Social Experiment: Beto T-Shirt
October 6, 2018
I remember doing social experiments when I took sociology in college. For one in particular, we were asked to stand very close to someone in an elevator. This was probably harder for me than the other person since I’ve always had a pretty big personal space but it turned out they were a professor and they just grinned at me and said, “Taking Sociology 101?”
At any rate, I didn’t intend for my Beto T-shirt to become a social experiment. I just saw a photo of a girl wearing a Beto shirt in front of the Lincoln Memorial and thought it was cool that people from all over were supporting him. So I picked up a t-shirt from the local Beto campaign office and wore it while in DC. A LOT. It was much hotter in DC than I expected so I ended up wearing it almost every day (I washed it, I promise!)
I wrote down the reactions of people passing me while I wore it. I kept forgetting I had it on and my initial response was, “Why is this person talking to me?” Though I often talk to strangers, it’s not usually while I’m walking through an airport. 🙂
Anyway, here is the tally:
22 people were supportive. They said, “Go Beto!” or “Yes!” or gave me thumbs up or the hook-em-horns sign. One person patted me. One person hugged me. Most of these were in airports.
1 person was probably not a Beto supporter: A red-faced guy in a suit and tie mumbled, “Fuck you,” as we passed between Union Station and the Postal Museum. That he didn’t say it to my face is not surprising. Maybe he was cursing the person behind me? Probably not. I do wish he had tried to push me or otherwise hurt me because I have a lot of anger bubbling up over this whole thing that I think I might have been able to put to pretty good use.
2 people may or may not have been supportive. One guy on the street in DC said what we think was, “You make a cute couple.” We don’t know if he meant Amylee and I or Beto and I. At any rate, he seemed nice.
And one well-groomed lady at DFW said, “You know, he just started using Beto in the last few years. My family has known him as Robert his whole life.”
I was putting on my shoes and since I don’t multi-task very well, all I could think of to say was, “Really? I thought he had a photo of himself when he was like four wearing a t-shirt that said ‘Beto.'”
She wavered and mumbled and said, “Oh, that was a joke from his parents.”
I said, “Okay,” and went back to tying my shoes. Haha, I’m not a great political debater or a very nice person in general.
But I wore a t-shirt that announced my defection from the Republican Party. I think that’s enough for today.
P.S. I have also written a very long thing entitled “I am officially a bleeding-heart liberal” that is pretty raw but that I may post in the next few days. Might break it into parts. Fair warning: it’s revealing. I’m worried people will think that I am just seeking attention and maybe I am but not for myself–for this whole situation. To help people consider, “What if it were your friend, your sister, your daughter, your mother, your wife that went through this? Would you be so dismissive?”