Skip to main content

How Doth She Bigotry? Let Me Count the Ways


UK election 2019: what the 'wisdom of crowds' forecasts 

I left a conversation yesterday wondering how many ways one person can offend another in three minutes. I was outside sweeping my sidewalk when a woman I know slightly grabbed me by the arm. (Offense #1: Assuming she had to hold onto me to get me to listen.)

“I met that new woman,” she said. “She came over and offered me a bottle of wine.” (Offense #2: Referring to our neighbor as “that new woman.” She has a name. And she brought you wine.)

I said I’d met her too, and she seemed nice.

“You have to watch them, you know.” (Offense #3: Lumping people into a shapeless “them” category.)

I’m slow with bigots sometimes, because I can never believe they’re for real, but I was starting to get it. “Who is them?” I asked.

“Them! You know, the Asians or the Mexicans or whatever she is.” (Offense #4: I’m not explaining this one. If you don’t get it, you’re part of the problem.)

At that point, the best I could do was, “What?”

“Bob says they’re always looking for something. (Offense #5: Letting her husband tell her what to think. Obviously, we feather-headed females can’t figure things out for ourselves.)

“The women find some man who’ll marry them so they can come here," she went on, "and then after a few years they dump him.” (Offense #6: Deploring someone else's "crime" even though they gleefully report how they manipulate the tax system to their advantage. I quote the husband: “Hey, it’s probably legal.”)

Irritated, I give her a chance to soften her bigotry. “Are you sure they all do that?”

“Well, yeah. We knew a woman once who married an American and came here and then she divorced him once she got citizenship. (Offenses #7 & 8: Assuming you know why a married couple splits and generalizing it to every instance.)

That's when I took my arm back and walked away. Some people might have tried to reason with her, but seven decades on this earth has taught me that I’ll never win with someone that dumb, that mean, and that pleased with her own hypocrisy.



Popular posts from this blog

Book Clubs Take Note: Discussion Guide: Sister Saint, Sister Sinner

  When I sent Sister Saint, Sister Sinner to my editor, she was (as usual) helpful about pointing out areas that needed more development, parts that repeated information already given, and places where the logic  temporarily failed. At the end, she made a comment that stuck with me: "People are going to be talking about the things you deal with in this book." To me, that meant the story was destined for book clubs. Having visited a few in my years of writing, I knew that they often begin with a list of discussion topics. Now, they often don't stay focused on them, and that's okay. Sometimes it's the wine. Sometimes it's a natural progression. But discussion leaders like having questions that can get the conversation back on track when it strays too far from the story. Every person who reads a book gets something out of it that no one else does. I had the experience once of visiting a book group where one reader didn't like the book and kept bringing up her

What Do You Have of Grandma's?

My grandmother died on my birthday in 1968. We couldn't wish her back, since she'd been in a lot of pain for a long time. Later, I helped Mom clean out her house, and we came upon her sewing basket. For some reason I asked if I could have it, and my mother said yes. I still have it. I think of her every time I take it out of its cupboard, though I can't think of a single time I saw Grandma sewing. It's hers, and that's enough. My other grandmother was the type who asked her progeny what they wanted of her things long before she died. One day when I was visiting I told her about my new hobby, refinishing old furniture. Pointing to a table that had always sat in her living room, she explained that as a young woman she too had taken up that task. The classic-style table was cherry wood, she told me, and she had rescued it from somewhere and given it new life with elbow grease and varnish. "Maybe you'll want it when I'm gone," she said, and I readi

A Story for My Peeps--And a Sale for My E-books

        December-r-r E-BOOK SALE      You might know about Smashwords. To be honest, I don’t know much. But one of my publishers, Draft2Digital, recently acquired Smashwords, so they are one entity. Smashwords invited all D2D authors to join their December e-book sale, so I did.   From December 15 to December 30, 2022, (the kickoff to the real winter season in my home state of Michigan), all of my e-books, both Maggie Pill and Peg Herring titles, will be half off. Fifty percent. Basically, two for the price of one. Is that cool (winter reference) or what? As a rule of thumb, Maggie Pill books are cozy mysteries, (e.g. the Sleuth Sisters & the Trailer Park Tales series) meaning they’re funny (I think), small-townish, and as non-violent as one can get when the story centers on murder. Peg Herring books are all over the map, because I write the story that interests me at any given time. Those who’ve been with me throug