I hate confrontation. Seriously. There are few things in the world which I dislike more than I dislike confrontation.
That being said, it is perhaps also true that I have been known to do things that might possibly be perceived as mildly...provocative...but really with only the hope that somebody might find it amusing rather than offensive. But sometimes folks just find it - or me - plainly offensive.
I've had a rather difficult time this year deciding whom to support in the presidential race. I shall refer to my two choices as the Rock Star and the Queen Bee, because I don't want anyone who might have a Google Alert set up for either of them to flood my comments box with invective, as I have read that some of the Rock Star's fans tend to do. I don't normally find myself in a quandary, because I generally find only one person who has the qualities I can support - but since Elizabeth's husband has dropped out, and the former vice-president doesn't seem to want to run, I had to find someone else.
So I voted Monday for the Queen Bee in the Texas primary. And then, I put an "H-2008" sticker on the back window of my car.
Now, last election, I had a "J squared" sticker (get it? Kerry-Edwards? John and John? Heh.) on my car, and I got flipped off a few times, mostly by soccer moms with North Lamar stickers on their SUVs, but that's pretty much par for the course here in town. That's kind of a non-confrontational confrontation, and I was okay with that.
Today, however, I went to Walmart and parked in kind of the far corner of the lot, as I usually do (so I can get more steps in for the day), and as I got out of the car, there was a big ol' dually pickup that came up my lane. I noticed that it kind of slowed down as it passed my car. I kept walking toward the store when I heard this voice yelling "Lady! Hey lady!" I looked back, and the driver of the truck was yelling at me. I stopped, thinking maybe he'd noticed a problem with one of my tires or something, when he pulled up beside me and said, "what does that H2008 thing mean on that car? You ain't gon' vote fer that b**ch, are ya?"
Understand, now, in my mind I'm going HelpMeJesusHelpMeJesusHelpMeJesus, and I just kind of smile and keep on walking, but he keeps on talking: "HEY! You ain't gon' vote fer her, are ya? Cause that's just plain g*d-d**mned un-American."
And, frankly, that just kind of p*ssed me off. Because, on the short list of things I hate MORE than confrontation? Questioning my patriotism because I'm not a right-wing zealot is right there in the number one spot.
Personal aside: for Randy, my kids, and my friends, who are reading this and thinking I have gone completely nuts, it was 2:00 on a bright, sunny afternoon. I was pretty close to the store by this time, I could see other people around, and my cell phone was open, ready to dial for help if I needed to. AND I'm still going HelpMeJesusHelpMeJesusHelpMeJesus. No worries.
So I stopped, looked at him, and said: "no, sir, I'm not PLANNING to vote for her. I actually already have."
And he responded with a short string of profanities, followed by this sort of sneering question: "I bet you don't even believe in Jesus, do ya?"
And I kind of snickered, because me and Jesus, we'd been talking - a LOT - in those past few minutes.
"Why, yes, sir, I DO believe in Jesus," I replied. "Do you?"
Then I realized that that might have gotten me in trouble, so I started walking again. He sort of spewed more profanities, then sputtered, "h*ll yeah, I believe in Jesus." Those six words? Made Jesus so proud.
Out of the corner of my eye, I could see a kid out collecting carts, who was kind of looking towards us, like he might think I was in trouble, so - hoping that I could just end this - I said: "well then, the good thing for both of us is that when we get to heaven, Jesus isn't gonna ask us who we voted for, is He? He's just gonna say, 'come on in, I've been expecting you!'" And I turned and grabbed a stray cart (because I needed something to help support my by-then rubbery legs) and walked on toward the store. The guy floored his engine, went on to the end of the row and turned to head out to Lamar Avenue.
As I walked past the cart kid, he said, "everything all right today, ma'am?"
I took a deep breath and smiled. "Yes," I said, "I believe that it is."