As I do in lockdown mornings, I go for walks. Beagle needs walking, lets me know that we are walking, and then tells me we are walking now. I appreciate the routine, and the early morning movement, so I'm grateful for his reminders.
This morning on the walk, as we were walking along, beagle sniffing all the things, my learning about the post office's late 1700s difficulties, a conversation and squeaking noise approached from behind. Worried someone might come within the recommended physical separation distance, I turned to see what the noises were. I saw a young kid riding his bike along side a woman running. The two were chatting in a parent-child way, the boy wandering a bit on his bike as she ran straight.
And it reminded me of my Orleans runs around the block with Hayden. I'd plan to go for a run and invite the boys to bike along side me. They usually said no, but every once in a while one would say yes. We'd go off, my running with his biking slowly next to me. We'd progress around the neighborhood, loop around blocks, and cross our paths in figure eights shaped by parking lanes and side streets. Sometimes a truck a of teenagers would hoot at me, and Hayden would be puzzled, then grumpy when he realized what happened.
I never ran fast, was out of shape, but I enjoyed the run. I enjoyed the kid's company. Running next to him is a nice memory, surfaced by mother and child running by me today.
All the days blur together.
Of note, waking is a crap time to call out an Irish American man and a Cuban American woman for body-shaming an African American woman. Said man launched into a rant about how the woman shouldn't show midriff on television, while she was talking about the opening of the Hart Island potter's field for the unclaimed Covid19 dead. Now, why said man cared about the woman's midriff showing, I have no idea. He did, though, and let us all know how incensed he was that she dared show midriff.
After which the Cuban American woman launched in, "She does not have the body to be wearing that shirt." Like, WTF? She has boobs, she has the body, and again, WHO CARES?
So, I asked them, "Would y'all be commenting if it were a white dude showing some skin?"
At which point, the Irish American male who considers himself a Good Guy™, launches into "Oh, you're going to pull out the race and gender cards?"
Nope. I am, however, going to call you on body shaming, because assholes who body shame should be called out.
The two of them then launched into defending their actions, none of which I actually read, because, as Jonathan points out, "no one likes to be called out for being an asshole," and every online forum says, "don't feed the trolls." Usually when you do call them out, they dig in harder. Which these two did.
To my relief, several others in the group chat privately shared support for my calling the two of them out.
Upside, did the right thing. Upside, had support. Upside, my skin is already thicker, and I'm more aware of my reactions to inflammatory comments. Downside, found out a friend of a friend is a jerk. I already knew the other one was an asshole, but he prides himself in that title, so I'm not worried about that moniker. I wasn't expecting the woman to be a jerk, though, from my interactions with her.
Stress makes us all more of what we already are.