I mean, how far should tolerance extend? I eyeballed the family with the screaming child. They were ENCOURAGING the child (about 2 years old) to scream. Laughing back at him, responding as if he were communicating appropriately. I often watch wistfully European children in restaurants. They are not silent. They are animated and being paid attention to by the adults. They don’t have to shout. They are part of the conversation and this allows mutual respect and plain good manners. While Americans desperately try to appease their children so they’ll shut up and let the grown ups talk, or else take the whole table down to Pee-Wee’s Playhouse where the funnest thing is, when you hear the secret word, you SHOUT IT AT THE TOP OF YOUR LUNGS.
But here’s the tricky part. My white liberal heart strings are tugged because the family happens to belong to a group of recent immigrants (Haitians) who are particularly low on the pecking order of pre-judgement, even in this relative oasis of tolerance, a city whose official motto is “One Human Family”. (Is it official? If bumper-sticker votes count, it’s a landslide. Although I myself must be a touch unique–beneath my “One Human Family” obligatory bumper-sticker on my Big Greenie Meanie Trash Can is a slightly hand-doctored sticker reading: “One Feline Family”)
NTS: Get a picture.
Also a color-coded system for tracking my ideas: Since Homeland Security doesn’t want their old color system, I’ll re-use it (how GREEN of me) and apply it to my writing so I know when I’m writing myself into the danger zone. Or when I simply need to be extra vigilant: BE ALERT for odd requests, like, asking to learn to FLY a commercial jet but no, we have no MONEY nor TIME to waste on learning how to TAKE off or LAND…cash. Done deal.
I just realized what I wrote: Be alert for ODD REQUESTS? In KEY WEST Florda?! ROTFLMAO!!
What would entail an odd request in Key West? A request for a snow shovel. A request for white bread. (We’re very artisan chic down here)