I didn’t know that was an insult.
Because I didn’t know, I messed up not only the conversation, but any chance of having my opinion taken seriously.
Mural Arts is supposed to have neighborhood meetings where people have discussions and agree about murals that will be painted on local walls. In my neighborhood, a flyer went out. We’re going to have a flag. A clip art flag. Nothing else. Nothing to say anything about the neighborhood or the veterans who have served and died from our neighborhood.
The park is named for Private Ward who died in Vietnam. Nothing about him or his life. Just a flag. I tried to explain that a mural can be so much more.
One of the WWII veterans who actually sits at the park sometimes, interrupted me. “Hey, lady. I wanna flag!” Frank knows my name. When Frank ran a store, we ran a trash can across the street to collect trash from his customers. I tried to explain that the park already has several large flags. A mural can tell a story. Nobody cared.
Afterwards, Paul explained to me that I had addressed the wrong part of Frank’s comment. The proper answer was, “I don’t deserve that insult. You don’t “hey lady” me. I’ve been here 21 years and I pick up your trash every morning.”
The flag was so badly painted, that I called Mural Arts. I emailed them a photo. They said I was the only one complaining. But they did assign a different artist to finish the painting, and at least the colors no longer run down the wall. Later, the woman I spoke with admitted they didn’t follow procedure. But they don’t have the money to do it over. So, in 5 or 10 years when this mural needs to be repainted, she’ll try to have a neighborhood meeting.
I’m no lady. She’ll have that meeting.