Perhaps I was in a bad mood last night.

I don’t think I was conscious of it, if so. #1 son cleaned the kitchen yesterday morning, and when my husband came home I was in the kitchen cooking, which is where he likes me to be, so he was happy. It’s true that yesterday was a long and action-packed day centering on biohazardous waste and how tormented Einsten was (just words, no real waste or torment), and that I was tired, but still…

Anway, I threw a little fit in bells. We’re getting ready for the handbell clinic this weekend, and Bigsax said something about our bell choir. His remarks ended with “We can do well on all the level 2 stuff.”

“That’s the trouble,” I burst out. “We do well on level 2 stuff, but we always play level 5 stuff. Couldn’t we play some level 2 stuff sometimes?”

I suggested that we could lure new people in that way, announcing that we were going to do an easy piece.

“Then they’d just leave when we got back to our regular stuff,” objected one of the Suwandas.

“Oh no,” said I. “Once they’re here, they can’t escape. I’ve been trying to get out for years.”

I tried to make up for that by being unusually cheerful and cooperative through the rest of bells, and made a donation to the choir robe fund, and got through much of choir practice without joining in the usual bickering and whining and carrying on, but then we got to the anthem for this week.

“Soon I Will Be Done” is the piece. Here are the lyrics as printed in our music:

Soon ah will be don’
A-wid de troubles ob de worl’,
Troubles ob de worl’,
De troubles ob de worl’.
Soon ah will be don’
A-wid de troubles ob de worl’,
Goin’ home t’live wid God.

I like this song. I enjoy singing songs from the African-American musical heritage which are so popular in our churches.

I’m white. I’m not going to put on a stereotypical “dialect” when I sing this excellent music.

This has never been an issue before, but last night Bigsax got onto me for it. “It’s not ‘with.’ It’s ‘wid.'” He stopped the rehearsal to tell me this.

“That’s offensive, Bigsax,” I said.

There was a shocked silence. Many of the people in the choir are of a generation that was brought up to be very casual about racism, and they really don’t see what’s wrong with it.

My students are of a generation that was brought up to be very casual about public obscenities. I don’t correct them or get shocked at their speech, but I also don’t join in.

Well, there it is.

#2 daughter has called me on the phone, so I might as well give up on this entry…