I recently did a tiny experiment by using the ‘Like’ button on my Facebook page. I ‘liked’ two different websites that I knew were going to get me into trouble. The first ’like’ was for a major chicken restaurant that has recently been in the news. The second one was for a Catholic website that carries parts for rosaries. Three people have stopped talking to me. One of them ‘unfriended’ me without even saying why. Needless to say all this has really hurt my feelings.
First of all, I am not a political person. You won’t see me calling people on behalf of a candidate or putting signs in my yard. The only bumper sticker I have is a magnetic one that says, “My Labrador Is Smarter Than Your Honor Student” and I don’t even have that on my car. It’s on my refrigerator because I think it’s funny. Also the Lab on the bumper sticker looks like my Daisy.
I was a little confused about why anyone would decide I wasn’t worth talking to based on two websites that I ‘liked’. First of all, I generally don’t notice what websites my friends like. If I did, and I didn’t agree with their choices, I may ask them about it but I certainly wouldn’t stop talking to them or even, heaven forbid, ‘unfriend’ them.
If one of these three people had asked me about my likes I would have told them the reasons behind my thinking. First of all, I make rosaries, at my own expense, for people at my Church who cannot afford to buy their own. By liking this website I get a fifteen percent discount on their products. Every little bit helps when you’re broke and trust me, I am. As for the chicken restaurant I ‘liked’ them just to see what would happen. I asked two male friends, who have been in a committed relationship with each other for eighteen years, if my like would offend them. They looked at me like I was from Mars. One of them told me how much he loves the waffle fries at this particular place. They both thought the media storm was ridiculous. By the way they weren’t among the three people that stopped talking to me. I ‘unliked’ the restaurant for a couple of reasons. First of all I don’t eat there very often because my chicken is better than theirs. It’s also too expensive. Secondly, I was afraid. In a land that ferociously protects freedom of speech, I’m afraid to say anything.
Like anyone else I have beliefs, opinions, and thoughts on a lot of things. If you think I’m going to say what they are here, you’re nuts. Because no matter what I may say, somewhere, someone will take offense and either call me a wussy or compare me to the Taliban. That occurrence actually happened after North Carolina voted for Proposition Eight. I’m not ashamed to say that I ‘unfriended’ them. In my opinion assuming something like this and then going so far as to call someone a terrorist is beyond low. Just because you think they may look at things differently than you. I never mentioned the vote on my Facebook page and I’ve never mentioned how I voted or if I voted at all. They just made an assumption and in return they broke my heart and I lost all respect for them. For what it's worth, I’ve always believed in a “live and let live” society. As long as it doesn’t cost me any money and doesn’t involve taking advantage of innocent children, animals, or senior citizens, it really isn’t any of my business.
Regarding my religion. I cannot tell you how many people have asked me, “How many children has your priest abused?” I was shocked the first time I heard this. My priest at the time was about eighty-five years old and had survived four heart attacks. I would love to say he was a kind, grandfatherly kind of guy but, he probably would have been perfectly happy if all the kids at my Church had stayed at home. If there is ever a screaming contest between Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, and Muslim kids, the Catholics will win hands down. We even have ‘cry rooms’ but no one ever uses them. I guess it’s a lot more fun to jump up and down on the pews and scream during the Homily. Especially if you’re sitting behind me. My old priest and I were friends. He would ask me about his health problems and while he was naming his symptoms I would slide in a confession. A fifth heart attack took him away from us and I still miss him. A Protestant neighbor once asked me the most ridiculous question I’ve ever heard. He wanted to know if it was true that we did animal sacrifices at my Church. I told him no, but went on to say that occasionally we did like to roast a good Baptist and would he like to go to Mass with me on Sunday? He turned me down.
I also don’t pay any attention to the campaign commercials on TV. I’m not saying this year’s political commercials are getting a little mean but I did see one yesterday where Romney and Obama were sticking their tongues out at each other and saying something to the effect of one being rubber and the other being glue. Biden and Ryan were having a furious game of thumb war in the background. Actually I can’t tell you much about any of the commercials for these candidates because I haven’t watched ‘live’ TV in months. I record everything I watch now and let’s just say the fast forward button is my best friend. In fact I do this for all commercials except the one with the freecreditscore.com band. I love those guys and no one was happier than I was when they came back on the air. But, I digress. Dirty politics have been going on since our nation began. If you don’t believe me look up the campaign of 1800. Instead, before I vote, I look up the voting records of the candidates, familiarize myself with their policies, and then I take an aspirin before lying down. All politicians make promises they can’t keep. All politicians think their opponents are idiots who are going destroy America. The funny thing is in ten years you’ll see them hanging out with each other laughing, smiling, shaking hands, and talking about what a fine person their previous opponent really is. Now if they could just learn to work together while they’re in office.
What would be even better is if people could learn to listen to and like each other because of their differences. I grew up on military bases so my friends and neighbors were a diverse group. One of my best friend’s father was a rabbi on base. A lot of my friends moms were from other countries such as Japan, Germany, England, Spain, and Florida. It didn’t matter to me or them. We just liked each other. Our parents never got into arguments over religion, politics, ethnicity, or sexual preferences. They were too busy trying to keep the home fires burning which was difficult at times considering we rarely saw our hometowns and missed our extended family a lot. Of course we kids got into arguments and little fights. But usually it was because someone was acting like a doody head. It was usually forgotten the next day.
The only real discrimination I’ve ever faced was when a guy I was dating told me he didn’t want to go out with me anymore because he didn’t like redheads. I tried coloring my hair after he told me this but you’ve heard the old saying, “you can take a boy out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the boy”? It’s the same with redheads because no matter how much color you put on natural red hair, the red will always come through. Sometimes it will even get redder! I gave up on him and moved on. His loss. I wonder what he’s up to now? Moron. I pretty much do that with anyone that makes false assumptions about my character and beliefs. I don’t understand it but I do accept it.
One more thing, did you know that the word “unfriend” is not in the dictionary? Every time I’ve typed it in this article it’s had a little red squiggly mark under it. Maybe we should all remember this when dealing with others. I would also like to apologize in advance to anyone that is offended by my article.