Friday, February 23, 2007

I heart Philadelphia....for a hot minute, anyway.

if i do say so myself, i have a hell of a job. i think i tend to see the worst of people at most times. waking up each day and forcing yourself to operate from the fundamental principle that there is good in everyone is also a hell of a job. i think i balance these two things pretty well. but, no doubt about it, i definitely lose my balance on that nauseating soapbox every once in a while. particularly living in phila where the racial tension is so thick, i'm tempted to stop every random black person on a street corner to apologize for being white. i'm not really kidding. you live here long enough and this hypersensitivity will begin to consume you. ok, so maybe it only consumes me. which is actually okay because i'm [creepily] in love with the concept of race relations and its various implications. Ask anyone who tried talking to me about last season's Survivor that divided its teams by race. Actually, let's not revisit that topic. Let's face it, I would inevitably feel claustrophobic in any place that I could only interact with rich white people. In any case, i'm waiting for the 21 today to take me to school/work and it's a windstorm. per usual. but as i'm standing there, willing my ponds cream to do its job, i see an elderly black woman wobbling and then dropping her bag and her folder that she was carrying as she's trying to get money out for the bus. and before i can even help her, this other elderly white woman, who is basically being blown over by the wind, moves quicker than my 24 year old body ever could, and in one impressive motion, balances the black woman and grabs her stuff. and then they are wobbling together and bonding in the way that only 80 year-old women can.
I love watching the social constructs I know applied everywhere -- and remain true in ways I'd never expect. I've stigmatized unfairly plenty of times, and lately I'm so wrong. It's unreal. If only everyone could be that impressive. So basically, to make a long rant longer, being pleasantly surprised is such a welcome change from being consistently disappointed. I'm afraid to say it out loud because I don't want to ruin the moment. It is moments like these that I love living in Philadelphia.

No comments: