Mind you, not helping the incident below is that it happened on the heels of the Lexington Herald Leader reporting yesterday that Lexington's public libraries are being pressured by GOP politicians to ban books they subjectively deem as supporting either "CRT" (Critical Race Theory) or LGBTQ - for adults as well as children
In truth, some of the sex stuff I wouldn't want my children reading until a certain age, straight or LGBTQ - BUT - I also understand that kids having worries about sexual feelings, especially gay feelings, might not feel comfortable talking to their parents about it and might want to feel less alone - and hopefully, less suicidal, considering gay-male teens have the highest suicide rate.
Perhaps this issue could be best resolved by putting these books in a "sensitive subject" area instead of banning them altogether?
Now, as for the anti-CRT book banning, there's just no good reason for wanting to ban books on race theory except trying control what people think.
For example, coming from the opposite angle on race theory, I would never read Hitler's Mein Kampf - but I'd never call for it to be banned from everyone else, either.
I've never read it because because I already know Hitler's thoughts on race and his need to scapegoat this group or that for all his problems and his country's problems, and I have no interest in delving deeper into the mind of a psychopath, so - no, thank you.
My daughter never asked to read it, and I wouldn't have allowed her to read it until a certain age, and at that point, though I would've discouraged her because of what it stands for and what happened to 6 million Jews and other minority groups because of it, she could still read it, had she really wanted to, if of age, and we could discuss it afterwards.
That is because forbidding the fruit past a certain age only makes it that much sweeter - AND - makes it seem like you're trying to hide something, as well as control what they think yourself ;)
But I would never support banning it or any book - I don't believe in banning any books or forms of art - ever - especially books written for adults - and some of those titles ARE for adults.
Age-appropriate limitations and content warnings are fine, so are consequences for breaking private or public company rules prohibiting certain items, sure, and restricting their exhibition platforms to appropriate audiences is okay, too - but we should never completely ban books or art together.
Honestly, I think people that believe that reading, listening, or watching this or that will somehow subliminally take over your mind and control your behavior without your consent must struggle with gullibility issues themselves and are thus projecting - because it's not us with the inability to question and critically think through what we read, hear, or see before automatically believing it ;)
Now, this is on the heels of the Kentucky General Assembly overriding Governor Beshear's veto by two-thirds vote, thereby passing a law in April that gave county politicians control over the content at public libraries, which will take effect next year.
As you can see by the listed complaints - many of the complainers were male-Karen GOP state politicians, who clearly hadn't even read the books, because the stuff they're saying is in there, is NOT in there.
Now, onto today ...
So I ... or I should say my husband, Mark ... experienced something at a beloved local restaurant - which I won't say the name of - that I never thought I'd see.
I grew up with this restaurant, it's one of the main staples of Lexington. The world could change, but X was always there, having been there for 70 years, always friendly.
In fact, many times, when sh*t was going on with my family, I'd escape here, the people were always welcoming, always friendly, to everyone.
Not anymore :(
So we'd noticed it had become a hangout for MAGA-hat wearers and mask/vax refusers, which is fine, if that's what they want to believe.
We never said a word, continued to smile and be friendly, tip big, but we just ordered takeout and wore a mask to pick it up, to protect ourselves from COVID and people that loudly exclaimed they'd refused vaccination.
Now - considering I eat a low-carb diet regularly, I rarely eat any carbs during the week, I save them for what we call "Fat Food Friday." lol
Every Friday, we order a burger and fries here for lunch. My husband picks it up for lunch, then goes back to work.
Every Friday, without fail, I look forward to it after eating essentially rabbit food every other day :)
They stare at him a lot with the mask on, and sometimes the Marjorie-Taylor-Greene-looking manager makes loud comments about her love for Trump and hate for liberals, how mask-wearing is bullshit and only "sheeple" wear them - but not directed at him, per se - which he ignores, still tips big, and that's the end of it.
So today, they uncharacteristically got the order wrong, which is no big deal - I waited tables for years, so I get it, mistakes happen.
They forgot to put the burger in, just the fries, and Mark didn't realize it until he got home.
Now, he gets really pissed over these things, and I told him to calm down, please, before he called them.
He had them on speaker, and Mark was very controlled-nice about it, for a change, I was super proud of him.
They said they couldn't hear him and were very rude, very nearly hanging up on him, which didn't help.
So I took the phone and told them we knew they rarely got anything wrong, they were usually right on it, and this was just a fluke - did they still have the sandwich and could we just come back and get it?
She insisted - very rudely - that we needed to bring back not only the receipt, but ALL the food - as "proof" they got the order wrong, before they gave us the missing sandwich.
(Which of course makes no sense, we were only missing a sandwich - what does bringing back the fries prove?)
They never once apologized or admitted their mistake - in fact, they seemed strangely overly suspicious of us.
