Sometimes having a Scottish accent can get you into all sorts of trouble in the US. Americans just can’t get to grips with my short vowels.
I just came back from my trail-running group in which I inadvertently managed to insult a Latino guy. I had overheard him talking about work and deduced that he did something involving “loans”. Later, at dinner, I was trying to make casual chit-chat, so I asked him what he did for a living. I said, “You work in the loan industry, don’t you?” and I couldn’t understand why he nearly spat out his drink and gave me a dirty look. He had, of course, understood “lawn industry” and not “loan industry”. In this part of the world, there are a lot of recent Mexican immigants who cut people’s grass or work in construction to get by. In other words, the guy thought I assumed that all people of Mexican heritage couldn’t possibly do anything other than cut grass!
Once I explained, everything was alright, and we had a good laugh about it. The guy was a bit of a dick, though. It turned out that he considers himself a libertarian, and I was quite disgusted. Now call me an inverse racist, but it bugs me when African-Americans or Latinos (and also gay people or women) could even think of being anything other than Democrat. Poverty rates for black and Hispanic people greatly exceed the national average, and Republicans and Libertarians don’t give a shit. All they care about is themselves. How is it possible to belong to an ethnic minority, which has millions of people struggling to make ends meet, and be a libertarian?! Obviously the Democrats leave a lot to be desired, too, but they’re still a helluva lot better than the GOP or libertarians. Oh well. I guess there are selfish cunts everywhere, no matter what their skin colour is.
Besides making an inadvertent racial slur, and having to deal with a libertarian, I’m enjoying being back in a running group again. Running is such a solitary sport, and I already spend so much time by myself, so I don’t really enjoy it if I do it by myself. I wish I hadn’t taken so much time off because there are some people in the group whom I’ve known for a couple of years, who were way slower than I am, and now they’re the same pace or even faster! There’s this one girl who asked what my fastest marathon pace was, and when I told her, she said “Oh, we’re the same pace now!”. Well, I’ll let her think that, but there’s no way this state of affairs will continue. It’s taken her two years of diligent plodding to get to what took me several months of natural talent and total laziness. Just think how fast I could be if I trained hard for once!
I don’t know if this is a bad thing about my personality, or if it’s just the way I am, but I am an incredibly competitive person. There are many things in life which I enjoy but I enjoy them even more if I can potentially kick some ass along the way. It’s very motivating to think about running faster than this woman…and I will (especially because she’s a Republican!).