Friday, February 24, 2012
I get up in the face of a Christian woman today.
I went antiquing today, while I waited for the plaster and spackle to dry in our basement hallway. I'm looking for some very specific things - Viking glass, specifically - in a specific color, persimmon. We chose this because orange is a color in our kitchen and we've added a bridge shelf in our kitchen over the big window. It isn't lit, but that persimmon catches the light and if forces you to LOOK UP at it, DAMN IT!
You know, there used to be a TON of this stuff in junk stores a couple years ago. I've always loved the complex nature of its clean, saturated red-orange color. Well, then, David Bromstad of HGTV said last fall that he loved it and couldn't buy enough of it, and the prices are climbing. Now the medium small pieces are harder to find than Rookwood Pottery.
So I'm at this junk store run by a woman who calls it "an antique emporium" in small town Ohio, because I figured if I can't find this stuff in a big city, maybe I can find it in an out of the way place, like this woman's junk store. And I see a couple pieces (priced at about $10) and I'm looking at them and I look up and this man/man couple (you know the type, been together for twenty years and dress just like each other) walks by with a big something and smiles on their face. Since we're all gay guys in Bumfuck, Ohio, the gaydar goes off and we all smile at one and other and thats that, and they walk out of the store with their purchase.
So I pick up the compote bowl that I found and liked, and walked it back to the cashier, just in time to hear the woman who runs this place say to her friend who's standing next to the counter, and I quote:
"As a Christian woman, I know that homosexuals like those two are sinners and live a vile lifestyle. They want to ruin marriage! But I don't judge. Its a free country. They can live how they want to live."
She turns to me and says "did you find everything that you were looking for today?"
"Well, not really," say I.
I asked her if she could help me understand something.
I explained that I heard what she said, had seen those men, and it sounded like gossip. Vile gossip And good Christians don't gossip because its not nice. And those two men just spent money in her store, put cash in her pocket. And that I overheard what she said and it didn't sound the least bit Christian. And that I was troubled by it, and that in reflection, she too should be troubled by it.
"What would Jesus do?" I asked, having read it on the wall behind her bigoted self.
Then I was quiet, real quiet. Cricket chirping quiet. And it got uncomfortable because she and her friend knew they got caught. She started to say something, which was my cue to speak up again.
"The price tag on this says ten dollars. I'll give you five in cash and that includes the tax. Take it or leave it."
She wanted to get rid of me. So she took it - two rolls of nickles and two rolls of pennies. And she'll have to count those coins and I hope when she does a little voice inside of her keeps saying "this isn't worth it."
But I got under her skin. And I got the vase.