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We had been seated for only a few minutes at the Grille, the restaurant in our gated community. Suddenly I saw my husband’s eyes open, then roll, as he shook his head in disgust. He was looking behind me, and as I turned around, I saw a couple sitting down at a table for two. Standing in front of their table for all to see was a white sign with the large letters “AR IS FOR WAR.” We live in a 55+ community, so the man was no youngster. His hair was grey, as was his wife’s, and he was wearing a distinctive military cap on his head, although I couldn’t read what it said.
We called our waiter over, who is a very nice young man, and said this was not the place for a political statement. He said he couldn’t do anything, but said he would let the manager know. After several minutes, the manager didn’t appear, so my husband lost his patience and went to fetch her. She told him she didn’t realize it was a political sign. Right. Several minutes later she appeared at the table with the sign, chatted, and left. Nothing else was done.
I could see that my husband was working up a head of steam; neither of us could let go of the couple’s insistence on making what we considered to be an offensive political statement. I finally told my husband that I was going over to see what kind of statement they thought they were making. I saw that the man was a Seabee from his hat, and said my husband was a Vietnam War vet. The conversation went somewhat like this: