I know that I just posted a story of kindness yesterday, but I just experienced another incident today (about an hour ago) that I felt the need to share.
My partner and I (we are both gay men) moved in to our townhouse about a year ago. In that time, we have become friendly (though, not truly friends) with a lovely neighbor I will call "Jill." Now, Jill has lived here for about 5 years, and has a daughter, son-in-law, and young grandchildren that visit her regularly. Also accompanying son-in-law on occasion is a friend of his, who I will call "Dave."
Our first indication that Jill knew that my partner and I were romantically together came about five months ago (but, was confirmed today) when her youngest grandson, a precocious five year-old, asked me and my partner if we were brothers. I smiled, said no, and left it at that. But, he persisted to know why we were living together. Jill gave us a knowing smile, bent down and said "honey, these nice young men are best friends." At five years-old, that was enough of an explanation for him, and off he trotted happily.
Fast forward to today....
About an hour ago, I went out to get my mail. Jill, son-in-law, and friend Dave were outside, with Dave yelling at son-in-law and Jill trying to calm them both down. What the argument was about, I have no idea. But, I did hear several insults thrown at son-in-law by Dave that included some very obvious insults in which Dave was questioning son-in-law's sexuality (including a term that rhymes with "rag" thrown in many times).
Jill saw me come out, waved hello, and I waved back. Apparently, and for reasons I will never understand, that set Dave off. He began taking those colorful euphemisms and throwing them at me instead of son-in-law. In his mind, waving at Jill made me, among other things, a "dirty, diseased, f**." I was shocked, and froze for a moment before regaining my composure, turning my back to the fight, and heading to my mailbox. My only guess is that Dave, having been to Jill's home before and seen me and my partner around the area, had concluded that we were gay and this was unacceptable to him.
I was contemplating whether or not to say anything, but needn't have even thought about it. As soon as my back was turned, I heard Jill very quickly, and forcefully, lay in to Dave about what he had said to me. Included in her tongue-lashing were phrases such as "how dare you insult someone you have never even met," "if your mother was alive and could see you behave this way," and "you may not be my son, but I'm not above paddling a fully-grown man." The topper of her diatribe was Jill demanding that Dave apologize to me, right then, right there. When he refused, Jill got the "cold, icy, tone that only a practiced mother can get" in her voice and told Dave he was to leave immediately, and he was no longer welcome at her home.
This short exchange was happening as I went back inside my own home, shaking a bit. Having insults like that yelled at you from a relative stranger, especially insults geared toward what makes one a rather unwelcome minority in my small town, was enough to send me in to a near panic attack.
About five minutes later, as I was composing myself on the couch, there was a knock on the door. Jill stood on my porch, profusely apologizing for Dave's actions. She said how embarrassed, humiliated, and angry she was over his outburst toward me (though, toward her son-in-law, apparently it was okay....not sure why, as I don't have the full story there). She said she would never stand by and allow me and my partner to be insulted like that, and felt it was the most disgusting thing she has ever seen Dave do.
I thanked her for her concern, and she went about her way.
It was a rather scary few minutes, but I am relieved to know that Jill stands up for her neighbors. I am sure that this could be posted in many places in EHell, owing to the behavior of Dave, but I chose to post it here because it is Jill's no-nonsense attitude about standing up for her neighbors, something rare anymore, that struck me the most. I would prefer to remember the story for the positive, and not the negative.
Anyway, that is my story. I hope others find it interesting.