I was at the playground last week with Klara and another mom and her two kids. We were approached by two young women who complimented my hair, Klara’s hair, and the other mom’s hair. Then it turned out they were evangelical missionaries on a lookout for converts.
My friend got so freaked out that she bundled the two screaming kids into the stroller and scarpered faster than I ever thought she was capable. I wondered why she did it because the young women were super nice and not pushy at all. I dread pushy people but these kids were not threatening even to a paranoiac like me.
Now I’m thinking that the other mom probably knew about this phenomenon and feared they must have thought we were a gay couple out with our kids at the playground. I have no problem with people thinking I’m gay but my friend is from another culture, and might feel less comfortable with it.
The funny thing, though, is that I’ve been in this area so long that the moment the missionaries revealed who they were, I immediately told them where their Church was and named two people from their congregation who are my good friends. It makes me feel good to be so familiar with the surroundings. It also makes me feel edgy to be mistaken for a gay mom of an interracial family.
Of course, when I was young something like this would have totally spooked me. Not because of the gay part but because of the religious part. I grew up around no religious people at all, and meeting one was like encountering a rhinoceros.