Wednesday, April 20, 2011

You Don't Have to Listen to Me

I would like to start this post off with:


A Short Play by Rachel

"The Impala"

Scene: RACHEL has been working as a temp in the staff office of a hospital for several months now. Her coworker, HAIRCUT (so named because her bowl haircut is the only distinguishing feature RACHEL can recall about the woman), stops typing and begins a discussion.

HAIRCUT:   I've been looking at new cars, you know.

RACHEL:     (turning to HAIRCUT, interested) Wow, really? Cool! Are we talking new new or new-to-you new?

HAIRCUT:   New new. I'm thinking of getting one of those new Chevy Impalas.

RACHEL:     Really? What color?

HAIRCUT:   A brown one.

RACHEL:     Is the Impala the one with the round tail lights?

HAIRCUT:   Yep!

RACHEL:    (slightly disappointed in the realization that she was picturing another car) Oh.

HAIRCUT:   What?

RACHEL:    I don't really like those. The back ends look really weird.

HAIRCUT:  (angry and offended) Well, it's a good thing you won't be driving it, then! I like them!

HAIRCUT immediately turns to her computer and away from RACHEL, indicating that the end of this awful conversation has arrived.

END SCENE.

*********

I feel that this happens to me a lot. It's just an opinion. No need to get cranky. You can take it or leave it. You don't have to listen to me. I mean, Haircut and I could have gone on to have a philosophical discussion about car rear-ends. We could have laughed about the Oldsmobile Aurora's rear, and I could have made a self-deprecating comment about how it looks like me wearing stretch pants: wide and saggy. That's much worse than the beady-eyed tail lights of the Impala. Hilarity would have ensued instead of anger and resentment.

Seriously. She was mad at me for the rest of the time I temped there—three more months. And when she bought her Impala, she announced to me that she'd bought "that ugly car you hate so much."

Really? Be cool, yo.

The world is full of opinions. There are opinions, and there is Truth. The back end of a car looking funny? Opinion. God? Truth. Should you pray and read your Bible? The Truth is yes. Rachel's suggestions on how to work it into your schedule? Opinion.

Helpful, but still an opinion.

There are things worth getting upset over, and there are things that just aren't worth a fight—in fact, things that are downright silly to get upset about. Like the Impala.

How do you deal with the opinions of others? Do you find yourself getting more irritated than necessary?

What's your opinion? I won't get mad. Promise.

11 comments:

  1. First, you pay more attention to cars than I do. :)

    I tend to be pretty non-confrontational about opinions. I like that about myself. But I also tend to be non-confrontational (even non-chalant) about others' belief in the Truth.

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  2. I think I let other opinions cloud my decisions at times.

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  3. LOL, I like Impalas, but brown? Blech. Anyhow, I wonder if maybe you made a disgusted expression or your tone sounds mean.
    Sometimes, when I am giving my opinion to someone who doesn't know my facial expressions, I step lightly. People are touchy. You are entitiled to your opinion and you certainly don't have to lie when someone asks you for your opinion, just to please them. Maybe word it differently such as "Hmm, they are good cars, but personally, the back taillights make me giggle because they look like eyeballs". LOL!!!

    P.S. When driving at night, I can almost always tell what kind of cars are on the road becaause of their different "eyes". ;)

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  4. My opinion? I probably would've oohhed and ahhhed over the fact that she was getting a new car and celebrated her "moment" and ignored the ugly taillights. But that's just me.

    At the same time, it does seem her reaction was a little "over the top". If you had said that to me, I would've probably said something like "yeah, I know the tail lights are ugly but I'm SO excited about the " and gone on with my life, lol!

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  5. You know, now that I think about it, I think I tend to be that way because I don't like conflict. Sometimes I avoid giving my opinion...unless someone asks for it, and then I try to be as diplomatic as possible. But mainly because I hate conflict. Blah! LOL!

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  6. @Mining for Diamonds You know, it's possible that I just don't see the opportunity for conflict when I open my mouth. I don't think, "Oh, this could make her upset." It's not like I was trying to talk her out of that car or something. This was almost ten years ago, and for all I know that woman STILL thinks of me when she walks up to the taillights of her car. lol

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  7. I think a lot of it may have to do with personality type. Some like a lively conversation and debate and find it exhilerating and not at all threatening when there is difference of opinion. Others run from conflict or disagreement like it was the plague. I guess it helps to know which type of person you're dealing with. Still Haircut's response was pretty immature. I hope I'm not leaving a trail of disgruntled Haircut's in my wake -- I have no problem freely sharing my opinions at the drop of a hat. ;-)

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  8. Wow! Imagine if you had suggested she see another hair stylist?

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  9. I agree with adventuresindinner (haha)... Getting touchy about the car,really, who buys brown cars anyway? I'm also always putting my foot in it. Not good at diplomacy either. I try to be honest but not offensive but am learning, if I dont like the car, dont say anything But if you are asked your opinion,I'd go with 'cars are not my thing?'if I were thinking!! I would reckon there will always be someone who will take offence no matter what! I suppose the idea is to keep trying to get it right. Know who you can be real with and who you have to be more diplomatic with.
    God bless
    TKT

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  10. @Rachel @ The Lazy Christian

    I could see that...you didn't foresee that stating your opinion would cause conflict so you weren't trying to avoid one. Makes a lot of sense. If I didn't think there'd be an issue I might have said something about the ugly tail lights too, lol! I'm sure I've done something similar in casual conversation.

    But her reaction still seemed a bit oversensitive...

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  11. I think she's a little sensitive. I have been that way most of my life until I became more confident in who I am. Being confident makes it ok when someone else doesn't like the rear end of a car I want to buy. Who cares if they like it or not? We could have had a laugh about it.

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I wrote the thing. You read the thing. Don't be too lazy to comment!