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the other story.....
my mother is a trip. i love her to death, but she is nuts. not in a need to be committed as soon as possible kind of nuts, but in a sometimes she should be kind of way. briarroseno went out with us last night to the yacht club. now, i had reservations about going to the club once mommy dearest started drinking. it is better to pick a little neighborhood bar, rather than my own backyard. she gets a little obnoxious when she has been drinking. but, to get into the events of last night, i need to tell you about my old neighbor, W.
W lived next to me when i moved to the marina. he had a beautiful houseboat in the slip on my starboard side and owns a 40-something foot, equally beautiful sailboat a few piers down. he didn't talk to me much. i hated that and went out of my way to be friendly. knowing and being friendly to my neighbors, for some reason, has always been important to me. he finally came around and would hold conversations with me over the finger pier, even once asking me if i dated. at christmas time i hung white lights around my boat. after christmas, as many new orleaneans do, i decided to leave them up and turned them on from time to time. one night, as i was coming home, W came out of his boat and asked me, in his heavy german accent if i intended to leave my lights up year round.
"i'm not sure, probably." i told him.
"it lights up my whole house," he says, raising his arms as if to demonstrate a big, bright sun.
not wanting to bother my new, somewhat friendly neighbor, i took down all the lights on my starboard side and rarely turned on the remainders. he sold his boat and moved. one night as i was sitting outside sipping a good pinot noir with briarroseno i turned on the lights. i like the ambience of white lights on the water.
a couple of weeks later i was in the club and W approached me.
" i see you still have the white lights on."
i looked at him. "i do. i like them. why do you care? you are gone. it gives me more light than the regular one."
"it looks like a cheap trailer."
i glared at him. convinced now that i really don't like this man. i shrug my shoulders and walk away. later, i am sitting at the bar with a couple of men who are talking about taking me out on my sailboat to show me the ropes lines. he comes up behind us and asks them if they are going to take me out.
"ya, they are taking this trailer trash out." i tell him, smiling ever so sweetly, but hardly hiding the fact that i do not like him. when he leaves they tell me that is W's way of flirting with me. what charm....ya, that will go far with me.
a couple of weeks later i find a boat light on the finger pier by my boat. i assume it has fallen off the new boat next door to me and for two days i pick it up and put it by their lines. when they leave i finally tire of picking it up all the time throw it away. the other day W catches me in the parking lot.
"did you get the light i left for you?"
ahhhhh......that is what that was.
"light?" i innocently ask.
he explains that he left a new light for me because it was a bright one and if i used it i wouldn't need the white lights. what the hell is it with him and his deep aversion to white lights??? sheeeeesh. i found it, i tell him, explaining that i thought it belonged to my neighbor. i tell him i threw it away. he rolls his eyes and drives away.
i've told this story to my mother....the german who hates my white lights. he is in the club last night and my mother is revved up to fuck with him. she invites him to come sit with us. she tells him that, because he is german, he doesn't understand white lights and proceeds to tell him some tale about white lights warding off evil spirits in irish folklore. i interrupt for just a moment.
"yes, it works," i say. "You left."
oh, not nice, maia.......
he just smiles.
within half an hour my mother, with the most finely tuned skills of manipulation known to women (next to my sister) has this man wrapped around her pinkie. i'm feeling a wee bit uncomfy. i don't like manipulation, in any form.
i, on the other hand, still do not care for him, but, for the most part, i've curbed my finely tuned skills of sarcasm. i'm dying here.....turning my bright red face away and hiding laughter to the point of tears more than once.
my mother is more domme than she will ever admit. she has him ordering and buying drinks and has taken complete control of his evening. he invites us to his sailboat for a drink. i only go because i want to see the inside of his boat. he has shown me pictures before, but i haven't been on board. some women are suckers for flowers and chocolate. me, i am a sucker for a boat. but....i still don't like him.
he puts his arm around my mother and helps her on board.
she is bossy and controls the conversation. when he turns the tv on she tells him to turn it off and play some music.
as we are having drinks and they are talking, i am watching W. i see something i've not seen before. i see the vulnerability of a little boy. there is something soft and child-like about him that strikes my sensitive side. i think i have read him wrong and i am feeling guilty. guilty because my mother is toying with him. i want to go home.
as we leave my mother tells him to keep an eye out for me and take care of his daughter. i roll my eyes and tell her i live in a marina not in another third world country and i am fine. he promises to watch out for me.
i will look at W differently now. i will be more compassionate.
but i won't take down my white lights.

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don't fear death
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wandering does not make you a "gypsy."
why would you call yourself
after those who have no home?
long skirts and hoop earrings
do not make you a "gypsy."
why do you call yourself after
those who have no clothes?

"gypsy" is pejorative. please don't perpetuate the stereotype. educate yourself on what it really means to be a "gypsy" in this world.

Who are the Roma?

Decade of Roma Inclusion

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European Roma Rights Centre

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