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Midweek Musings: Unorthodox Hospitality
and a change to our regularly scheduled programming
(Whoops!—that’s twice I’ve managed to publish without allowing comments from all subscribers! That should be corrected now to allow comments.)
Recently, Kevin who writes On Repeat by Kevin Alexander commented:
Can you share how you two manage to bend time & space to wring 2-3 extra hours out of each day…
Confession: things are getting a little busy around these parts.
November and December will be extremely busy at our event venue, and what began as “musings” have sort of turned into full-fledged posts on Wednesdays. So I’m announcing a hiatus from Midweek Musings for the next two months.
Don’t worry!—weekly editions will still land in your inbox on Saturdays (if you’re subscribed).
And if you aren’t subscribed, you can do that by entering your email address right here.
Now, a story about urinating…
Friday evening while basking in the perfect Fall weather, a man essentially asked if he could pee in our yard. I know what some of you may be thinking,but the fact that he stated his intentions instead of just dropping his fly on the spot is commendable.
The backstory of the parade that took place on Friday would take far more words than I’m willing to write today, so let me just give you the basics: our local homecoming parade is a Very Big Deal here and well attended. People come from miles away to revisit their old stomping grounds and celebrate all things green and orange by tailgating before the parade and shopping with street vendors, who sell everything from fried turkey wings to jewelry to handbags to mixed drinks.
An unfortunate downside to drinking all day is that one’s bladder must be frequently emptied, and our tiny town has few public restrooms. Perhaps someday event organizers will spring for Porta Potties, but until then many male parade-goers will do what they’ve always done—unzip wherever they can find a place (between parked vehicles, behind trees, on sidewalks around the less-populated corners of buildings, and yes, even in yards) and relieve themselves.I mean, I get it—when ya gotta go, ya gotta go, right?
We live a block off Main Street, and our street is prime parking on Parade Day. By sunset Friday, there were just a couple of cars left on the street in front of our house as I read at our picnic table.The air was turning chilly, so I was heading toward the front porch when Mr. Gotta Go made it to his vehicle, circled around to the passenger side, and stepped into the yard. He spotted me and sheepishly said, “I wuz lookin for a place to use the bafroom.”
“Well, I understand a full bladder for sure, but please don’t go in my yard,” I replied as he did the pee-pee dance. “Come inside and use a real bathroom.”
He hesitated as I started toward the door. I think he was working out whether his slightly impaired brain correctly transmitted my words.
“Come on,” I commanded (because I’m kind of bossy like that).
Now before any of you run down to the comments to tell me how dangerous it is to let a stranger in your house, please note that 1) Mike was with me, 2) I am always packing, and 3) I’m compassionate but smart. My mama didn’t raise no fool, but she did raise me to be kind.
I walked him through the house, turned on the light, and left him to his business. When he returned to the porch, we began chatting. He took a seat, and we talked for about an hour.
30-year-old Tramoneshared with us that he lived in the neighboring town with his 71-year-old grandmother, who has helped keep him on the right path since the time he was locked up for four and a half months. Our area doesn't offer many job opportunities, and those are even less for someone with a record, but Tramone proudly told us, "I been workin at the pallet mill for three years. My boss man let me go early so I could come out to the parade. I've really enjoyed myself today."
We talked about children, family members who help and those who hurt, and the pleasures of a simple life. We told him to stop by any time, and he gave Mike his number and told him to call if he ever needed help with anything. We were people separated by age, race, culture—yet we found plenty to talk about. We can find common ground (hopefully free of urine) with just about anyone if we step outside our comfort zone.
A man was going to pee in my yard and instead of choosing offense, I chose hospitality. And that led to the best hour of my day.
Yes, I will write about anything.
Actually, I probably don’t, so let me know—what would your response be in this situation?
And if we’re really honest, they will probably still pee in these spots even if portable toilets are available.
Which is situated in the front yard because it invites impromptu conversations.
Things are still quite segregated here in Woodville, Mississippi, and I’m
a bit of quite an unspoken-rule breaker in that regard.
Not his real name.