Finally! There are more Us’es than Thems.
We realized our growing number when we held our own happy hour Friday night. How many were at the original gathering site over by the sea wall? We figured only a few. So last night we decided to give the group happy hour another shot. We added to our numbers when I heard there were two gay guys in the trailer park. “Go invite the gay guys to happy hour,” I told my friend and she ran right over to their little camper. “I do love my queens,” she always says.
Big circle of people. Food in the middle. Dogs on the periphery. One small section of the arc held Them. The majority of the circle was comprised of Us. Which meant real conversations were held. This is in sharp contrast to the usual happy hour gathering wherein the men tell the same stories over and over, guffawing over their lame humor, while the rest of us feign interest. Not so this night. Canadians. A Brit. People who’d traveled the world. No one was bragging or showing off. People were sharing stories; not holding court.
As the Them numbers dwindled, the Us’es could be our intellectual elitist selves. It was freeing and such a joy to not have every comment turned into a Fox soundbite. Snow in Atlanta? So much for global warming. Gulf oil spill? You bleeding heart liberals only care about the environment and not the poor fishermen. President Obama? Someone should shoot that N_____. (Yes, someone actually said that.) One guy is fixated on dirty jokes, minorities and women always his target.
I was pretty impressed that one of Them stuck around after the others had left. He even tried to get a fire going in the pit but the wood was too green. Finally it was too cold to stay out so we gathered up our chairs and our empty glasses and headed back to our “wobbly boxes.” For the first time since being in this gringo community I felt like a part of the group. Not the lone bleeding heart liberal in a circle of teabaggers.