This morning I went shopping with a neighbor.
That sounds so strange. You have to understand, I’m not the shopping type. All those stereotypes about women and shopping? The only time they apply to me is when I’m in a bookstore or a kitchenware store, or MAYBE a gardening supplies store. And even then I’d much rather order online, and I try to make my shopping trips quick, preferably right after the stores open so they won’t be crowded. (In particular I hate, HATE clothes-shopping.)
We have this really nice neighbor. She’s short, kind of round, and a minister. I’m not religious, but she’s the kind of religious person I can appreciate, who constantly tries to live by her morals and ‘be a good Christian,’ but NEVER pushes her religion on others. Not once have I ever felt preached to by her. She’s just a sweet, sassy lady who cares about everyone around her, the kind of old-fashioned neighbor who’ll keep an eye out for you and yours, which is a rare thing in these times. I just love her to death—she’s the kind of lady you want to make cookies for and worry over when things don’t go well.
She invited me along to a Tuesday Morning store, which I understand I’d never heard of before because they don’t have them up north where I grew up. It’s actually rather fun—they get loads of discounted and discontinued stuff that hasn’t sold somewhere else, so you can get some great deals on nice stuff. I might even have to drag my husband back there for a couple pieces of kitchenware and furniture.
But mostly, it was nice to spend some time with the neighbor. Everyone tends to lump all religious people, or all people of a given religion, or all non-religious people, into stereotyped groups, just like everything else (such as that above-mentioned ‘women love to shop, especially for clothes’ stereotype). Atheists get accused of hating God or hating Christians all the time, just like Christians get accused of always trying to impose their beliefs on others. It was nice to have the reminder that there are plenty of us who are just people, who can have religion or a lack thereof be a strong part of our lives without having it separate us from our neighbors.
Differences only separate us if we let them.
Today’s review is of J.D. Robb/Nora Roberts’s Glory in Death.
Bookstores and stationary/office supply stores are about the only type of stores I enjoy browsing in, so you aren’t alone in your aversion to clothes shopping! Your shopping trip with your neighbor does sound like fun though. It’s so nice when religion and politics don’t get in the way of a friendship. 🙂
I HATE shopping as well. Last weekend I swore I was finally going to go on a *much* needed shopping spree. Saturday I came home angry and empty handed. I forced myself back out on Sunday and managed to find a few good sales. Glad you had a great time with your neighbor–and such a wise statement you leave us with.
Feline: Clothes shopping. *shudder* I don’t know what it is about clothes shopping that drives me so insane. Maybe partially because I’m nowhere near a ‘normal’ size or shape, so nothing fits me. Somehow I always resent having to spend money on something that, to me, I wouldn’t do if I had any option. 🙂 I try never to discuss religion or politics with friends, because it’s too easy to let such differences flare into arguments, and that isn’t worth it.
Trish: Glad you managed to find something!
I’m just struck by the fact that on the surface my neighbor and I appear to have nothing in common other than gender and street. We’re separated by 15-20 years of age, religion, and skin color, but that doesn’t mean anything to personality and friendship.
“Clothes shopping. *shudder*” That’s exactly what I was going to write…
“Differences only separate us if we let them.” So true – as shown by all the differences that used to matter and don’t anymore. I know plenty of people with whom I strongly disagree on religious issues (me being an atheist), but still get along fine since neither of us is determined to ‘convert’ the other. Probably helps that I tend to be too reserved to debate anything anyway… =)
Jennifer: Hehe, yeah. I have some relatives and friends who are at a VERY different end of the political spectrum than I am and who love to talk politics, so I just nod and smile. 🙂
She is setting you up, soon the missionaries will come banging on your door. 😉 I wish more Christians weren’t so pushy with their belief systems. Mainly, the ones in my family. 🙂
lol, I’m lucky, my family’s very laid-back about religion!