A pseudo-Liberal and a Conservative walk into a diner. (Sigh) Political discussion ensues…

I was supposed to work yesterday, but ended up getting called off. So, in a state of tiredness and profound boredom, I decided to leave the house and hang out at Denny’s with a book and my writing stuff. I felt like I’d rather die than sit there and tune out the living room TV and look at a computer screen for five more seconds.

But it was like nothing could go right yesterday. I was driving to my fave diner, and half-way there considered turning around. But I got there anyway, and maybe had 20 minutes to myself when someone else walked in (it was pouring rain) that I’d talked to before.

Somehow, a question about the Coexist bumper sticker on my car led to an hour of political discussion, since he figured I had a liberal lean.

I was not prepared for this.

Thanks to being away from political discussion from my dad, I hadn’t mentally prepared. And when it was all done, I took three things away from it.

One, I felt like George Costanza from Seinfeld in “The Comeback” episode. Half an hour passed and I finally figured out a few things I could’ve said as examples of what I’d seen and my perspective. And I stewed in the car, talking to myself with the radio off, and kept mentally coming back to it.

Yeah, that’s probably the same expression I had…

Two, I am very much out of practice in discussing anything, let alone politics, with someone older than me.

Three, I was freaking done. I was even more tired, drained, and that interaction completely wore me out. I wanted to get back to reading my book, but I was so off-kilter (and trying to respectfully take in his viewpoint, because he’s older than I by quite a bit and has many different life experiences, so my inner-researcher wants to understand). I ended up leaving in frustration more exhausted than when I showed up…after he left.

I should’ve found a way to end it fast and not keep talking. I wanted to eat and relax, but I guess my restlessness got in my way. And when I was running around town getting some errands done, my brain just kept on bringing up more crap I should’ve said or things I should’ve done.

What was the worst is I always say I want decent civil discussion. I know, though, how knee-jerk I felt when I was trying not to interrupt and such. And there were lots of things I wanted to say. What hit me later was one major thing I should’ve asked to clarify his position–when he kept saying “liberals,” I wanted to ask if he really meant “liberals” or “democrats” because I see a huge difference between the two. And every time he said “liberals” I could either feel or see a sneer…and he knows I’m at least a “liberal-leaning” person.

The most annoying part was never being able to fully support my own position.

Because I felt so unprepared for this–hell, I didn’t plan on actually talking to anybody–I defaulted to what I’d been trying to avoid the past few months. I tried to graciously agree with some of what he said, but it’s definitely proof of differing interpretations. And I tried to moderate my views while he was inflexible with his.

I wanted to bash my brains against the wall–I was trying to NEVER let myself do that again. My “mediator” personality type is a freaking curse at times like this.

But I also know I’m not as up on things as I could be because I’m sick of the 24 hour news cycle, and people pick their poison, so to speak, and won’t listen to other viewpoints.

I was in a perpetual coulda-shoulda-woulda cycle, and it sucked.I practically screamed at myself in the car to shut up, and the Costanza-voice went away for a while. But on the 40 minute drive back home, I found a way to let it go.

I’m glad I didn’t write it last night at the coffee shop. It would’ve been a 4,000 word post of rambling, crying, self-flagellation, irritation, etc.

I drove home, let the silence take care of me. I just left the radio off, listened to the tires speeding down the highway, and let it go. Driving is very meditative at times.

I needed a Mental Health Check.

I had to remind myself that I can’t do it over again, I can’t go back and say what I needed to say. Get over it. Forget it. Let it go. There are a ton of other things I need to think about eventually.

And when I got home, I made some to-do lists and had “Gone With The Wind” on (not my favorite movie, but long enough and distracting enough that it drowns out the sound of the living room TV).

I wore myself out and tried to read what I wanted, and just let it go.

I needed, more than ever, to get back to work.

I’m still tired, still drained…but at least I’ve gotten it out of my system. I lanced the boil and now I’m just going to breathe, relax, and (since I confirmed I need to be there today), I’m going to get ready for work soon…and make sure my gym bag is packed for self-defense class. I’m tired of being too tired to go–time to shake myself and get there.

And get pumped up enough to go back to self-defense classes. If there’s anything that blurb on the book jacket (of the book I just bought) taught me, it’s that we need physical and mental strength working together.

Working on that…but oh hell, it is hard to get started after falling so hard.

 

***

Addendum: Just as I was about to hit “publish,” my neighbor and dad started talking about politics and Dump (I can hear them through the wall). I’m getting the hell out of here and going to hang out at Starbucks until my shift starts.

Dammit…I have a LOT more prep work to do on interacting with people face-to-face. Going to get some food in me and try to let it go.

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