Okay, I somewhat get the need for bringing back even the food they got right, to a certain extent, because for all she knows, we could be lying - but then again, if she suspected us of lying, that's actually giving us extra food - and a bit of an extreme reaction to people that come every Friday, always tip 25%, and have never had an issue before?
However, Mark is pissed that he has to bring all the food back, and that that they're so suspicious.
Thus, he vows never to go there again, saying it's already turned into a MAGA rally anyway, making clear that mask-wearers and people of color aren't welcome anymore..
He says if he normally isn't off on Fridays, he wouldn't have time to go back, so what would we do - bring moldy fries back a week later or what? LOL
He's so mad that I'm a little bit afraid of what he's going to say and do when he get there, afraid he'll make a scene.
So I call and say, "Hey, so ... he's pretty pissed. Anything you can do to smooth this over would be helpful. He's talking about never coming again and I don't want that, I love your food, I grew up with it. And like I said, you normally do a great job."
Lady: "Well, I don't know what else he wants? Honey, we're remaking it, that should do it. We're not singling you out, that's just policy."
Me: "I know, we appreciate that, but I've worked in restaurants most of my life, and it's just ... bringing ALL the food back, when we're just missing a sandwich, is ... well, a little different? Especially for regulars."
"He normally has to go back to work, so what if he couldn't come until days later, would you accept the food returned days later, like all moldy? lol That's why we called right as it happened"
Lady: "Honey, we're open until 8, every day - yeah, you have to bring the receipt and ALL the food back. I don't know what else to say, that's our policy, regulars or not, we're not singling you out"
Me: "I never thought you were singling us out, but you do keep saying that, so I'm starting to wonder lol. But no, I get it, we could be lying for free food, you don't know - except for the fact we are every-Friday regulars, have never had an issue before, and are big tippers, of course."
"If it's food theft and cost, you're worried about, we didn't ask or need more fries, just the missing sandwich. Does it make sense to now make four orders of fries, though we didn't need them, if you suspect we're lying and food theft? "
"But okay, if that's the best you can do, we'll just have to accept that, I guess. Thank you!"
Lady: "I don't know what else to tell you - Honey, you're not special because you're regulars."
Me: " Excuse me? I ... just meant by being regulars that I thought you'd know we were good for it, here every Friday and tipping well, that's all, that we don't make a habit of this. But okay, thank you."
I call Mark and say, "Okay, they're being rude and overly suspicious, and I don't know why - but of course calling me "honey" to try to soften it - you know, the passive-aggressive games Kentuckians play lol"
"I guess they're having a bad day, I don't know, so please just don't be rude back and make a scene, you know how Trumpers get, they'd make themselves the victim. Go in there, get the food, and leave, okay? Promise me you won't say anything back, just get the food and go, okay?
Mark gets there, and instead of the lady trying to smooth it over, she has enlisted all the staff - and the regular customers - to stand near her as she ridicules him for not checking the bag before he left, etc.
That's true - he should've checked the bag before leaving - and yet that doesn't make it his fault.
It also shouldn't subject him to ridicule ...
"Well, of course he's go gotta wear that mask LOL"
(Staff and customers laugh)
Then she looks at the receipt.
And especially THIS ...
So the food cost $15.15 and my husband had tipped them $4 even - over 25% of the total, right?
So she holds it up to the staff and says, "Hmm, actually is a good tip, I'm surprised. You'd think SOME people would round it up to the next dollar, though."
So ... we tipped you nearly 26% in even dollar bills - but you want 15 more cents to jangle around in your apron, instead of an even number of dollar bills?
My husband told me it was all he could do not to demand back that entire tip, at this point, for their rudeness, and tell them to go f*ck themselves with a MAGA hat lol.
Then he gets the food, opens the bag - and the sandwich is wrong.
REALLY proud of him, now, because he doesn't say a word - he just takes it and leaves, just like I asked him to do :)
That is because saying anything now, even with Kentucky sugar on top, would just enhance the "special snowflake" Karen perception, despite the fact that they are the Karens.
That is because I can interpret Kentucky-brand passive-aggressiveness better than my husband, my family being from here and having lived here myself for 32 years ...
But this incident is still bothering me, and I know it's more than it should, I guess?
First of all, that's just bad business - if you're trying to recoup your losses after COVID, do you really think it's a good idea to ridicule your customers over wearing masks, act overly suspicious because they are, and give them such a hard time?
Now, I think the missing sandwich was an honest mistake, because like I say, they never get it wrong - but the ridiculing of him seemed almost politically motivated - because of his mask (and his Detroit accent?)
Wouldn't be the first time.
You may recall a similar weird experience we several months ago, with a loud Trumper being overly suspicious because we were wearing masks at Kroger, basically accusing my husband of stealing chicken from Kroger after leaving it in the cart, calling as he was turning his car around, the manager okaying a new one, but the lady at the register refusing to have anyone check the carts, even after showing his receipt. It wasn't until he asked to get the manager he spoke to and the three of them would watch the security video together that she relented and just told him to go get a new package.
