Saturday, 6 February 2010

Daughter mine. Prejudice.

Well, here we are a full year further on and still no word from my daughter. You have to admire her persistence. I am still none the wiser as to why. Why? Why. Am I ever going to be able to say that I had a meal with her or we went shopping today. That we phoned and had a chat. Three years now of no contact whatsoever. She has got married and bought a house, her cat (that I bought her when she was in primary school and she loved to distraction) is dead, run over. Was she upset? Is she happy? How is her life, what are her concerns and worries, what makes her laugh, what does she do in the evenings and at weekends? How does she feel, smell, look, sound? I am her mother, I do not know.

It is her birthday today, she is 23. At least she is alive and not in jail or in another country. She is working, she is at Uni, she is well, that much I know. There is nothing to worry about, unlike other unfortunate mothers who have had much less fortune with their children than I. Her birthday is always a time of sadness though and that is as it should be.

I have my son. I have a beautiful son who I am very grateful to and for. Thank you for that.

OK, so to distract myself from that I will talk about the lunch I went to today, a group of 8 women went to the Swan Valley and invited me along. Excellent meal, great fun, back to their holiday home for more drinks and chat. Good. Nice.

In amongst the chat, the talk turned to red heads. Wrangers. Ginger hair, carrot tops. What is the big deal I ask, don't know they answer but Australians have never liked wrangers. ?. The conversation carried on and they were all in agreement, all drunkish but not half as drunk as they were going to become. These were all intelligent and educated women, from England and Australia, aged between 28 and 45 (at a guess). It was a shock to the system to listen to this. How can anyone have a downer on people with a particular hair colour? What is that about? "My husband said if the baby comes out with ginger hair, you can put it back" Well. Rightio.

I was very tempted to substitute their "ginger hair" with "black skin" and see if anyone had any idea of what I was talking about. But they are not my friends, they are my friends friends and you can't really go tromping around with your big feet can you? Not nice. They were all lovely and friendly women who had made me very welcome. Possibly because I am not a red-head.

Personally I love red hair and can see nothing whatsoever wrong with ginger hair and white freckly skin, but THAT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH IT. Will we EVER get to the point where the colour of your skin, hair, size of you, accent, nationality, disability, sex, creed, age or any other THING is NOT NOTICED. What should be noticed is what you say and how you behave, what matters is who you are. All this other stuff is immaterial, unimportant. It is just the wrapping and it DOESN'T MATTER. Good grief.

And it makes me realise how close to the surface of civilisation is intolerance and prejudice. We think we are educated and kind - but if the right (wrong) buttons were pushed for long enough by the right (wrong) people - segregation, aparthied, racial hatred and the Holocaust is but a BLINK away.

I did leave at that point, the conversation had turned to other subjects but then started up again when someone else came into the room and I couldn't carry on listening to it. Obviously not drunk enough. I didn't think I was upset, but actually I was, so much so that I forgot to wish my friend a good day in her new job which starts on Monday, drat it.

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