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We have a lot more in common than you think.

As a matter of fact, I was raised in a barn

GUEST EDITORIAL BY EARLENE

I have remained quiet in numerous social situations throughout the years, but can do so no longer.

Like any other even-toed ungulate, I have difficulty closing doors. It’s not often hard to open them as long as they’re not latched, but I have reached my breaking point with others asking me if I was “raised in a barn” when I fail to close them.

It’s understandable that among humans there is an unwritten social contract that one must close doors behind them if that is how they first encountered the door. I’m not disputing that.

What irks me is the subtext in which my origins are used as the go-to example of uncouth behavior. Where I come from it is not only customary to leave the door open, it’s often necessary. When you take into account the various fencing structures in place to keep us farm animals from wandering, it makes perfect sense.

In fact, as a non-human I challenge you to consider the need for doors themselves. The rest of us have done just fine without them for millions upon millions of years. Your own ancestors got along pretty well, even after they descended from the trees.

I digress, however. The thing I want to get across is that when you run into one of us at a dinner party or après ski chalet, please keep in mind that we have feelings too.

There’s no shame in being raised in a barn. We all have our origins, and mine just happens to be a place with lots of open space, hay, and manure. You might not find it an ideal place to raise young, but that’s not for you to determine for the rest of us. Even if you actually sort of do determine it by being the ones with opposable thumbs and absolute domain over other creatures.

Whatever. Just please think before you ask me if I was raised in a barn when I leave the copier room door ajar. You know the answer.