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I ran into him at the coffee shop, hadn’t seen him in years.  He was once a peripheral player in our lives.

I guess he’s called an activist because he is not passive, oh no he is not.  Every topic provides a teachable moment.

I don’t object to his goals but I’m well-informed, I eat meat and the Activist knows this.  I do not owe this individual an explanation.  He’s either desperate to reform me, or he only has one setting.  Either way it’s exhausting.

I asked after his children.   He found a way to alert me they do not play with plastic toys or eat commercially-grown food.  I know this.  Oh, for those carefree days when I did not know this.

We were off to our usual bad start.  He produced a photo of a toddler in a tee that said, “veggie kid”.   The child stared grimly into the camera.  I knew just how she felt.

He showed off  his eco-friendly footwear while I backed my own feet underneath my chair.  He ran his fingers through  luxurious blonde locks and informed me his hairstylist worked in an “animal friendly” salon.   I guess that means .  .  .   what?  I frowned.  I’d been to that salon.  The young woman who cut my hair said she had an appointment to declaw her kitten.

The Activist transitioned smoothly into  the benefits of the vegan lifestyle.  It has a lot of rules, that lifestyle.  He kept talking.  I kept nodding.  I hoped I didn’t hurt my neck.

My mind wandered.  Didn’t he work in the computer industry?  Weren’t computers environmentally unfriendly?  Was this encounter shortening my lifespan?  Did my daughter remember her library books?  Say, is it starting to snow?

I lifted a hand to my cup and his eyes went straight to my ring.  Oh No!  The ring!   Hastily I asked the Activist if his family would be traveling for the holidays?  You know, because people, uh, go somewhere sometimes when it’s the holidays?  Like in a car?

The stone in my ring is pretty enthusiastic and today the damn thing thought we were having a party.  The lighting in the coffee shop was just right–or just wrong–and, wheee, watch me sparkle!!!  it crowed, clapping like a 14-year-old girl.  I was mortified.  How would I explain that when it was presented to me years ago, my first thought wasn’t the welfare of the miners?  I was young!

The Activist wasn’t listening.  He was staring at the ring and he didn’t look happy.  On the other hand if you were looking for happy, this would not be your guy.

Next Up: Animal Communication and the Endless Encounter, Part II

 

 

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