Hey! It’s an election year! Aren’t you just all aquiver with excitement??! Just imagine: months of our elected and wanna-be elected officials blathering on about issues they actually understand but little, nevertheless expounding wonderful (awesome?) solutions to every problem the nation faces. Just imagine!
But if you prefer not to imagine, I have some escape suggestions. To begin with, surely your TV has a “mute” button on it somewhere; use it! When it’s announced that so-and-so is giving an exclusive interview on a major channel, check out what’s on the Food Network. A little vicarious dessert will not expand your waistline nor affect your cardiac function and might even help you retain any vestige of sanity you may have left.
If you find yourself at a gathering, be it Sunday school, a cocktail party or a dinner, and someone says something like, “Can you believe that [fill in the blank}?! [He/She] said that….” Well, you get the picture. After you’ve politely said, “How interesting,” you say, “And did you see that column by Martha Stewart on drying flowers? Such a talented person.” At that point your companion’s eyes should begin to glaze and you can continue to a more reasonable topic or just quietly slip away.
Things are a little trickier if The Other happens to be your spouse – but still not impossible. There’s always the time-honored and always useful, “Huh? Did you say something?” And if there’s persistence (as there often is when couples have been together for more than two years), you might try, “Were you talking about the dishwasher? It is making a funny noise, and I wish you’d have a look at it. I guess we could just call the appliance repairman.” I can almost guarantee that statement will change the conversation.
And last but not least, there are those really tricky situations when you find yourself trapped in an elevator or a carpool or across a bridge table, and there’s just no getting away from the venom. That’s when, with tremendous self-restraint, you just nod your head – just like you’re hanging on every bead and drop – and send your mind off to some other more pleasant place. With luck, the speaker will be so frothed about his/her subject, he/she won’t ask, “Don’t you agree?”
…we were all taught never, never, never to discuss religion or politics, right? But some folks just can’t help themselves…
Of course, we were all taught never, never, never to discuss religion or politics, right? But some folks just can’t help themselves and I hope the foregoing will help you avoid the pitfalls. If not, and you find yourself unable to extricate yourself gracefully, try this:
“By the way, I’ve got a couple of extra tickets to the next San Antonio Chamber Music Concert. Wouldn’t you like to hear beautiful music for a change?” Might work. Try it.
– E Doyle