouldn't survive to the end of 2009 suddenly seems somewhat reasonable... but only somewhat, sadly.

belledame222 said...

my agreement w/Sully on the matter of Obama's relative indifference wrt Teh Ghey in no way detracts from my overall loathing of Sully.

Nick said...

Alon,

Sadly indeed. It would be a great thing to witness in our lifetimes. What I am reading suggests what happens next is still up in the cards.

Belle,

Heh yeah. Sully did eventually become a critic of Bush ~ oddly enough. He used to accuse war critics of being fifth columnists and then got outraged over torture...

Oh the winds of imperfect change...

Arthur abused the guy a lot in his posts.

Alon Levy said...

Sully switched sides because of Obama, if I'm not mistaken. He's not the only one - David Brooks and David Frum are both more pro-Obama than anti-Obama nowadays. It's mostly a measure of Obama's popularity. After 9/11, Bush had a lot of liberal admirers and apologists - Joe Klein, the entire TNR staff, Thomas Friedman - who all suddenly became Democrats again after 2005. The Sullivans and Frums will all suddenly remember they're Republicans again once Obama becomes unpopular.

Nick said...

David Brooks probably likes his unity rhetoric. He's big on "national greatness" themes.

Nick said...

Here is conservative original sin believing David Brooks at this worst:

http://powerofnarrative.blogspot.com/2007/02/writing-from-scaffold-in-defense-of.html

Alon Levy said...

Authoritarian conservatives rarely follow liberal or moderate leaders, though. They only urged patriotic obedience when Bush was in power. Under Clinton, and again now under Obama, they preached armed resistance to the government.

Anonymous said...

Didn't remember my gmail account name, and Google is taking forever to mail it to me, this is Sara.

Given that cashier jobs are mostly given to female employees I can understand a bit of what he's saying. It's nowhere near like hairstyling or nursing, but cashier jobs are still recognized as more feminine jobs. Feminity being a well-known gay stereotype.

You wouldn't believe how many ways people thought I was gay prior to my transition, if they didn't outright see me as a girl, while I wasn't trying (wearing baggy clothes, unshaven).

It might not be too surprising, I'd need a LOT to be seen as butch enough to be assumed to be lesbian now.

He might be

1) Homophobic or just hating getting mistaken.

2) In the closet but gay himself.

3) Feminine but not gay and gets mistaken often for small things because he's not 'macho enough'.

4) None of these answers. Not enough data to know prolly.

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