In my group of friends, I don’t necessarily tend to think of any of us as politically correct, but I have noticed, since we’re all saavy young urbanites, we encounter kind of weird manner/assumption problems.
Not too long after my husband and I got together, he became reacquainted with an old high school friend of his named Bettie. After they had been e-mailing for a while, she extended an invite to us to come over for dinner, play with her guinea pigs* and watch some Monty Python. So off we went to her place for dinner where she made some excellent Mexican food using fake ground beef .
So a couple of months later, believing she is a vegetarian, we have her over to our place for this Greek veggie pasta thing I make. Again, we have a nice time, but no meat is served.
We continue to do this meal after meal for a year and a half before we finally discover that none of us are actually vegetarians and instead, we’d spent 18 months scrambling to make meat-free alternatives because we were too paranoid about offending the other party.
It’s strange how, living in a downtown setting, there are certain landmine manner situations we all have to avoid. Don’t assume someone is a PC. Don’t assume someone is straight. Don’t assume someone eats meat.
I get that there’s the whole “to assume makes an ass out of you and me” thing, but sometimes, I’ve got to admit, I get a little exhausted feeling like I have to tiptoe around certain subjects because I’m freaked out at the thought of offending someone. Can’t we just (politely) ask questions anymore?
Emily Post was lucky she didn’t live to see the dawning of the hipster. Things are so much more complicated now. :p
*This is not a euphemism. There were actually guinea pigs.