While we were shopping in Clearwater we ran into a rude guy who might have been racist. I wrote about him and many of my friends replied. Maybe he was a rude racist, maybe he was just rude. There are a lot of rude people in Florida, some people told me.
Here’s the thing though. Most people are nice. Not only just polite, but friendly. From the Uber driver who picked us up at the airport and summarized his life for us in the 20 minute drive, to the guy I chatted with at the Nepalese store where I bought some clothes and he gave me a 10% discount, just because, people are amazingly friendly.
An example, we were thinking about going to the Dale Chihuli Museum while we were here. I’ve know Chihuli’s work for a few decades and I have one of his pieces of glass. I’ve seen his work in several places. We were killing time and thought we’d drop in if the price was right. Well, the museum admission was $20. Nope. Not worth $40. So, cheap me starts walking away complaining about the price and saying they should change their pricing model to get more people in where they would spend money in the gift shop. A lady behind us, who I had not noticed, interrupted me. She said she had a ticket (stub) because she had just left the museum. She offered to give it to us so that we could only have to buy one ticket.
The gesture was so kind. She didn’t have to say anything. She didn’t know us. We hadn’t asked her for anything. We politely declined. I explained to her my familiarity with Chihuli. We talked for about three or four minutes as we walked down the street together. We thanked her for her offer again and we said goodbye.
When the rude guy cut in front of in line, we wondered if it was because of our race. That is the downside of being black in America. But on the other hand, I have several more stories from that same day where people were extreme friendly to us, in spite of our race, or maybe even because of it. I know people who go out of their way to be more kind to those they perceive as marginalized.
It’s really uplifting when someone you don’t know does something nice for you. The kindness of strangers is a heartwarming thing.