The art of debate in conversation can be tricky. Knowing when to walk into the fire and when to walk away is like a finely honed skill. One inch too far to the left or right can get you into hot water either way. If someone challenges you to an arguement, is walking away just a validation of their position? Or is it futile to engage in a disagreement that in the end will not change either perspective?
Recently, I was in this place. I was sitting at a table with some friends and family of friends, and in the midst of conversation, out of nowhere, one shit-starting sister of my friend sat across from me and slung a fistful of mud, just to stir the pot.
I was all to myself, “Did she just say what I think she said?” Then she said it again. And my entire physiology began to change. My heartbeat quickened. My stomach knotted up. My eyes grew narrow. And in the middle of this adrenaline rush I could tell others at the table were encouraging me with their glances not to take the bait. Be The Bigger. Walk away.
But how can you? How can you force your body to walk away when it is giving you every indication to put up your verbal dukes? Well, I tell you, for this chick it ain’t easy. I try to soothe my racing pulse with another sip of wine…scan my brain for every possible way out of this trap holding on to my pride, but to no avail.
So I looked across the table and let her know homey don’t play that. And she kept on at it, and we went round, and everyone grew uncomfortable, and in the end, no one really won. She kept repeating herself, I kept repeating mine. Round and round we went. She finally stood up and announced she was ready to get on the road for her 6 hour trip back home. I, left in rage and fury for being bamboozled into one of the most ridiculous conversations I have ever been privy to, turned my focus on the dirty rats still sitting there who watched the whole thing ensue for their entertainment.
No one bothered chiming in to silence the shit stirrer while she worked her witchcraft. No one dared oppose the sharp-tongued comments that were flying out everywhere, spewing particles of nasty ju-ju into the air. Nope, they just sat quiet, sometimes even egging on, to keep her rolling – as I gasped for air like a fish out of water. Apparently the entertainment value outweighed a call for justice.
But still, into the fire I walked, a one-man army ready to take on the enemy with intellectual ferver. I was not afraid. And I may not have won anything in the end, but I did not lose my dignity.
I guess there are people in the world who like to make an extreme sport out of confrontation, those who avoid conflict like the plague, and others who fall somewhere in the middle who don’t look for trouble, but when it comes…BRING IT!
My friend’s sister arrived at her house with the possibility of getting the extra Kid Rock ticket for next week’s concert, and left with no way in hell of getting it.
Apparently, as much as everyone seemed to enjoy the show, after that display no one is willing to pay money to hop on board the Trainwreck Express with her for round two next week!