Thursday, December 16, 2010
the trouble with my eyes
i don't get called four eyes, i get called worse things. last week, as i was walking in rittenhouse square (for you nonphilly folks, it is a big shopping district with tourists, townies, the like all wearing too much makeup and with lots of tiny yippy dogs) around lunchtime. i often take walks by myself at lunch to think. i had on my ipod and my winter urban eskimo gear on, ie. hat, scarf, mittens, etc. i was walking on the sidewalk and i wasn't nor do i take up a lot of room. walking my quick pace. being in a city, everyone is in a rush or seems to be. as i continue my thinking and my walking, an older gentleman is heading towards me and as we pass each other, he shoulders me. hard. strange, i thought since we were the only 2 on the sidewalk. as he shouldered me, he says to me, "nice eyes, GOOK!" i was shocked. my reaction? i turn around and say to the pushy man, "excuse me, can you clarify?" now, why did i ask him this? first, it was noisy out and i had my ipod on, perhaps i heard incorrectly? second, wasn't sure if he was complimenting me and the insulting me, (later i realized he didn't say, "you have beautiful eyes, gook" and yes, the use of the word gook does negate any positive comment intended). he turns and says it again clearly and i did not hear wrong.
people amaze me. here is a man, so proud in his racism that he repeats it to me. yes, i did ask him to clarify, but he must have been shocked that i spoke english. his thought bubble, "oh sh*t, she understands english!"