That time, he asked if she voted for Trump. Of course she did. He said I thought so - and some other things I'm not super proud of lol.
This is my theory - they lie, cheat and steal to win- so they either assume we do, too, projecting this aspect of themselves onto us, whether they're aware they do or not - PLUS - their politicians, press, and pundits tell them you can't trust us, that we are trying to lie, steal and steal from them.
Now, as I've said, I've always noticed the culture problems here, despite many others, even in my family, not noticing it - it's just gotten 20x worse since Trump.
And for the record, despite being double-booster vaccinated, my husband had a stroke 5 years ago, putting him in the immunocompromised status - so he will continue to wear a mask in crowded places indoors until we are clearly at a safer distance from COVID - especially places that have made it clear they are non-vaccinated, with the count rising again.
Thus, the more barriers he wants to put between him and COVID, the better, and he should be allowed to do that without public ridicule and automatic suspicion, thanks.
I have never fit in here, and I'm not alone - most transplants here have a hard time fitting in here.
In fact, if I've heard this once, I've heard it 1,000 times from people who didn't grow up here - most recently from someone from Boston, someone else from Chicago, even someone from my neck of the woods, Cincinnati.
I've heard the same thing, over and over, from transplants here, over the last 32 years, and my own experience was the same upon first moving here, despite my family being from here, and my husband from Detroit, who had tons of friends in Detroit has had the same issue after moving here.
I think the person from Chicago put it best:
"If they didn't grow up with you, they're not interested - it's like they have enough friends they grew up with and they don't really want more, so it will take them forever to invite you to anything or accept your invites, unless you're a college basketball player, famous country singer, or GOP politician."
And the liberals here, they just kind of roll over and go along with Trumpers, to fit in and stay out of trouble, not rock the boat. People rarely protest anything, with the exception of a peaceful protest over George Floyd, and repeated protests at the Capitol over mask-wearing, which included a hung effigy of Governor Beshear :(
So instead of polarizing here, like other places, since Trump, the liberals here just rolled over and assimilated.
Thus, there are only a certain amount of constants here, a certain amount of refuges that that I've looked to, for the past 32 years, to make life tolerable.
This diner was one of those things - but even that has become politically cray cray.
Now, if somebody starts getting politically cray-cray at Shaker Village or Red River Gorge, I'm gonna lose my religion lol.
No, but the truth is, because I haven't been able to afford to get out of here for 32 years, I've found various ways of making life bearable.
"Find joy in the smallest thing, find your gratitude, give people the same benefit of the doubt you'd like them to give you, focus on the positive, find middle ground, find a refuge, a sanctuary"
But that has become increasingly harder to do - and it's become more obvious than ever how much I - WE - don't fit in here.
I used to think this was a bad thing, that I didn't belong, that I was the one with the problem and weird.
However, I've now come to realize maybe it's not - and that I'm not alone in feeling this way - lots of blue people stuck in red states feel this way.
And after today, I'm done - done trying to find the positive, done giving them the same benefit of the doubt that I'd like for myself that they never give, done trying to find middle ground, done placating, done trying to keep the peace, done smiling and saying nothing - done.
There is really nothing left here that I would care to ever see again, if I'm honest, especially after Trump, who brought out the worst in people.
Now, I love my direct neighbors - just not enough to keep me here lol.
And I'm not sure North Carolina would be any different, maybe worse - only just further away from being surrounded by Trumpers in the mountains lol.
Thus, becoming expats in Spain is looking better and better to me, when Mark retires? lol
We shall see, more research to be done.
Because to be honest, Spain was a religious-fascist regime until 1978, the exiled King, Juan Carlos, just returned, and the far-right fascist party, Vox, is gaining ground there, too.
And who would've thought in my lifetime we'd ever seen a centrist and a far-righter, whose father was a holocaust denier, be the main contenders for PM in France?!?
So I mean, where do we go - most importantly, that we can afford to go?
Regardless, it will not be here - I hope I never see this place again, nor 98% of the people I met while here, when we go.
Sorry, Kentucky - but you've chosen to sacrifice the best in you for the worst - and for what - or for whom, I should say?
Somebody who actually hasn't done a damn thing for you or made your life better - in fact, the only thing he's done for you is make you more suspicious, afraid, and angry than ever before
Trump has done nothing for you but turn you - ordinarily mild-mannered people - into paranoid, angry-all-the-time monsters, all for his own glory - can't you see that?
If you want to hurt your own business further, after COVID, by ridiculing and making unwelcome mask wearers, that's your choice.
Ridicule and bully all you like, that appears to be your only form of humor, I'm used to it - but I will never turn red, I will never kowtow to you.
In fact, all you're accomplishing with this behavior is making me a deeper shade of blue :)
But I won't fight you - I'll just quietly float further and further away from you and spend my money elsewhere :)