Sunday, January 26, 2014

Comments and Questions About Explaining Oneself...

Wow... holidays were pretty crazy, huh? Time definitely gets away from me during the rest of the year, but during the holidays it seems worse.
So here I am, forever since my last post, making updates/changes to my blog and stuff... and finally posting a new entry.
Here it goes...

Yesterday Mother Dearest came over and we partook in some retail therapy as we usually do. We started our day at a used and new furniture store near my home, then visited a new local organic shop that is super close to my house (they have a pretty good start, but it's slow going... will have to post more about them later). Next we finally got to our main destination: Costco. Yes, that's right. Costco. I've heard they treat their employees wonderfully (an employee confirmed that, they start off making more than most make now after working somewhere for several years), have some great organic produce, and many vegan friendly foods one can buy in bulk. Since my mom and I and my grandparents can benefit from sharing bulk goods it seemed like a great idea. Of course they let us walk around to see what was going on and we were pretty impressed. All the employees were super nice, which is a rarity in this day in age, and they had those sample tables out and ready.
This is where the uncomfortable part starts...
Many of the sample items weren't vegan. I expected this. Some obviously, some not so much. I'm at a point where when I'm offered something non vegan friendly I just say "No, thank you" and go about my business (although I did get snooty about them serving hot tea in styrofoam cups... seriously, how is this crap still allowed like this, ugh). My mom, though, felt the need to tell everyone "Oh, no, she's vegan. She doesn't eat anything from an animal" or something of that sort in a way that seemed a bit much to me. I even responded once or twice with a "she doesn't care, so she'll eat whatever" response. She would also tell them all we hadn't joined yet and were just looking around, which I felt was unnecessary (especially when it would send most of them into a long story about how awesome they were, which was annoying just because I was already sold, lol).
But why did this bother me, and why did she feel the need to explain what felt like everything to everyone (especially when we had other things to do that day)?
At some point I just lost the need to explain myself,  and just about being vegan. I think it actually started once at Earth Fare when I was offered a sample of filet mignon and I just told the guy no thank you. And I kept rolling my buggy on. In other situations I've gotten a "What, are you vegetarian?" which I will quickly correct to say I'm actually vegan... and if they have other questions I will always gladly answer. Once there was even one deli counter worker who decided to question me on my reason for being vegan like she was a teacher looking for a correct answer ("The animals, my health, and the planet" is a quick answer, and a lot of times I'll just state that animal products are gross... all depends on the situation).
But why do I have to explain myself if I really don't want to? In a lot of situations most people don't care (like those sample folks just doing their jobs, handing out samples of whatever they are to push that day) or it's just not the place or time. Maybe I'm just tired of explaining myself. If I don't want some burnt animal flesh, I don't want it. I don't owe anyone an explanation.
See, I've never been good with confrontation and sometimes a simple comment can make things go not so good. Like with that coworker that thinks buying bottled water that has a stamp telling you the bottle is recycled (instead of using a reusable bottle) is doing this huge great thing or that date that won't shut up about the great deal they got on a new leather coat they insist on shoving in your face, sometimes you just gotta smile and move on (and make a mental note for no second date, ew). Sure, I enjoy sharing how awesome being vegan is... but sometimes I get so tired of explaining myself, especially when any response I give is matched with what I can only assume the other person thinks is a joke or just a lame attempt at being funny. And it's so not funny.... it's actually pretty sad.

For my fellow veghead friends, how do you handle these situations? Do you explain yourself, or just move on? Please respond in the comments!