Remember how I told you that I get stared at a lot? I’ve written about this before (http://butchontap.com/2012/03/12/what-are-you-lookin-at/). I am tall, with a bleached blonde mohawk. I do not wear women’s clothing. I tower over many men that I encounter. I do not apologize for walking into a room. When my gorgeous fiancé is with me, I dote on her and it is obvious to anyone who sees us that we are together. It is the same thing when I am with her and my kids. We are obviously a family, and we sometimes get stared at by people whose families do not seem to resemble ours. Here is one specific and glaring example that took place in a very conservative and religious suburb of San Diego. Not too many moderate Republicans in the room, let alone Democrats. It went something like this…
You could hear nothing but the sounds of our own footsteps. The saloon had fallen so quiet that we had to look around to see if we were alone, or if some mystical or alien force had suddenly transported an entire bar full of patrons elsewhere. Poof! From the sounds of it, we were alone. But we weren’t. In addition to the 8 of us (4 women and 4 children), the saloon was positively stuffed with people, those dusty from the trail and those fresh from their Sunday morning church visits. All of whom, it seemed were staring intently at us. So what had made them all drop silent and stare so rudely, so unabashedly, as we walked in? Were we intimidating and ferocious – as if they had just seen drawings of our faces on a “Wanted” poster? Butch Jaxon and her posse of ruffians? Was there about to be a showdown at the OK Corral, err, Hamburger Factory, right there in the middle of Podunk, California?
Crazy as it sounds, this was the scene that we walked into late Sunday morning as we went out to breakfast. Dear friends of ours had come to visit for the weekend, bringing their two kids. We had a wonderful time, wrapped in that little extra familiarity and ease that comes from being with another family that looks like yours. In that space, it is so comfortable, so relaxing, that I forgot how differently we are viewed by people outside our family. I say “viewed” because I know that my family is like yours…and yours…and yours. Unless you happen to be the Obamas, the Hiltons, the Jolie-Pitts. Then, maybe not so much, but if any of those families are reading, right on! Oh, and we are not like the Sopranos or the Mansons. If any of you are reading, please stop.
It is unfortunate that this rude gaping and gawking happened to our two families at all, but especially on this morning. We were all still high and buzzing from the joy of being together, of being part of, of belonging, when a room full of assholes tried to make us feel different. We filed into the room, past the idiots and heathens, to our table. A nice twist was the absolutely amazing service we received from both our server and the manager. Had they seen the tumbleweeds roll down the town streets as we sauntered down the middle of the dusty street? Had they noticed that the upright piano stopped banging out a tinny tune when we pushed open the swinging saloon doors? Had they heard the lone whistle that replaced it, the one from the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly?
Possibly. Or, maybe these two cool souls were just the Universe’s way of showing us kindness, of reminding us that we are alright, that not everyone is a rude asshole. Thank you, Universe.
We had a great breakfast, anyway. Or, I should say, in spite of the townspeople willing it to be otherwise. As we walked out, I held my shoulders and head high, kissed my gorgeous fiancé and shepherded all those kids out to play in the park. I have to admit, though, that I did wish for twin gun belts, a black cowboy duster and hat, and shit-kicking boots with spurs so I could make that fantastic spur sound as I walked out. Can you imagine the look on people’s faces if I’d stopped by the door, held my hat in my hand, let out a yee-haw and shot a few rounds into the ceiling?
“I am Butch Jaxon, wanted in 4 states and in Mexico. The next time me and my posse come ’round here, if y’all don’t greet us at the swinging doors and welcome us with arms wide open, and a short stack with bacon and a stiff shot of espresso, I’m a do a whole lotta shooting and me and my posse are gonna tear this place up.”
I can only imagine. Having a posse of lesbian friends and kids Wild West style is butch.