Sunday, October 11, 2009

Conservatives and Liberals in the Grocery Store

I'm not sure if it is such a good thing that folks are starting to recognize me. At first, it was rather flattering and now...Well, now it is a bit uncomfortable. Just like earlier today...

We were at out local grocery store. A woman came up to me and ask if I was Emma. I nodded and continued shopping. She followed me.

"You're the one who wrote that article about the Nobel Peace Prize," she said angrily.

"I actually wrote two of them." I examined some apples, hoping she would walk away.

My daughter, who is four, was fascinated. "Momma writes all sorts of things," she explained from her seat in the shopping cart.

"You just came from church, didn't you?" The woman practically snarled.

"We learned about Jesus at church like we do at home." My daughter was eager to talk.

"Where do you go to school?"

"We home school," my daughter told her.

The apples were forgotten. I could tell by the woman's tone she was not pleased with our family's decisions. I began to push the cart to the check out.

"You are one of those Conservatives, those Republicans. Now you are trying to brainwash your daughter by not letting her get a proper education."

I so wanted to tell her there was not enough soap on the planet to wash my daughter's brain. Like me, she is a free thinker that makes her own decisions. We do a little guiding here and there. We do control some of her actions, but her thinking processes are all her own.

"You don't like the president because he's black," she shouted at me.

"We don't like him because he says it's okay to kill babies," my daughter announced over my shoulder to the woman behind us.

"You are brainwashing her," she shouted.

I had been nice so far, but shouting in a public place is taking it too far. I turned to face her, after instructing my friendly daughter to be quiet.

"You are indoctrinating her and spewing that Conservative junk." Junk is my word. You see, I have a relatively nice vocabulary and do not have to use the words she does. "Do you think anyone listens to you and your garbage?"

"According to the last election, not as many that listens to the liberal garbage," I answered her. "You read my article so I guess I do have an audience."

I left the shopping cart and all the items in it at the check out, apologizing to the check out lady as we left. Thankfully, she didn't follow us out to our car.

"Momma, why was that lady so mad?" My daughter asked as I quickly buckled her up in her car seat.

"She didn't like what I wrote," I answered, fumbling with a strap and looking out the car window for the "mad lady."

"Do you spell words wrong?"

"I don't think so." I smiled. That was my daughter concern.

"Do you tell a lie?"

"No, I just wrote about what I thought."

"Then it is okay. You can do that." My daughter was explaining freedom of the press to me. "She doesn't have to like it. She doesn't even have to read it. She should write her own thoughts."

Bingo! She should write her thoughts! Why doesn't she do that? Yelling at me in the grocery store isn't going to change anything. She should express herself in a more polite and thoughtful manner.

That is what I am going to do. I have enough thoughts on this one encounter to write for quite a while. All I have to do is figure out where to start. Oh, the possibilities...