Some time ago, I began talking about assumptions and the problems I faced with D&D because of it …I had written (in part):
Assumptions are typically picked up from the culture in which we live. We acquired them as we acquired so much of our other knowledge from the culture, without being especially aware that we were learning it.
Going back to D&D for a bit – They both, but one of the D’s in particular have acquired a number of assumptions from the culture we live in AND (although they would be loath to admit it) the gay culture they surround themselves with. That happens no matter what the orientation…but in this case, the one D’s (hereafter D2) assumptions have stronger influences than most. . .Quoting from above: Assumptions typically take for granted that something or other is a fact, the way things really are. Even if they are not that way.
D2 had placed Toby in a category based on his assumptions…even though the assumptions had little basis in fact.
It started the night he told me that I “had more patience that he did what “those’ kind of people.” Now, “those kind of people” is a phrase that has always had the effect on me that fingernails on a blackboard have. And usually my reaction to each is about the same. Being a product of the 60’s and 70’s albeit not directly in the South (except for one VERY long year) – I am extremely aware of just how that phase was said and used.
I never expected anyone I was deep friends with (and who knew anything at all about me) would ever show serious bigoted assumptions or anti-people assumptions at anytime. As time marched/moved/tip-toed on with Toby and me, there were other remarks that were made showing a lack of understanding.
As I had written IF they had asked question and truly listened to the answers, there would not have been a problem. However, for them it was easier to make the assumptions then to find out the truth.
Toby has a bit of an image problem…I would be the first to admit that – but also the first to find out that the image does not match the reality. (Hmmmm, sounds like a few other posts I’ve written.) Toby is 6 feet 4 inches tall with tattoos on each arm. He’s somewhat “built”, keeps his hair buzzed short and has an Ohio accent (crossed with a deep South accent) you could – at times – cut with a chain-saw. He enjoys people of all types and is very gregarious and at times exceptionally outgoing. And yes, he can be mistaken for a hustler.
When I first met Toby I had problems as well. I had written about a deep rooted cynicism that I had to root out.
Later, after D&D’s return from successful errand running. Toby (not his real name or initial) whom I had never seen before, literally came and starting “working” me…I’d use the term hitting on me, but I didn’t want to give the impression of violence. I found that unidentified feeling really rubbing me … and then I realized with a shock what it was. I was surprised by cynicism. Actually a very deep rooted cynicism. Something I was totally unprepared for, and unaware of how much I had.
cyn·i·cism(sĭn’ĭ-sĭz’əm)-n- An attitude of scornful or jaded negativity, especially a general distrust of the integrity or professed motives of others:
And how was it expressed? Thank heavens only mentally. I think I realized it before it became expressed either in body language or verbally. My inner reaction was one of very high mistrust of the integrity of him and his motives.
A cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers, looks around for a coffin.
–H. L. Mencken (1880 – 1956)
And now – “the rest of the story ~
At one point, I was asked to house/dog sit for D&D. It was going to be a simple weekend – in on Friday – back home on Sunday. On Saturday evening, D&D were expected to be at a contest that a mutual friend was entering. I was more than willing to go and would be back for the dogs within about 2 1/2 hours.
In the middle of the afternoon chaos struck. (this IS a story about D&D after all!) The person who was entering the contest was being pulled in about five directions for rides to the contest and a couple of other places. This was not a problem – however, Toby was riding with him. So, he dropped Toby off at D&D‘s for about 45 minutes. All the people were delivered, I had a delightful time at the contest. Our friend didn’t win, but wasn’t too upset about it either. The weekend came to an end (and yes, there was a problem with the puppies – it only took a couple of hours to clean-up ~ they do belong to D&D after all.)
As I was driven home by D1, I explained what had happened and everything seemed to be fine. Alas, it was not going to be. On my part – I made the assumption 1) that D1 had discussed it with D2 and 2) that everything was fine.
Several weeks (!) later I received a very boozy phone call from D2 that literally started off with “I know what you did.” My response was an ever so polite “What?” “I know what you did and I have a few things to say about that.” Again, my response was an ever so polite “What the ______ (insert any word you want here) are you talking about?”
“I know that Toby was here and I want you to know that” (here is it) “those kind of people stand on the porch and if they have to poop or pee – oh well, that’s where they do it.”
—tomorrow the final chapter of my friendship with D&D.