I can't shake a statement that was causally made yesterday to me via Twitter.
I posted a picture of this park that is down the block from the shelter I'm staying in, with a comment that simply stated something along the lines of it being relaxing.
Now the response I got from someone rattled me, although I know it was well intended, so please don't think I'm upset at this person, but it seemed.... well..... I don't know what it seemed lol
This is the response I got:
"parks are relaxing just don't get trespassed for having a beer or talking to woman you can lose the privilege easy"
Ok, again, I know this person meant well, but I can't help but feel this stereotyping is what makes homelessness an issue that don't get enough attention.
First off..... Why in the world would you expect I'm having a beer? In the park....during the day...
Seriously? Listen I enjoy a good beer as much as the next guy, especially a nice ale, but I haven't "swilled" beer out of a bag in a park since I'm a teenager.
Does homelessness automatically make me have bad taste?
Don't get caught speaking to women? Wow, this one blows my mind. I'll let you in on a secret, I'm a charming man, and I've always known how to communicate with women in a non offensive manner.
I had coffee with my ex yesterday morning, who is a BEAUTIFUL woman. Do you think people were staring wondering what she was doing in starbucks with that homeless man? If anything we always got the occasional looks because I'm a"little" older than her, and she really should be out of my league on my best day, but other than that, no freaked out looks.....
And I'll tell you why....
Brace yourself, this may come as a shock...
I look and act, like anyone else, or probably better!
I'm well dressed, I shower daily, I'm freshly shaved, I'm polite, and I know how to act in public!
Sorry to break it to you, but I'm not in the park drunk and cat calling to any woman passing by!
I'm a normal man, sitting on a bench for moment, having a smoke, and resting my feet before I go to my next apointment.
Homeless means exactly that, I don't have a home, and that is the ONLY thing you should assume you know about me.