I have a friend who refers to people by their racial characteristics. She does this frequently, sometimes after saying “I’m not racist, but…” In many ways she is not racist. She has friends and romantic partners from various ethnic backgrounds, and she appreciates all their good personal qualities. […]
Snowbird of Paradise
An Albertan who spends winters in California.
This evening I felt uncomfortable watching The Help on TV while a large African-American man baked cornbread in my kitchen. After a few minutes of watching a fictional young white woman bridge America’s racial divide, I realized I was being very inconsiderate to my roommate’s guest. So, I switched […]
Being on the road is a remarkably liberating experience. All regular life, activities, and responsibilities are temporarily absent. No commitments and no ties. No work, no play, no boredom, no frenzy. Just the easy feeling of making steady progress. I just drove from Alberta to California. It took […]
When I meet a man at a family gathering, he sees me in an atmosphere of comfort that goes back decades. My family members and I know each others’ histories and we know how to tease each other safely. When I meet a man at work, he sees me […]
The more complex a thing is, the more likely I am to trust it. Things like online statements of understanding, loan contracts, and car maintenance estimates have become the pause before the signature. I don’t usually read them. Some of you will now be saying things like “What […]
On a recent visit to Scotland I learned a lot about unspoken communication. Thousands of people in Edinburgh manage to live very closely to one another without actually touching. It’s a skill that I think you must acquire at birth or take years to develop. As a visitor, […]