I've never made a daylog before. But I don't know where to put this, and I feel the need to expunge it.
Last night I attended a dinner party¹ hosted by my girlfriend at her apartment. She'd invited two ex-colleagues from a former place of employment, whom she'd known and been friends with for many years.
Both are married with kids, and live out in the 'burbs. They had both arranged baby sitters for the children. Husband-sitting not being part of the equation except perhaps in pr0n, the husbands were invited too.
I arrived early to be supportive of my girlfriend, help her get ready, etc. I'd never met any of these people before (girlfriend excepted) and so I was resigned to being on good behavior. Be polite, laugh at little jokes, carry the conversation if need be, and so on.
Everything was going well, the lasagna that my girlfriend made was excellent, and I was able to unobtrusively pass the bean salad without having to try any. Her friends were quite garrulous and made no real attempt to involve me in their conversation, so I only had to smile and laugh and pass the dishes.
Until one of the husbands made a offensive, homophobic comment.
Now, this would never happen within my normal circle of contacts. Whether it's because any people who would do so have fallen out of that circle by natural attrition I don't know, but suffice it to say I've not heard anyone make such a blatantly discriminatory comment in a long time.
So, what did I do? Well, I'm pretty sure what my physiological response was. Smile vanished, eyes narrowed, lower jaw moved forward slightly. But I was so caught so totally off guard that my normally quick wit failed me utterly. And by the time I'd composed a response the conversation had moved on. So I said nothing.
The rest of the evening passed in, for me, tedious banality. It's not too stimulating to sit through war stories about places and industries you've not worked in, followed by discussions of birth and pregnancy when you haven't been part of those miracles since your own birth. Then came a lot of looking at pictures of people I didn't know. But it passed, and everyone left around midnight.
I helped clean up and then drove home. I was tired and fell asleep right away. But this morning, the ghost of Martin Niemoller keeps whispering in my head. "There was no one left to speak up" he whispers to my conscience.
It's a small thing. And yet, I feel that I failed myself as much as anyone. I let my discomfort in the social situation get the better of me. But what will I say next time? This is the key question. I don't know the answer yet. But until I do, Martin Niemoller will keep whispering to me. And I don't like it.
1. Usually I cook for two of us when we're together, but she likes dinner parties and I ... don't.
So she cooks on those occasions.