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26 February 2009

Girls' Night Out with the Homophobe

Mardi Gras celebration has never been high on my list of priorities.

This can probably be better summed up as: I have never been to Mardi Gras.

As luck would have it, this past Tuesday, I had plans with a girlfriend I hadn't seen in a while. Turns out that this past Tuesday was also Mardi Gras. I had no clue.

We decided to avoid the bead gathering festivities (though I did bring out the ladies with a low-cut-ish V-neck top) and just hang out at a bar near downtown. And away we went.

We ordered our drinks and ordered our food. I had a wonderful seared Ahi Tuna burger. Delicious. And some Guinness. Not exactly complimentary, but it worked out all right.

We sat at our booth in the back talking and drinking for a bit, and then her phone lit up. Some guy she had met the previous weekend (not that kind of guy, she has a boyfriend) wanted to know what she was doing. Being as how it was Mardi Gras and he hadn’t really been in town very long, she felt like it would be mean to ignore him. So she told him she was at a bar with a girlfriend, hanging out.

Twenty minutes later, he showed up with ten pink tulips. Apparently, he was starting a “buds for beads” program. He was nice enough to give us each one, though we had no beads to trade. I never really got where he was from, but somewhere south. I’m from Tennessee, I recognize the accent and mindset.

Somehow, the conversation turned to religion.

Well, let me back up. First, we were trading stories of holidays or birthdays that had sucked balls in the past. Bethany shared a humdinger about Valentine’s Day, so my follow-up was my less-than-stellar 21st birthday experience.

Poor Bethany found out on Valentine’s Day that her (albeit douchebaggy) boyfriend of four years or so was moving to Finland within two weeks and was going out to drink with his buddies instead of hanging out with her, as planned.

I was living with the nicest girl you’d ever meet for my 21st birthday. We had been living together for six months or so, I think, and had become really good friends. I was so excited to turn 21, and I wanted to do something that I wouldn’t remember the next day. You know, typical stuff. Well, my roommate told me not to make any plans because she wanted to plan everything.

The key part that she forgot was that she was still only 20. Hanging out with her meant, really, that I couldn’t do anything that wasn’t legal the day before (buying her alcohol would still be illegal, you see). I hadn’t thought about this either, so I agreed to let her make all the plans.

As the big night approached, I had visions of bars and shots and parties and all kinds of fun stuff. Unfortunately, my luck was not so good.

My 21st birthday consisted of me and my roommate driving to the grocery store, so I could buy us some Mike’s Hard Lemonade (we didn’t really drink beer back then…gross!). Then her big plan was for us to hang out at home and drink it. We played Uno on our living room floor all night.

She meant well, and I don’t hold it against her, though her 21st birthday extravaganza was far more exciting.

Since then, a couple of years ago, I decided I should make up for this travesty of a monumental birthday. I have yet to be successful. Apparently, good birthdays only happen if you spend the time to plan them yourself. Which is the last thing I want to do for my birthday. Instead, I think I’ll just spend them alone from here on out.

So I told Bethany and the southern guy my story. I had to add that my 21st birthday was such a big deal because I never really drank before I was 21. I think I had been drunk twice. Not even one good or fun thing happened either time. One was worse than the other, but neither was fun.

I had this guilt thing about drinking before I was legally allowed to drink. One sip of an alcoholic beverage and I would get the worst stomach cramps. It was terrible.

To which Bethany said, “What, were you Baptist?”

And thus the religion conversation began. I was raised Southern Baptist (hard to believe, eh?), but now I’m an atheist. Southern guy asked about that. He said he’d been doing some research on religion because he wasn’t sure what religion to choose.

None of them, says me. But that’s just my opinion.

I don’t know what kind of research he’d been doing. My experience with most people from backwoods southern towns is that they’re not terribly tolerant of anyone who isn’t just like them. It appeared that this guy was no exception. The next words out of his mouth were:

“Well, there are some things about Christianity that I agree with...like, queers are unnatural.”

Seriously.

I almost fell out of the booth. Who says that? Out loud? At a bar? ON MARDI GRAS? I was just waiting for him to start talking about all the n-words in the bar or something.

I excused myself to go to the bathroom, both because I had to pee and because I didn’t want to climb across the table and beat him upside the head with my purse (hey, I’m a lady). While I was gone, he told Bethany that I was hot and if she needed to go, he would give me a ride home. Ugh.

Sir, you have no chance. Less than no chance. Which, thankfully, Bethany told him. She’s a good friend, that one.

I decided to keep my flower as a reminder that not only do people like that still exist and walk among us, they also think I’m hot. :-)

8 comments:

Killer B said...

"Wasn't sure what religion to choose"???

I don't know about him, but I CHOOSE my deodorant, food and my toothpaste even, but religion? Can one really choose a belief system?

How about choosing the one that allows for freedom of thought, heart and mind?

Killer B said...

Shows you what a dumb-ass I am...

"Thought, heart and mind" should be "heart & mind"...

you get what I mean, I hope...

meshealle said...

Why shouldn't you be able to choose your belief system?

Not that I really want to have an argument about it... :-)

Jane Dough said...

I would have laid into that guy. I have no problems with people's religious beliefs, but if that belief causes prejudice against others, then that's a huge problem.

Killer B said...

Nah, no arguing. I figure that a belief system choses you, right? I mean, if we commit to our values and all that, is it really a choice or do we just follow our emotions...

Can we take 2 parts Judaism, a dash of Islam, 3 parts Catholicism, some Buddhism and a little reformation? Truth is, Buddhism aside, they're all pretty much the same thing - one God and all that. They just have different MC's...

It's an interesting dilemma and you've got the wrong 'B', I think; I just count...you need my brother for the smart stuff - He's a philosophy major.

Jane's right, BTW - You should have clocked the guy. "I love God but hate homos"??? Hell, I want to hit him and I wasn't even there...

meshealle said...

I had to go to the bathroom to avoid it. I didn't want to get kicked out of the bar.

Although, now that I think about it, that would have made for an interesting story, too.

Philosophy majors sort of make me want to bang my head against the wall...repeatedly.

As a scientist, something about philosophy just sort of wears me out. I like it, in theory. Some of it is super cool, mostly as it relates to science and how we think about it. Descartes is like a train wreck and I cannot stop staring.

Killer B said...

Hmmm...

I've never heard of Descartes being described as a train-wreck, but I'll give.

I was thinking more along the lines of Plato with this one. He said that virtue cannot be taught - it's there or it isn't. Ignoring the dogma, religion is basically a set of beliefs - a guideline for the conscionable conduct of humans with their surroundings (outlining virtue, if you will). If one religion's set of values is inline with one's own, as in, it agrees with their inherent sense of values (conscience), then that's the way they will tend.

Science is nothing but a sense of values too, only they are quantifiable. I won't even touch the ethics of research issue here cos it's Friday afternoon and I'm really tired... :)

PS - You've never argued anything with Little B...right after he ties your brain into a knot, and just before you bang it against a wall, you'll probably rethink your position on philosophy majors... :D

meshealle said...

I suppose I could argue with your little brother, but that would be strange. :-)

I don't really like to argue anyway. I like to discuss.

And I'm always right**. Always.

**Except when I'm not. Which is rare.