Sunday, May 17, 2009

follicles, rubberneckers, my soap box

Now that summer is here (because there is no difference between spring and summer here in Omaha), I decided it was about time to shave my legs again. The hairs were beginning to look like apostrophes (the curly ones in Times New Roman, not the straight ones in Courier New). Completely unsexy, I know. But then again, I've only let myself go to a certain extent, all of which involves follicles (my eyebrows were also so out-of-control today until I finally got them waxed). Once I start letting my weight go, we're in for some real trouble, because left to my natural state, my body would love to be a bit chubby and my face seems to feel entitled to two chins.

Now that I work downtown, I am one of the thousands of Omahans that take I-80 East each morning between 7:43 and 7:58. Unfortunately, only about 10% of us understand always going as fast as the person in front of you and not stopping for anything (maybe a kid crossing the street, but that's about it). So those "rubberneckers" annoy the absolute hell out of me. The other day, there was a major slowdown so drivers could read those damn LED traffic signs over the interstate lanes (which out here are still a novelty, rather than the necessity they were in WA). The sign read, "car fire on Pacific" - pretty self-explanatory, yet it slowed speeds to a crawl. I can just imagine the other drivers now. "Does that say cab fire? Car fare? I hope they don't need quarters, I don't have any change."

I do sort of understand turning to see the scene of a terrible accident, because we're all drawn to disaster. But really, what is it we ever see but a smashed door and maybe a busted tail light? It's not like we're actually going to see a bloody corpse or a decapitated head. Look straight ahead and keep driving, soccer mom. If you want to see a disaster, take a long look at your husband's beer belly when you get home. The rest of us have places to be.

My husband and I go on walks at one of Southwest Omaha's lakes on the weekends. I enjoy seeing the other people out and about, and grading the dogs that pass as if we're shopping for another already. The other people provide us with a steady stream of conversation all the way around the lake - today two good-looking men running side by side while chatting quietly to themselves. "Do you think they're gay?" Steve asked. "Of course," I answered without hesitation. "They're young, good looking, and in shape, and have something to say to each other besides a sports score. Now if they had beer bellies and Nascar shirts on, they would be completely straight."
"True," he replied.

Some people still find it bizarre to see gay people in Omaha, thinking they all migrate to the coasts or something. I've heard a couple people tell me, "I've never seen a gay person in real life before," like a little kid would maybe say, "I've never seen a hippopotamus before."

I don't like when people treat gays like another species. And what is it to you what gender they prefer? I saw a Facebook comment about American Idol's Adam Lambert: a person posted, "he's good, but I would never vote for him because I disagree with his lifestyle." Give it a rest. I don't think any person should ever condemn another. That's playing God, and do you really want that job? In the meantime, I exchange witty banter with my gay neighbor while we wait for our dogs to do their business each morning. People are fascinating and interesting if you give them a chance.

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