Eavesdropper

We  just visited my husband’s grandma for her 80th birthday party.  It went really well.  We got to catch up with a lot of people we don’t get to see often. 

10 years ago I wouldn’t have known how to act around some unwed parents, but now their wedded state seemed irrelevant.  More important was that these people were healthy, in healthy relationships, and able to care for themselves and their children.  Isn’t that the end goal of a marriage anyways?

I found that these people were so much easier to be around than the other relatives who are very religious.  Perhaps I’m feeling like an outsider and just gravitated to the other ‘outsiders’.  At one point, I noticed that I hadn’t spent much time with the church-going relatives so I joined their side of the room.  (Yes, there was a divide down the middle of the room.  Unintentional, I’m sure.)

Behind me, I overheard a conversation between the uncle who is a pastor and the sibling who went to bible school.  They were talking about homosexuality. 

One of them goes into schools and presents Creationism as a valid alternative  to evolutionary theory.  He had complained bitterly to me about people not going to church and young people leaving the faith.   I’m not sure if family gossip has informed him of our non-churchgoing state or if it was a general complaint.  

I didn’t want to hear any more of their views on homosexuality.

The woman beside them got up and left.  I started shaking really badly and turned to the cousins beside me.  They noticed my distress and we talked about cars very loudly to drown out the voices behind us.

Now, I think back and wonder if I should have said anything.  I always spoke up when a cousin of mine would start bashing immigrants or Muslims.  It never ended well.

I don’t think an 80th birthday party is the place to feed conflict.  But would it have been better if I’d said something like, “I happen to care very much about some of ‘those people’.  I would appreciate if you wouldn’t talk about them that way.”

Maybe leaving was the only thing to do.

8 thoughts on “Eavesdropper

  1. dsholland says:

    Would they have been able to hear you?
    How could you get them to?
    Do you really want to?

    BTW – That job I mentioned came through. Take care of yourself, and try to find your peace with it. Your anger doesn’t hurt them, and when you can let it go it won’t hurt you either.

    Life is short, be well.

    David

    • prairienymph says:

      Congratulations! I hope you enjoy your new job.

      Yes, I really want them to see people as people. As to the best way, I’m not sure. It isn’t my job to change other people’s minds, but I don’t want to be the person standing by watching other people get bullied. I’ve done that too much. I’d rather prevent the bullying.

  2. It’s hard sometimes to know where and when to pick your battles. Sometimes the best thing you can do is walk away from the offenders.

  3. Lorena says:

    I think you’re putting too much pressure on yourself. You did what you could in the heat of the moment. If I could live life all over again, I would just relax and would never again tell myself, or anyone else for that matter, that I “should” have done/said something.

    Did I mention what I did in a similar situation? I raised my hand and said, “I have an announcement to make. I do support gay marriage.”

    After that, they said whatever and I ignored them. I don’t think it is my job to change people, but if I feel like it, I freely express my own opinion.

  4. prairienymph says:

    You’re my heroine!
    That is good advice, CD and Lorena. I need to get over my ‘save the world’ complex.

  5. ... Zoe ~ says:

    Put on your oxygen mask and save yourself first. She may be back in a year or two and need you, if it all crumbles at her feet.

  6. ... Zoe ~ says:

    I put that last comment in the wrong place. I meant it for your “Congratulations” post. But then again, guess it fits here too with your “I need to get over my ‘save the world’ complex.” comment.

  7. Why can’t people just leave them alone and let them be who they are? North American governments ability to deal with real people who have real problems is being deliberately destroyed by the big furor over homosexuality and abortion. It is a red herring but working very well to elect nutbars to governments.
    I very much like Lorena’s comment about how she handled conversations like that.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s