Sunday, July 27, 2008

Confessions of an Idiot

So today I'm at my local Tom Thumb grocery store, scanning a loaf of bread at the self-checker. It's a busy Saturday afternoon and my husband is getting a haircut there in the strip mall, so I thought I'd go buy bread and lunchmeat. Harmless, right? Well, there I am, scanning away. A man crosses over to me, points his finger in my face, and says "by the way, YOU'RE AN IDIOT!!!!" so loudly that everyone in the checking area is now staring at us.

Several thoughts crossed my mind as I followed this finger of judgment to the object of its scrutiny.

...because Kroger's prices are better?
...did I cut him off in the parking lot?
...am I trying to pay with my library card?
...it couldn't be...I mean...not seriously...it wouldn't be...my Obama '08 t-shirt??

When, in my retarded mind, I discovered how this man so quickly recognized what an idiot I was, there was little to say. He was walking off self-satisfied and I couldn't seem to wipe the big stupid idiotic grin off my face. He was so right. And he was simply doing his part to prove how genuine and neighborly the Right can be, lovingly pointing out the error I had been too stupid to see. My life was changed.

The man at the scanner next to mine looked over and said "What in the world was that about?" I said, "I'm gonna go out on a limb and guess it was the t-shirt." He must have been an idiot too because what he said was "Well, I'm sorry that happened to you. I sure hope it didn't ruin your day." And bamm-o, this idiot had faith in people again.

The first man was so right though. Only an idiot would believe in a cause enough to support it against anger and hatred it may summon in others. Only an idiot with canvas shopping bags and a hybrid car would believe that one person can make a difference in the environment. Only an idiot would believe that we could have a president who hadn't grown up in privilege and who understood the Constitution not just casually but enough to have become a professor of constitutional law. Only an idiot would believe in concepts like all her neighbors having access to medical care and no tax breaks for the wealthy. Only an idiot standing alone buying bread for her family would be accosted by a man twice her age and feel righteous anger for an unsolicited attack...and laugh about it.

But this idiot has a voice. A vote. And a right to use those two V words - even in Texas. And just to prove what an idiot she is, as a liberal she'll defend your right to call her names and be vicious because, unlike you, she still believes that America is a free country, built on a democratic government - a civil contract among its different peoples of different beliefs/races/cultures, rather than an intolerant nation state like the governments it sought to differentiate itself from. She believes in compromise without compromising your ideals. She believes in coexisting without disrespecting. She believes in YOUR ability to change, even after you've run her car off the road or peeled off her bumper stickers or called her a name at the grocery store. She believes we can be better than this.

And sometimes I think it's only the idiots who still believe that.


Sorry to all who were expecting a diabetes-related post...if it helps, my sugar is 318 right now and I'm obviously pissy and aggressive. Expect a post on the new Cozmo pump I got this week once the BG comes down and my comfortable stupidity sets back in.

4 comments:

Jim Purdy said...

Wow! What a story. I'm a fellow Obama supporter, and I run into that same kind of reaction here in Oklahoma. Those folks are scary.

Cherise said...

Wow! it's funny you blogged about this because I just had a convo with my co-worker the other day about Obama. I am for Obama and I let her know that racist still here and she couldn't believe it. I wish I had her e-mail address so she could read your blog. It sucks people are the way they are, we have to stop that thinking with our children and they can pass it on to their children.
ok, enough said!! I could go on and on. Nice blog! I am adding you to my blog roll.
Cherise

Kristin said...

Wow. I'm speechless.

Way to go Melissa!

carol said...

I'm so sorry that happened to you. But I'm so glad I came across this blog today (for the first time). I'm a Christian, pro-life, and living in Texas. Given all of that, I did the unthinkable -- I voted for Obama. When a neighbor/friend e-mailed me to pray for her husband because he had done same, I told her that I did too, and got an e-mail back from her accusing me of having blood on my hands and insinuating that I didn't understand the candidates positions. Regardless of your view on the issue, this was not a referendum on abortion, it was a presidential election with many issues to weigh and consider. I won't respond until the anger and hurt that I feel die down a bit, but right now I'd like to smack her and that guy that berated you in the store.