If I know you, and you're reading this blog, you have two choices:

1) Feel free to pretend you haven't, should the contents be offensive, sensitive in nature, or just TMI (Too Much Information).
2) Comment freely or talk to me face to face, and be prepared for further honesty and opinions.

Okay? Okay.

Sep 7, 2007

What To Say?

My neighbor is having a garage sale. I stop in.

Me: "Great lamp, that's an antique floor lamp, beautiful- someone bought it already?" (has a sold sign on it)

Neighbor: "Oh yeah, somebody came by this morning and they are coming back later to pick it up"

Me: "Damn, I wish I had come by earlier, I would have bought it from you...how much were you able to get?"

Neighbor: "Oh, I had it marked for $25.00, but they 'Jewed' me down to $15.00"

Me: Mouth agape..."uh, oh...well, I'm glad you sold it...see you later"

What to do, what to say? I don't have a good response to this bigoted and racist remark to someone I don't know well, yet have a relationship with.

It keeps rolling around in my head. Any ideas??


LeLo in NoPo said...

Ah ha! I hate moments like this where I often do the same thing you did. Shocked you don't say anything. I think the moment has come and gone, really. But next time, you're prepared to just call them on it and share your shock...."You didn't REALLY just say that did you?!" and then have a conversation about it. Bah, I hate that stuff too!

Tricia said...

Lelo- Yeah, it's that whole "i don't
know you very well and am not really invested in our relationship so should I let you know that comment was offensive and rude...or let you go on your merry way..."

With people I know, I have said simply "that sounds really racist" I suppose could do the same thing... although I like your seuggestion.

Jess said...

Ugghhh. That sucks--especially when it is a neighbor, which means you have to see them on a regular basis and want to maintain a cordial relationship.

I once told a very, very well-intentioned neighbor/acquaintence exactly what I thought of missionaries who go sell the scripture to starving people in third world countries. She was a member of some holy roller church and wanted me to meet her missionary friends later in the week. They were only go to be in town for a few days before they went back to peddling their racist, sexist dogma overseas. She thought that I would love them because I had done such a "selfless" thing by "saving a child" (her words, of course). Please!

I tried to be nice about it, but I told her, unequivicably what I thought about fundamentalism and missionaries. She was such a sweet gal, I hated to cause friction, but I just hate self-righteous bs of fundamentalists.

We never spoke again.

Oh well. Not a big loss.

Tricia said...

I guess that's another good point. If it comes up again and I say something and she is offended, well.."not a big loss".

Anonymous said...

Sometimes I'll pick something about them to be similarly racist/sexist/whateverist about and let it rip.

not terribly mature...but it usually gets the point across.

And other times I'm speechless myself and ponder the same as you.

I suppose the best thing might be to mention to her that you've been thinking about what she said, wanted to mention it to her, since she might not be aware of what she said and it's anti-semitic meaning. To get her to think about it...and know that it meant something. Duh.

cole said...


Yea. What do you say to that? Maybe, "Wow, I didn't know they were jewish...what temple do they go to?"

or, "Yea, well white bitches like us don't need old junk anyway so it is good to purge."

or, "WOW, I didn't know you were a KKK member. Cool. We should talk over coffee and cross burnings some time. Oh, and hey, I might be going to a graveyard to deface some tombstones later, wanna come?"

or, "Seriously? Jewed you down, huh? Well, I had bought I might have wanted to trade lesbian sexual favors so maybe you made out in the deal?"

Or, "I am going to move away from you know, because lightening is about to strke you."


Tricia said...

Ding, ding, ding, ding, Cole, you win! Made me laugh hard! If only I could be so quick and witty!

I have found that adding some humor actually does help in these type of situations... Speaking of sexual favors, can you imagine how they talk about us around the dinner table???

the individual voice said...

Cole, you are on such a roll! You really need to start posting again. As a Jewish psychotherapist, might I also add to Cole's brilliant suggestions the possibility of a passive-aggressive approach? Keep asking them to repeat it. "I'm sorry, I'm not familiar with that term. What did you say? I never heard that before. What is that supposed to mean? I don't get it? Could you explain it? Is that English? Oh, my, that seems so offensive, when you think about it, doesn't it? That's really terrible, like Muslimed you down, or Christianed you down, or Mormoned you down....

Tricia said...

Sorry... maybe 2nd place only because I can actually say what Individual suggested :)

And we have a new winner!!! Individual to the podium, please!

Beth said...

Just another suggestion, not nearly as much fun as some of the others. I don't have the reference handy but I know Miss Manners suggests a few long moments of stony silence, with a look that says (without any words at all) 'I am completely shocked.') Then you end the conversation politely, but not warmly. I've tried this and found it medium satisfying.

the individual voice said...

I help people of all ages with comebacks all day. It's my profession.

Tricia said...

Beth- I'm not so good at the silence thing, so I don't think that will work well for me, but also not a bad idea.

Individual- Um, yea, obviously! :)

cole said...

Yes, she is funny that individual gal but now I must beat her with something heavy and sticky because NO ONE takes my title away. I won. So shut up. Yea, shut up.

I love the internet smack down. Bring it. You can't talk about everything you psycho-therapist. Sometimes you gotta put your money where your mouth is. Pony up.

Tricia said...

Go Cole, Go Cole, Go Cole...in a sing songy voice... I wanna watch the fight! ;)

Anonymous said...

To the commenter above (Jess, I believe it was) who attempted to equate a specific instance with her perceptions of an entire doctrine: please stop hating on fundamentalists. That is just as rude as Tricia's neighbor's comment and just as myopic and bigoted. Practice what you preach.