Our Fijian Indian Friend returned with his partner from a three week holiday in Fiji, to see his family etc etc. R is normally very circumspect in what he says, unlike myself when I am in front of a keyboard. R said to FIF, gosh, you are so black. Our friend is already quite dark, but I did notice he was even darker after his Fijian vacation. R extended the conversation to how much time he must have spent in the sun and repeated about how dark FIF was.
I have issues with the moodiness of FIF and our Brother Friends have had issues with FIF in the past but I could see they were quite horrified at what R was saying. I just sat watching everyone, including FIF to see reactions. FIF did not seem troubled.
Brother Friends brought the matter up the next time we saw them. All I said was, it was interesting to observe and that
FIF did not seem offended. And nor should he. I am chuffed that R stated the bleeding obvious. He did not state that FIF had also stacked on a bit of weight. That would have offensive.
At Thursday night's barbeque, I noticed FIF had gone back to his usual black state, not his very darkened state. He hasn't lost any weight though. Curries do that to you.
Which brings me to the point of this post. What can you say? I have seen many examples of where it has gone wrong and someone was offended. In comments on a recent post I pointed out that someone was a mick, a catholic. Mick was a word I grew up with. I suspect the person who wrote the first comment is also a mick. I have met one of the commenters more than once and I feel like I know the other personally. It is my judgement call and I think it was ok.
When a Moslem workmate said he was hungry and needed to stop chatting and go and get some lunch, I meant no harm by saying, 'can't you just pretend it is Ramadan'. 'No, I don't get hungry during Ramadan'.
'Yes of course you want Saturday off', when changing a work shift with a Jewish workmate. 'You've got to stick on your yamaha on and go to temple'. 'No, kid's birthday party'.
In my early days at work, I did get it wrong. 'Don't have too much to drink at the Balaclava Hotel, Albert. You have church in the morning'. I subsequently learnt, St Francis in the city. Keeping yourself nice on a Saturday night and going to church the next morning has been a running joke in my family and among friends for years, because none do go to church. But I learnt, it is not a joke to make among Christian Indian immigrants, no matter how Australianised they seem.
I now picks me marks. Hot straight blond Greek guy has no problem with me saying Nick, I can never imagine whether I would like to see you on top of Peter Albico, or he on top of you. Nick laughs and then goes red. Obviously I did not use such formal words. I've known Nick for a long a long time and I like him and he seems to like me, so I can say such things.
Not like the stupid old queen at work who was training a new gay boi at work and became very suggestive, and that ended very badly, especially as the new boi had his phone audio recording. Yes it was a set up, but the older queen was out of order.
I've been called a fucking poofta more than once in my life and I take it as a statement of the obvious. It is verbal abuse from someone who you don't know, or if you do, they think they have reasons to abuse you and seek a supposed weak point. No worse than 'you have a big nose'. I can do now't about either.
What has hurt was when a guy who I got on with reasonably well said to someone, who I think quite nastily repeated back to me, 'Such a shame about Andrew. He is a nice guy. It is such a pity he is gay'.
Well, I rather like how I am, thank you very much.
(A post that needed a lot of editing, but hey, shit happens)