Things That Happen @ Starbucks III

I was sitting outside of one of the 4 Starbucks that I frequent, when an elderly gentlemen rolls up on his bike next to me. He had this big smile, and it was obvious that he wanted to say something to me, so I spoke first and said, “Hello.”

“Do I know you from somewhere?” he shouted jovially.
“I don’t think so. I don’t think I ever met you.” I replied, hoping and praying that this guy doesn’t go to my church, because our church is rather small and not recognizing someone would be greatly embarrassing.
“Oh…”
“Do I look familiar?”
Then he smiled, that big kid-like grin and said this:
“Yea. I could’ve sworn I saw you in China the other day!”

I didn’t know what to say or do but laugh.
So I started laughing, he started laughing, which made me laugh harder. Then he started telling me kid jokes like “why did the turtle cross the street? To go to the shell station” and then “why did the golfer have two pants? because there was a hole in one.”

And he said, “I’ll see you around” and biked off.

I kept thinking, was that racist? Should I be offended? Should I have corrected him and said that was insensitive?
But, the truth was, it was funny. And it made me laugh, so I didn’t really care.

And besides, people his age, I feel, they’ve earned the right to say anything that’s on their mind.

2 thoughts on “Things That Happen @ Starbucks III

  1. My 99 year old grandmother, who was pretty racist by upbringing, also has the right to say what ever is on her mind… like when they built new homes behind her condo (where there had previously been corn and bean fields) and a neighbor complained about the race of those who were moving in, my grandmother said, “It’ll be better than white trash like you.”

  2. But is another asian man, your age, justified in punching that guy in the face when he says it again?

    This is sort of (but a stretch) similar to when old 85 year old drivers drive their cars into grocery stores in Florida. Age does not excuse responsibility for your actions (or words), or inability to act like a normal member of society.

    So you’ve lived for 7-8 decades. It’s an accomplishment, but it’s not a pedestal. What is it about age that gives the free pass? Because you’re probably close to death, or because you’ve probably experienced a lot? If that’s true, is the same social pass granted to 25 year old Iraqi war veterans, or cancer patients?

    Personally I would have laughed. I think it’s important to pick and choose your fights in life, and this guy is not one of them. But still, some food for thought.

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