I just went to the post office to check my PO Box. I noticed that the car next to me had a number of religious-themed bumper stickers on the back, including one that said, “Thank you, Jesus.” At first I thought the woman in the car was a nun, and I thought “huh, I didn’t realize nuns were bumper sticker people.” I guess I figured being a nun spoke more loudly than a strip of vinyl on the back of the car ever would.
The woman got out of her car the same time I did.
“Excuse me, could you please help me carry this box?”
Drat. I was hoping just to dash in and out. But fine, I would help carry the box.
As I walked around to her side of the car, I noticed several more decals, including some very strongly-worded
pro-choice anti-choice* messages. Obviously this woman and I had some philosophical differences, but that didn’t mean I couldn’t help her.
So now that I was next to her, watching her wrestle to get the box out of the car (which p.s., was not heavy at all) I no longer thought she was a nun; now I thought she wanted to resemble a nun. WTF, right? Long skirt, enormous cross, head covering, but not an actual habit.
I picked up the open box, which contained another open box and some lumpy stuff in a trash bag, none of which was contained by the outermost box. No clue how she was going to get this thing closed, because presumably that’s what she was doing, right? Shipping the box to someone?
And because this is how my brain works, I was now convinced I was helping this lady mail a bomb to an abortion clinic.
Perhaps it wasn’t fair to leap to such an outlandish conclusion. Just because a woman was dressed like a fake nun and had lots of propaganda on her car was no reason to judge her in that fashion, right?
I had taken two steps towards the building when she said, “I would really like to invite you to come to church with me.”
“Well,” I said, “thank you, but I’m not interested.”
That did not deter her. She proceeded to talk about Jesus and I don’t know what because honestly, all I could think about was how to make this entire thing end. And holy CRAP, she was walking slowly.
“I’m Jewish,” I told her. That usually shuts down someone trying to sell me their religion; I don’t share their faith, but at least I’m not a total heathen (ha).
“Oh, we LOVE Jewish people,” she exclaimed. A monologue commenced about all the benefits the Jews provided, like, you know, the Old Testament. I quickened my pace.
We made it to the line inside and I put her probably-a-bomb box on the table, bade her goodbye, and fled. This is what you get for being nice to people.
I really hate that shit. And I really hate that I felt the need to be polite even when she was completely unconcerned that she was making me uncomfortable and totally taking advantage of my helping her.
I could go on at great length about this topic, but it can be summarized pretty easily:
It’s never appropriate to strike up a conversation with a stranger about religion. Especially a stranger who is doing you a favor. But after said stranger has expressed her lack of interest in the topic, SHUT YOUR FUCKING PIE-HOLE. Seriously.
*Holy crap, I typed the wrong thing. Thanks, Brian L!