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05/23/2003 Entry: "Shows What You Know."

We are all of us in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.

On my way home from work early, I decided to stop for iced coffee at the cafe near my apartment. As I was walking there, I came up behind a man walking a double stroller which took up much of the sidewalk. I walk rather quickly—people here describe it as walking at New York speeds, though in practice I'm on the slower end of the NYC spectrum—and I'm also impatient, so I was off to the side, waiting for a chance to pass. I wasn't coming, so I gave the stroller a break and headed out into the gutter. I'm not proud to admit I had some uncharitable thoughts about "self-centered parents" and "breeders" as I climbed back up on the sidewalk and powerwalked the rest of the block. On my way into the cafe, I picked up a copy of Pride '03, because, hey why not, I love advertising.

I had paid and was waiting for my drink when the guy at the counter asked the person behind me what he wanted: You guessed it, it was the man with the stroller. He was wearing tacky sandals but was otherwise fairly handsome. The back of the stroller was facing me, and I noticed that in the pocket underneath the seats, he had the usual baby things...and also a copy of Pride '03. He smiled and shyly said hi. I did the same and quickly looked at my shoes, suddenly very aware of both some assumptions about gay people and some prejudices about straight people that I'd just been guilty of having. As I was leaving, he was fussing with the occupant of the stroller, so I was able to sidle away quietly. But maybe the next time I step into the gutter, I won't be so quick to drag a stranger there with me.

Replies: 2 comments

Please tell me you didn't mutter "Daddy" under your breath...


Posted by Vince @ 05/23/2003 05:42 PM PST

...and when it's my turn, I'm going to run over your toes so you don't forget your lesson, Young Man. ;)

Posted by chad @ 05/27/2003 05:39 AM PST

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