turtle aquariums with a side of gay pride (or, how I tried to outrun a bus on my first bike ride)

>> 6.29.2009

It's been a day. Or two.

Here's how it started: On Sunday, Husband and I decided that we finally needed to commit to these turtles (his dad bought us two turtles in Chinatown when they came. We did not realize the amount of work they were going to be when he did so. It was a nice thought), so I looked up Petsmart and we figured out that all we needed to do was take a bus straight down and it would drop us off right in front of it. Then we could take that bus back and not have to worry about carrying a giant aquarium back by ourselves.

However, we forgot one small issue.

It happened to be Gay Pride here in Chi-town this week, and our bus was driving right on the soon-to-be parade route.
Thus, we had to get off the bus and wade our way through a million people to try and find a pet store so that we could buy our turtle tank.
Also, these million people were very drunk, very almost naked, and very into getting a rise out of people that (clearly) had no idea what they were doing there (this would be Husband and I).

Now, let me stop for a moment and tell you this: I love gay people, straight people, bi-people, and transgendered people. I might not agree with what they're doing, but I don't agree with people that cheat on their spouses either. Point being this: I would rather show someone I don't know that I love them, then judge them and close them off to Christ forever.

However, I'm not exactly at ease in a crowd full of people that are intent on getting wasted and seeing how far across the "inappropriate" line they can cross without getting in trouble.
Especially not when I see four and five-year-olds standing there with their parents watching all of this.
Plus, being in crowds like that makes me nervous after awhile.

All of this to say, that halfway through our trek into gay-pride, I was starting to get really nervous and crabby. I got to my breaking point when I saw a float full of people doing extremely inappropriate things driving by and the crowd cheering them on. I really thought I was going to completey freak out.

And then.

And then, the night ministry bus came driving down the parade route after them and I remembered that this is exactly where Christ would be. Where we should be.
In the middle of all of this, telling people that we love them no matter what they do, or who they are, or where they come from.
All of a sudden, I couldn't help but love these people and see them for who they were: a group of people that just wanted to fit in somewhere.
They just wanted someone to tell them, "It's alright. I see your struggles and your pain, and I love you anyway."
Isn't that what everyone wants, gay or not?

It's what I want.

It's what Christ gives me.
Somewhere to belong, somewhere to just sit and be me in my messy, failed, broken-down state of being.

And who am I to withhold that from someone?

*sidenote: we got a 20 gallon aquarium, and because we are completely obsessed with our cat, we bought her a little kitty climber thing.
We then had to carry these stupid, heavy items for about two hours because the buses were not running, and all taxis were full.
I think that this was the most idiotic attempt we have ever made at trying to be normal in spite of not having a car.

And the cat hates her climber.
Of course.

This morning, I decided on a whim to bike the five miles into work even though I have not ridden a bike in years, and I'm not sure I've ever biked five miles (especially next to cars).

I think that it was the terror-induced adrenaline that got me here, because I am now tired.
And I have to do it again to get home.

I made the mistake of trying to outrun a bus at one point, so I could have more room on that narrow road.
Then I almost hit a pothole and fell over while my purse was slapping me in the chest and my pizza pockets were getting stuck in my wheels.

I think that there are indents in the handles now, where my fingers were locked in. In fact, I kind of had to pry them off, one by one when I got to work.

But, by darn, I got my exercise in for the day.
Maybe I'll take the train home.

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