Tuesday, October 07, 2008

I don't know if I should scream or cry.

My husband came home tonight in an eye glaring mood. I thought he was mad at me because I pretty much guilted him to coming home at a normal time instead of him going to a music store to sell CDs and buy CDs before coming home. Every minute is precious when you hardly see your kid during the week, yes? Thanks, I knew you'd agree.

How did I guilt him? By humor. I said he needed to come home in case what happened last night happened again and who would help the boy? So he said okay, he was coming home.

So when he walked in glaring at me, and then asked me what my problem was, and I was like, what's your problem, and really, I was just waiting for him to say he was annoyed with me for guilting him, and I had my ammunition at the ready (in fact, he was sitting in my lap), and he said, "I GOT A TICKET AT THE BART STATION!" and I was like, wooooah, huh?

He told me he got a ticket for blah blah blah, and I turned that into a parking ticket because if you park at the station, you have to pay a buck, and I thought he was saying he got a ticket for not paying even though I knew he would because it's ingrained in both of us now.

"Do you have your receipt?" I asked.

"WHAT RECEIPT????" he spewed at me.

Then it clicked what he said. He got a ticket because he went through the ticket gates and the gates buzzed and a cop happened to be lounging around and saw him go through. But see, my husband really isn't the kind to do such things. So I was really lost and confused and annoyed and frustrated because this is the second flipping ticket in a year and what the hey - is this going to keep happening because if so, I'm moving to the side of the freeway and living in a cardboard castle (I've seen them! But not necessarily on the side of the freeway).

After a game of twenty questions, it turns out the cop and his cop pal decided to pinpoint him, assuming because of what he looks like (a very upstanding, handsome, fantastically yet casually dressed young professional who just happens to have brown skin) he would do such a thing, wouldn't listen to my husband when he told the cop that he didn't bust through the gates and to just have the station agent check his ticket to verify that he paid and that the gate was screwed up, but then, and see, this is where it went all bad, he started swearing at them or in their direction or at those inanimate objects he is so fond of swearing at, which cops really don't like regardless of why the swearing is occurring, and so even though the ticket was finally checked, and everyone realized my husband didn't try to bust through the gates and not pay his $5.25 fee, they still gave him a ticket.

And yes, it really did take a while to get it out of him that they still gave him the ticket because of his swearing.

I don't know what it's like to be targeted in the way he has been throughout his life. I know what it's like to be a female who looks young and so people assume certain things about me, but I'll never know what it's like to walk in his shoes. And for that reason, it makes me incredibly sad to feel like the cop pinpointed him for whatever reason; discrimination, stupidity, a mistake - I don't know because I wasn't there.

But when my husband told me the cops were asking him how many times he's been stopped before by other cops (insinuating he's one of them busting through BART ticket gate thugs, and if you ever see my husband, you'd think "Thug? Um, no."), then I had a slight feeling that it wasn't just a silly misunderstanding. I'm also fairly certain that if it happened to me, they would have taken my ticket, walked to the station agent, had my ticket checked and let me go. They might not have been nice about it or friendly, but I'm sure the situation would have never escalated as it did with him.

So now we're in our own thoughts tonight. I'm really annoyed that the whole thing happened, I would like him to contest the ticket, I would like to know how much it will cost, and I would like that it had not happened at all. I have no idea what my husband is thinking since he doesn't often like to share his deepest thoughts with me, especially when he feels as if he's disappointed me or himself.

Damn you BART police. Don't take away money from our Christmas.

(For those of you who think the BART police are just security guards, they really are police and have all the same powers as any other police officer; they just happen to work for BART. So if anyone has ever sworn in the general direction at a cop and then received a ticket, let me know how much it cost so I can add it into my budget.)

(And yes, I am thankful they didn't decide to arrest him because the last thing I wanted to do was show up with my child in his vintage car pjs and me looking quite the mess to bail my husband out of jail.)


Momo Fali said...

Tell your husband that these are times when I'm ashamed to have light skin. There is nothing I hate more than ignorance, and it seems he ran into a couple of truly, ignorant morons.

Anonymous said...

Sorry he went through this. I'm sure he was frustrated. Hope someone has the sense enough to drop the ticket charges.

BTW, I hope you don't mind--I added you to my links on my page.

Kmommy said...

Ugh!! How awful. My husband is Native American, both of our little ones look pretty white, and our 11-year old adopted daughter (who is our niece) is African-American (although she has very light skin). We live in northern Wisconsin just a mile off the reservation. When we all go to Wal-Mart together we get stared at by everyone. White people because some of us are too dark, native people because some of us are too white or too black... The strange thing to me is that you would think minorities would have some kind of knowing/bond with other minorities, but its just not the case.
Anyway, somehow, such racist behavior never ceases to amaze me.