I was standing outside the car, wiping the dogs’s feet when I overheard a voice.
“Are you a young lady or a man?”
Did I hear him right? I continued wiping my dogs’s feet and responded:
“Well, HER name is Metric. And SHE’S a German Shepherd.” I wanted to make it clear that that we were talking about the dog.
“NO”, he responded confidently. “I’m asking YOU if you are a BOY or GIRL.”
I turned to Jessica, my fiancée, who was sitting in the car, laughing uncontrollably. I started laughing too.
You see, I suddenly realized that the the old man was confused by my long hair and it didn’t help that my back was turned to him.
I couldn’t get mad at him. He spoke his mind – something I fervently believe in.
Old people speak their minds. It’s the same for kids. In Master of None, there’s a scene where two kids enter an ice cream shop and start pointing people out by their skin color:
“Black. White. Yellow. Black. Black.”
Can you imagine an adult saying that (only person I can think of is my Viet Grandma).
I am constantly trying to find the balance of thinking twice before saying something and being assertive. It’s an ongoing battle.