I went out on a coffee date recently with a nice guy. We’d emailed a handful of times and then met for a face to face chat to start getting to know each other. I thought things went fine, the conversation flowed smoothly, no awkward pauses, we seemed to have plenty to talk about and plenty of things in common.
Well, he decided that things would never work. After only one meeting and a handful of emails. He even explained why.
Because I vote.
To him, the fact that I vote indicates that I believe in our current political system and he can never be close to someone that does. Mind you, he never actually asked me about my political views. Instead he drew this conclusion through several assumptions and by inferring various things from emails and our conversation. I used a buzz word when I described something (what isn’t a buzz word these days?). I asked him if he voted in an email. It happened to be the PA primary that day, so it was a topic of conversation all over the news, and in addition to the primary there were several ballot measures up for the vote.
My political views, however, are not as simple as he thinks they are. He would know this if he had asked instead of making a snap judgment based on assumption.
As you all know, I’m a big proponent of voting. It’s important to exercise your right to vote, to exercise your voice. And I will continue to vote until they forcibly take the right away from me by prying it from my (still warm) dead hands. I’m grateful I live where I do have the right to voice my opinion. But that doesn’t mean I believe in our system as it exists today. Our system is broken. Our system is imperfect and flawed. But it’s what we have to work with right now. And to change it, you have to participate. You can’t change things while sitting on the sidelines. You have to use your voice, even within our broken system, to push for the things you do believe in. If you choose not to participate, then shut up and deal with the outcome. Don’t get all high and mighty and lecture me about how the system sucks. I’ve said it before, by choosing to not participate you’ve given up your right to b!tch and moan about the way things turn out and the way things are. To put it another way, if you don’t participate by choice, then you become nothing but a victim. I don’t want to go through life as a victim, thankyouverymuch, so I choose to participate in an imperfect/messed up system in an attempt to make it better. I prefer to be active and try rather than just exist as a passive victim of the system. [OK, getting off my soapbox now. Thank you for indulging me.]
Frankly, I’m kind of glad he made the decision quickly. Looks like we agree on one thing: it clearly wouldn’t work. I now know that for sure. Because I could never be with someone willing to make such a snap judgment and jump to conclusions based on nothing more than assumption. I could never be with someone so closed minded or someone that could only be with someone if they agree on everything (sameness is boring…I prefer a diversity of opinions). I could never be with someone that didn’t take the time to actually ask and learn about a person before making a decision.
Obviously he and I approach the world very very differently. And that’s OK. He’s still a nice guy, despite the fact he made a snap judgment about me that happened to be quite wrong. But he was definitely right that it would never have worked out.