I have included quotation marks in the title of this post to indicate it is a quote, lest the reader think I would use “ya’ll” in a sentence or question. Saying “ya’ll” is not part of my vocabulary, but I digress. I was recently asked this question by a person whom I do not know while attending a large gathering hosted by one of David’s family members. Because I do not enjoy mingling and idle chit chat in most social situations, I was sitting, by myself, when this person walked into the room. As soon as he sat down near me, he grabbed the TV’s remote control, then asked me what local channels were showing football games (he, like I, does not reside in the city where we were attending the gathering). I replied that he was asking the wrong person about both local TV channels and football and furthermore, I have zero interest (or less than zero, if that is possible) in football. He appeared as astounded to be in the presence of someone who dared to say she is uninterested in football as I was to be asked what TV channel should be tuned in to watch it! He then shook his head, as if to say, “Poor thang. She’s one of them, there, weemen folk who hates sports.” He then asked me, “Does David like football?” to which I replied, “Thankfully, no, because if he did, I doubt I would have married him.” When he overcame the shock from hearing this information, he asked me, “Well, what do ya’ll DO during football season?” as if he had never met anyone, let alone two people, one of whom is another man, who dare not to watch football! By then, several other people had come into the room to get a closer look on the tense situation that was developing. Waiting for just long enough to obtain maximum effect, I replied, with as much depth and authority in my voice as I could muster, “We ROCK AND ROLL”! I then went on to say that, whatever sport is being shown on TV, David and I spend our time enjoying music and in my case, music being played as loudly as possible. So, why “ya’ll” might like football, I will keep on grooving to the beat. Rock on!
Football is nearly a religion for some people. Other sports probably also provide that type of connection for die hard fans – soccer fans seem pretty intense. But, to assume these sports are the only reasons to live through a certain part of the year is hard to imagine. If football season is in the fall, then think of all the leaf color changing being missed (okay, not in south Florida), hunting and fishing opportunities being missed, open air concerts being missed, or photography opportunities in cooler weather being missed. There is something for everyone; assuming everyone must like something because you do is myopic, at best. I think this carries through life in many ways. It can relate to politics – “How can ya’ll think that way?”. It can be food choices “We don’t eat that around here, in our family.” In our world working with jury decision making, it is often a surprise to our clients or the end clients to find out other people do not see the world as they do. I think, when someone functions with such a closed perspective as the one Melissa recounted in her presence, she finds it particularly shocking to consider the closed mind. The mind that can’t imagine people not liking the same things as they do. She knows, and I do as well, that some of us are not like others – we certainly know we are different than others. We’re okay with being different. We are glad to be different. But, when someone indicates discomfort with others being different, the differences really show! To each, his, or her, own. That is the bottom line.