Across-the-board respect for authority?

Not anymore.

Not after two unnecessary cesareans back in the 80s, and a live break-in and no cops on the scene until 30 minutes later.

Those incidents—and dozens more like them—including the one below, changed my philosophy.

As I was editing my last Facebook post, the broiler set off the smoke detector in the hallway of the building where I was staying. The detector inside the apartment didn’t sound, just the one in the corridor, for about 20 seconds.

Before I knew it, the building manager was knocking at the door to see if everything was okay. It was. He came back a few minutes later to say that a fireman wanted to come up and check things out anyways. It was total overkill, but whatever.

Or, it was “whatever” until this happened.

Having just been told by the manager there wasn’t a problem, some twenty-something male walked into the apartment without knocking. I asked him to wait a sec so I could get my mask on, but instead of waiting, the firefighter pulled his mask beneath his nose and brushed past my shoulder asking where the kitchen was. There, he boy-splained about the proper way to use an oven, lecturing me for 10 minutes about the obvious.

When he was done jerking off, he headed back towards the front door. But first, he stared at my shirt—I’m guessing to read what it said—because there was no other reason to be looking at my chest, not when my babies have fallen to belt-level. Next, he commented on a painting in the living room before snooping at the mail laying on the couch.

All this time, Funk was standing right there, yet the kid never once directed his disrespectful tongue at him. Because my husband couldn’t have been the one cooking, right?

This is the type of behavior the universe is trying to take out.

Sexism exists.

And to think, women are not the most oppressed class in America. Black people, be they female or male, live this abuse of power—and much, MUCH worse—on a moment-to-moment basis, and yet many of us are perplexed over the riots that’ve been happening.

Here’s to you if you’re hanging tight, waiting for the universe to clean this up. If you’re trying to do good in the world. If you’re trying to understand. Despite Covid. Despite the politics. Despite the uncomfortable ugliness that’s taking place in our country.

The photo: Yup, the dude was staring at the Grateful Dead. No wonder he was raptured.

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