After working a 46-hour week, I left work today at 2pm. After I'd come home and changed, I headed out -- summer started late here, and the fact that we're already halfway through July is freaking me out. I needed to be outside, and I needed to be in motion. I'd not ridden my bike in today because I've already ridden 80 miles this week and I needed a break. I'm also doing the LATE ride tomorrow from 1am-3:30am, so I'd like to be rested for that.
I decided to head to Lincoln Square to do some reading in a place that was not my work desk and not my apartment. I took the El to Wilson and hopped off to catch the bus.
Wilson is not a great stop; it's pretty ghetto, which is to say I'm not afraid but instead irritated by the arrested-development behavior I see parading in front of me: The guy losing his shit because the toddler next to him doesn't have the comprehension of a grownup, and needs to have things repeated to him. So the guy is all worked up and shouts to the kid about three times to throw whatever it is he has on the ground. Not in the trash can three feet away, mind you, but on the ground. He's yelling this at this baby, who's just kind of staring blankly, and then finally lets the object fall to the sidewalk.
As I'm looking toward the direction the bus will arrive from, I hear some teenage boys who are hanging out on the sidewalk a couple of buildings away. Their voices raise.
"Yeah, that big-ass white girl, she..*unintelligible*"
"Look at that big-ass white girl..."
Since I was the only white girl, and since an ample backside is my hallmark, it was clear they were talking about me. I've experienced this my whole life: kids taunting me as I walked by, a drunk man once came up to me when I was a teen just to tell me i had the biggest rear-end he'd ever seen in his life.
Now, those of you who know me know I've got a distinctive butt, but I'm not a hippo. And while back in my youth I was insecure about it, I gotta say I love my round ass. What's the alternative? A flat behind? No, thanks.
I thought about my choice of comments to this group of upstanding contributors to society:
"Nice ponytail. Nice earrings. Which are you trying to be, a pirate or a girl?"
"Yes, I have a big ass. I also have a job and an education. That makes me three for three over you, unless we're counting illegitimate kids, then I guess you'll probably win."
"I'd ask you what you want to be when you grow up, but that's being presumptuous."
With all the hand-wringing being done over the loss of low-income housing, I guess I just have to say that I see way too many examples of useless people dragging neighborhoods down to feel moved. Being low-income doesn't make you a bad person or an undesirable neighbor, but the same underlying reasons that make the modern-day low-income family low-income seem to be tied to the values and characteristics that contribute to them being lousy neighbors: Making babies they don't know how to raise, being racist jerks, hanging out on street corners rather than finding a good trade or getting a halfway decent community-college education or attending night school, anything. It would be one thing if they at the very least acted like grownups with decent manners and a sense of pride. But they don't. So I guess I just don't give a damn. I just want them to go away.