Where did this week go? Wow! How can it be the weekend already?
So Skippy turned 18 this week...I guess that's where it went. I was busy hiding from the fact that one of my children is now old enough to vote.
Which brings to me today's topic: Politics. I have some very strong opinions on the matter, but I have found that the people who ask me about my political beliefs really don't want to hear them so much as want to be sure I agree with their own. And when I don't...and I almost never do...I'm the one belittled and called names. So, I long ago adopted a policy of non communication when it came to politics.
So imagine my surprise, shock, annoyance, when, whilst enjoying a perfectly lovely lunch at Burger King one day this week, I was approached by a middle aged white guy and asked about my political leanings.
|Probably not what they want to be a selling point, but I love BK because the place is |
I told you few people like my political views.
Anyway, I was sitting in a booth, eating lunch and READING A BOOK. I was actively READING A BOOK.
What about that pose would have invited the following conversation:
"Hey, what do you think about the President's speech?"
I looked up, shocked that anyone was just walking up to me and starting in on a conversation. But, being raised Lutheran, I was taught to respect my elders and since I always think of myself as being the youngest person in the room, I acknowledged him. "It's okay."
And then this came: "I used to live in Illinois. Now I live in Madison. I didn't used to know anything about politics. Now I know the difference between a liberal and republican and conservative."
What I said was, "I suppose, living in Madison, you do hear a lot about politics." And I returned to my book.
Unfortunately, that wasn't enough to drive him away. he stood there, watching the TV, standing right next to me like we were doing this together. I could not have shown less interest. He attempted to continue a conversation, but frankly, I get 57 minutes for lunch, and I wasn't about to waste them on some guy who trolls the Burger King looking for women he can stun with his vast knowledge of politics.
As I was going through the rest of my day, I realized that there were responses I should have said that would have driven him away from my table...and possibly spared the next woman he might consider annoying. And therefore, I give you these five responses to his statement listed above.
5) You do not, however, seem to know the difference between someone who wants to chat and someone who wants to be left ALONE.
4) Well, gold star for you Buddy. Was there anything else you needed? Because I already have a special adult I have to monitor at work...I don't need to add anyone else to that list.
3) Hey, I used to live in Michigan, and I didn't know anything about annoying losers. Now I live here and I know the difference between an annoying loser and a guy I want to talk to.
2) Oh good! Because I was just saying the other day how I didn't know the difference and I was so hoping that a pasty middle aged white guy would interrupt my lunch one day and tell me.
1) What, exactly, is it about me that invited you to walk up and start talking to me? Was it the book I'm reading? Was it the food I'm eating? The fact that I'm doing both at the same time while looking at my watch, which would indicate that I have very little time to be here, to do these two things? Maybe you find me attractive? Perhaps the short haircut, the extra weight, and the man's wedding band on my finger confused you. No, I don't want to be your very first lesbian friend, mostly because I am not interested in making friends with men who think discussing politics of any kind with a strange woman in a Burger King is a good way to meet people, but also because, well, I'm not a lesbian. So sorry, you don't get to up your cool factor by impressing me in any way. Which, by the way would be impossible if your opening line is that you know the difference between a liberal and a conservative. Good job Pinky and the Brain...my kids have known the difference between those two groups since they were about 8 years old. Of course, they also know that you don't bother someone who is reading a book and eating, alone, in a public place. Of course, I taught them that. I'm there mother, you see. Did your mother not teach you that? Did you not have a mother? Were you raised by wolves, and that's why you're so completely socially inappropriate? No? You had a mother? So then, what, exactly, is your excuse?
So my friends, there you have it. Five things I should have said, but didn't. My advice is that we all make lists of clever responses for various situations that arise in our social lives. We never have them ready when we need them, but we think of them later. So learn from me...be prepared! Make a list that you can shut down annoying, stupid, or bothersome questioners with a quick slash of wit.