I remember, about 17 years ago, having the bizarre experience of being the organizer of an anti-homophobia rally in Lafayette, IN. (Purdue) The hatemongers had come to town to present their entirely unscientific basis for the scourge of homosexuality on society. The presentation contained no science, but a few passages from the bible combined with video of naked men on Pride Day in San Francisco with the warning, "Is this what you want in Lafayette?" Their arrival was timed to influence a city council vote on a measure that would have prohibited discrimination in housing and employment for sexual orientation.
I organized a silent protest, and we overflowed the hall where they presented without anyone saying a word. We brought lots of blank posters and wrote our comments and held them up for the audience, speakers and tv cameras to see. We may not have won any arguments that night, but we managed to win the respect of the centrists in town. In fact one of the professional men at the Purdue Computer Center came up to me and said how impressed he was. "The last thing we wanted to see was that kind of ACT UP shouting here, but that was really the right way to go about showing your displeasure. It impressed a lot of people."
The measure eventually passed (in the middle of the night to allow several council members to save face and abstain).
[The weird part]
The afternoon before the protest the local tv station sent a reporter out to interview me. He was a friend of mine, and he was a closeted gay man. I was pretty close to both him and his partner. I had the entirely bizarre experience of being interviewed about why gays and lesbians shouldn’t be discriminated against in their employment, by a man who was afraid of being discriminated against in his employment. The whole interview was like a mental whipsaw. It rocked 9 on the Richter scale of weirdness for me.
To that I can add the following experience from this weekend.
Me: "Hey, pop (my stepfather), you’ve got some stuffed shells frozen in here. We could have those. We just need some marinara sauce."
Pop: "Oh, there’s some that Linda made frozen downstairs. I just have to thaw it in the microwave."
Pop: "Your mom made a lot of food and froze it. It’s pretty much been what I’ve been eating since she died."
Pop: "We don’t have to eat that if you don’t want to."
Hey, is this one of Aunt Debbie’s casseroles in here?"
[35 minutes later at 350 degrees]
Me: "The casserole is still frozen solid. You want to thaw out that sauce?"
The weirded part is that the sauce was just ok. Shouldn’t pasta sauce made by your recently deceased and much-loved mother be some sort of ambrosia? Shouldn’t you taste it and go, "Hey, the angels left this behind. Fools!"
The cooking I will remember her for will be her noodles and mashed potatoes, not her pasta sauce.
There’s none of that in the freezer, so thankfully my memory of that dish can stay all starchy idealized and perfect.