Brad and I went out on a double date with our Lebanon buddies Becky and Jonah to Salem’s fine India Palace, where we tasted and enjoyed the super insanely magnificent flavours from far-away lands. Oh, was that amazing! If you like foreign cuisine, I absolutely promise you have not enjoyed such a wonderful menu.
After we sipped the last of the “miracle chai” (jonah says it is the real stuff, not like Oregon chai..i still vote for Oregon chai) and ate our anise seeds (or spit them).We jumped in the “langmobile” and ended up right in front of the Conditerei, the chocolate was oh so chocolaty…wonderful. After a little silliness and coffee, we went to Albany’s own Wyatt’s for well, let’s just say I had water and so did Becky. And here our story begins, or ends or gets interesting…you choose:
We were sitting at a table, hanging out, talking when I got up to go to the bathroom. When I came back out and walked back to my table I noticed the other three members of my party were a tad agitated, but since they can be this way over the silliest of things I figured it wasn’t nothin’. I asked Becky, and she said: “well, that guy at the bar did a double take as you walked by, then he waited for you to leave and yelled: Dreadlocks! Dreadlocks! That is WRONG, and I MEAN WRONG!” ” Yes, I had been heckled and I hadn’t even been there. This man was about twenty or so feet away from our table, so in truth the whole Wyatt’s Pub had heard what he had yelled.
The members (male members) of my party were then talking about honour and defending it and such…uh I mostly wanted to just go talk to the man and figure out how he could be such a coward to not even want to do it when I the less-than-100-pound-female was in the room. That is what bugged me, well I think it did hurt my feelings too, but the cowardice of the deed was the big sting.
While I tried to get the nerve up to go speak with this man, Brad got up and walked over and innocently asked the man: ” do you have something to say about my hair?” at this point the man did not even know what Brad was talking about, so Brad pointed to me and explained that I was his wife. When the man still seemed confused (or was it an act?) his female acquaintance responded: “hey, man…freedom of speech!”.
Well, ain’t that a beaut. This is what I found on Wikipedia:
Freedom of speech is the concept of being able to speak freely without censorship. The synonymous term freedom of expression is sometimes preferred, since the right is not confined to verbal speech but is understood to protect any act of seeking, receiving and imparting information or ideas, regardless of the medium used.
Therefore she was right. She did have freedom of speech, also the cowardly, forgetful man had his freedom of speech (or yell) as well. I knew I had freedom of speech and in those ten minutes until we left I thought of many things I could cleverly say, many things both nice and not nice…but I was protected, right? I have freedom of speech, but do I? I don’t believe I am free to mock, insult, belittle, humiliate, or in any way put down another person for the way the dress, eat, sleep, pee, or wear their hair. I did take this personally, that he would use his freedom to heckle me…but I need to not. I just need to understand that freedoms come with responsibilities, some can carry those well…others well, let’s just say they make fools of themselves without anything being said about them. I’m glad we left it just the way it was, no more fools needed to be made.