I used to write a blog, had a lot of followers, and enjoyed it. Then some family things fell apart and I just stopped. One day I loved it, the next it was no longer important. Over the past five years or so I’ve started to feel the urge to write again. To write as if I have some readers, even if I don’t. But most of all to give myself a way to think things through again. So I think I’ll start with something I realized about fifteen years ago.
Sometimes people just don’t see me.So am I invisible? To a large extent, yes, to a portion of our population. When I started noticing it I still felt young, vital, even attractive. One day I was in a fast food restaurant and moved up slowly to the front of the line. My turn, finally. The young man behind the counter looked up and through me to the young woman behind me and asked her if he could help her. Clearly more puzzled than offended I spoke up, startling them both.
Over time I started noticing this more and more. Sometimes it was with people my age, sometimes younger. Rarely with children though, they see and hear everything. But overall I remember just being surprised, period. I’m not a small person. I’m definitely not a quiet person. But somehow over time I just found that I was overlooked.
In the past week, since the presidential election, I’ve almost wanted to disappear. I woke up on the day after the election depressed and angry. That got me through a day or two, then I started to feel guilty. Reasonably so? Probably not. I didn’t vote for Trump, but I didn’t really like Hillary either. But the guilt that seems to be hanging over me somehow makes me feel that when I see someone who isn’t white I should somehow apologize. I grew up without prejudice but in an all-white area of the country in the 1950s. But I was raised by a reasonably conservative dad and an ultra liberal mom. She made sure we knew that we were equals, nothing better and nothing less. But somehow this week I feel that we, as Americans, have said to all who aren’t white or who don’t speak English, or who weren’t born here that we are better. So maybe for now I’m invisible. Maybe I want to stay that way.