“The PTA at my daughter’s school is basically stereotypical, almost sitcom-like.
There were 4 or 5 of us that would show up and just, kind of, sit in the back and listen. Everyone else was busy talking about nothing that really mattered. One of the other fathers was Sikh. He wore a Turban. He was a really nice dude to talk to and very down to earth. We’d find each other during the meetings so we could sit and talk about stuff. We both worked in the tech field, so we’d sit and talk about tech, upcoming tech, and just generally banter with each other.
One day, one of the moms, who was super-chipper and over-the-top enthusiastic, walked up to my friend. I would describe her as a middle-aged former cheerleader with a haircut that screamed I’d like to speak to your manager! who would probably complain if you did not accept her out-of-date coupon.
‘Just so you know,’ she said to him, ‘we’re accepting of all races and religions, even Muslims.’
I started to cringe.
He said, ‘I am Sikh.’
‘Well, I am really sorry to hear that,’ she replied. ‘I hope you feel better.’ Then, she bee-bopped back to the front of the meeting.
I was full on cringe at this point, like I was worried I was going to stay that way forever. He slowly turned and looked at me, like I had some explanation for it. I just apologized and he said, ‘It’s not your fault.’
I eventually stopped going to PTA meetings. After I stopped going, my daughter had told me that my Sikh friend’s daughter asked about me. It turned out that he lived about a block over from me and my daughter and his daughter hung out.
I was driving by his house one day and saw him in the front yard and stopped to talk to him. I asked him how he was doing. He said, ‘I’m feeling a little sick,’ and then shot me a look. He had a killer sense of humor about the whole thing.”