Escort First Impression ~ by Turner

 I went to volunteer as a clinic escort this morning; it was my first time. Afterwards I joined some of the other, more seasoned escorts for breakfast. I was asked if I ever write, and if I would be willing to set down my impressions. I’ll try to be completely honest with myself. I apologize for any grammatical errors.

 My Four Impressions:
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1)  How nervous I felt. I am not an especially small person. In fact, I could probably stand to lose some weight (or at least redistribute it). I am 5’ 10”-ish, roughly 220-230lbs. I have some hand-to-hand combat experience. I have a side job as a bouncer. Nevertheless, I had a sort-of racing/fluttery feeling in my chest.
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I cannot imagine how a client would feel walking the gauntlet. In the back of my head I kept trying to come up with an approximation. Like probably anyone else, I can come up with several examples of times that I have felt annoyed, embarrassed, terrified, enraged, powerless, tormented, singled out, awkward or heartbroken. I can come up with examples of times that I felt a combination of those emotions.
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I can come up with at least one instance in which I felt all of them, and I know I still don’t have a frame of reference for a fair comparison.
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2)  During the pre-open, pre-client, pre-preaching time, there was an odd setting-up feel. A normalcy. A sort-of ‘Hey, how are you? How’s the family?’ etc., while everyone was getting ready. Not so much cross-group, but definitely within the protester camp.
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It reminded me a little bit of opening the Electronics Boutique store when I worked at the mall. We had things we had to do to open, so did the girls at the Claire’s (or equivalent) across the hall. We didn’t have to do the same things; and we rarely interacted with each other; but by the time the mall opened, we were both ready for business.
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That was what I saw; a straightening the shelves, counting the register activity. The feel changed immediately upon the arrival of clients.
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3)  With some exceptions, salesmanship was lacking. For most of the morning, I was at the curb directly in front of the door to the clinic (prepositional phrase bonus x6).  
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The closest vocal protestor to my position would just say, ‘Please don’t kill your baby,’ in roughly the same tone of voice that an under-performing baseball park vendor would say, ‘Ice cold beer.’
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Conversely, I saw a few people whose favored tactic seemed to consist of laying down an almost unceasing babble of pseudo-religious, pseudo-scientific verbiage; most of which was misleading, mistakenly incorrect, or purposefully incorrect.
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After having previously seen critics speaking against various sciences using bad religious argument, it was almost oddly refreshing, and not a little ironic, to see someone articulating a ‘religious’ point using bad science.
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4) By 8am I was having trouble believing I was in the same country I had been in at 6am and for the last 33 years. It is such an odd demonstration, such a feeling of else, of other. It’s something that happens on TV, not 15 blocks from my house.
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REMINDER: If you are interested in escorting, particularly if you’re willing to hold space on the Saturday before Mother’s Day, don’t forget the training on May 9th at 6:00.  Training is not required, but it’s helpful.

REMINDER: Our annual  fund drive Pledge-A-Picketer is NOW!
The Sunday before Mother’s Day is the biggest protester day of the year.  It also is the date  where we count protesters for donations to support the pro-choice effort and the escorts.  You can pledge a certain amount for each protester showing up that morning. If you prefer, you can also make a straight monetary donation.

Use this form to make your pledge:

2 thoughts on “Escort First Impression ~ by Turner

  1. Nice capture Turner! Especially the pre-client shelve straitening bit. I can’t wait to hear your one year perspective…

  2. Thanks for sharing this, Turner. As you know now, some 6 months later, after a while most of it seems mundane. Almost normal. It really is helpful to hear that fresh perspective.

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