A Heartfelt Thank You

Monday, January 28, 2013

Hi, everyone!

I just wanted to write a follow-up in light of the overwhelming response I have received the past few days.

It's impossible to express how fortunate I feel at the moment. The outpouring of support has been genuinely heart-warming. And given how cold it has been here the past week, that is appreciated more than you know. ;c) Thank goodness for layers and leggings!

There *is* one point I need to clarify, however.

Although the more I think about it, the more ambiguous things become.


I was chatting with a friend last night. And in the course of our conversation, I realized that in my initial post I didn't specify that I was in boy mode when this incident took place.

I had just woken up, so I simply pulled on a pair of jeans, work boots, and my giant, oversized winter parka. It was already too big for me when I first got it for Christmas a few years ago; now I am positively swimming in it. Apparently I've shrunk a bit without realizing it.

I also threw on a sort of teal-ish, light-blue Red Sox baseball cap. Partly because it was frigid, but mostly because when I wake up my hair looks as if it's been partying all night. It's a mass of independent-minded cowlicks and unruly curls even in the best of times, only more so now that it's getting longer. ;c)

Anyway, I realized I should point all of this out, as it would put a somewhat different spin on the events of that morning.

But my friend then raised a good point.

On two occasions in the past month I've been taken for a woman while out in boy mode.  Or, as he noted, two occasions that I *know of*.

Which raises a question:

Did these two idiots (feel free to insert your own epithet) think I was a boy... or a girl?

I was dressed androgynously, I suppose.

I'm not all that tall.

I'm not particularly imposing.

My face was barely visible, as the hat was pulled low over my eyes.

My hair was sticking out from under it in all directions, as the curls get more pronounced when I haven't shampooed it in a few days.

I related all of this to my friend.

We grew up in the same city. We have both been subjected to, and witnessed, this kind of abuse our entire lives.

And after some discussion, we both came to the same conclusion:

It didn't really make a difference.

There is a sizable contingent of the population here that takes pleasure in tormenting anyone they perceive as different from them in any way, just for the sake of doing so.

We both feel that these two saw me simply as an "other" that they could have their version of "fun" with.

"Other" could mean, well, just about anything, really. But basically, it means anything that doesn't conform to their narrow views of what they and their friends consider "normal."

Because adopting those views as their own is easier, and less threatening, than taking the time to think for themselves about what they actually believe.

And of course it's easier to act on those beliefs when someone who fits into that "other" category is: a) alone, and b) vulnerable (i.e. smaller, on foot vs. in a car, and so on).

However, in light of all of that... I simply don't believe they meant to hit me.

I think they didn't count on my ankle rolling, or any of the myriad other things that could go wrong when you play with other people's lives.

I still feel nothing but contempt for them and their fellow vermin.

And I'm not surprised in the least that they would leave me on the ground after hitting me.

But I still don't think it was intentional.


I wrote a post recently that quoted a song written by Bruce Cockburn called "Child of the Wind," and its sentiments seem to apply here as well:

Little blue planet in a big universe
Sometimes it seems blessed, sometimes it seems cursed
Depends on what you look at, obviously
But even more it depends on the way that you see

I plan to move far, far away from here once I am full-time, in large part because of the painful memories I see everywhere I look. Memories these jerks, and jerks like them, had a large part in creating.

But they aren't the majority of the community here.

And they certainly aren't online, and in our little community.

The kindness shown to me proves it.

That is what *I* decided to see, and *that* what I will remember from these events.

So, once again... thank you, one and all, from the bottom of my heart.


As a quick postscript, and at the risk of embarrassing her, I want to offer a public thank you to April.

OK, OK, embarrassing her *is* part of the reason to do it. (Make fun of my accent, will you? At least the national beverage in my country isn't a Labatt's tall boy with a maple syrup chaser, Missie!)

No, all teasing aside, she truly has become a sister to me.

Not because we have the phone bills to prove it. (We do.)

And not because we've discovered a mutual passion for honey BBQ chips and creme soda, to go along with our love of Elvis and Bruce Springsteen. (In that order too: honey BBQ chips trump even The King and The Boss.)

No, it's because I could not have gotten through the past few days without her.

Even if that means we're up until 4:00 AM talking, then waking up three hours later with a headache and advanced cauliflower ear.

And then doing it all over again the next night. :c)

So thank you again, sis! Love you!


One final note: I *promise* I am working on a post that is unrelentingly upbeat and positive, about the activities of the previous two weekends. All is not doom and gloom in Cass's little corner of the world; far from it, as you will see.

Stay tuned!


I'll end with one of Led Zeppelin's most beautiful songs. Their quiet, folkier side is often unfairly overlooked in favor of their majestic, hard-rock side. But it is equally important to their sound, as this gem from Led Zeppelin II (1969) will attest:


A on January 29, 2013 at 10:44 PM said...

Hey who ate all the chips.....?

Cassidy on January 29, 2013 at 10:53 PM said...

The old diversion trick, eh? Nice try, Missie, but we're all on to you now!

Cassidy on January 29, 2013 at 10:58 PM said...

And all that after I offered to send up some of my buffalo chicken pizza last night too!

I didn't, of course - I mean, this *is* buffalo chicken pizza we're talking about - but I had good intentions.

Anyway, I *was* going to at least send you a picture the next time I have a slice... but not anymore! So there!

jeanie on January 29, 2013 at 11:45 PM said...

Talking about your past couple weeks and life on the blue planet....
"Life is a thing that mutates without warning, not always in enviable ways. All part of the improbable adventure of being alive, of being a brainy biped with giant dreams on a crazy blue planet." (from Diane Ackerman, One Hundred Names for Love: A Stroke, A Marriage, and the Language of Healing, 2011)
Each day brings a new adventure, some good, some not as good. But we should learn from them all so we can keep on living and be the better for it, one foot in front of the other, eyes on the horizon. No regrets.
Glad you are feeling better, that is the most important.

Cassidy on January 30, 2013 at 12:07 AM said...

What a wonderful quote! So a propos. Thank you for sharing, Jeanie!

"Brainy biped"... I like that. :c)

== Cass

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