Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Avoiding Confrontation

I spent a few days percolating about whether to contact the Harlem lady to tell her that using goats to clean up the Japanese Knotweed in her back yard is not unreasonable, and if she were writing this next year, I might offer to bring Penny and Coco on down.

This afternoon I decided to check out the comments and possibly add one to the list.  It's a case of nothing ventured, nothing gained in my book.  I could hear nothing back, or she could be intrigued.  What I saw when I read the comments was an atmosphere full of vitriol and heavily leaning towards Round Up.  Many folks told her goats were a stupid idea and Round Up is a smart idea.  That's when I realized that it's not really a case of me having nothing to lose.  I have no desire to be told I'm an idiot.  So I passed on the idea of commenting.

It made me think of Saturday morning, when I also avoided confrontation.  For the second time in as many months, I heard music in my yard early in the morning.  It wasn't loud, but having to listen while rude people inflict their 30-year old music on me drives me nuts.  It didn't bother me in the city, because that's just part of the ambience of a noisy place.  But in the country, for me to hear music 1/8 of a mile away means that someone is playing it very loud.  Much louder than necessary.  Especially at 8:00 in the morning on Saturday. 

I thought that it's possible the person didn't know that other people could hear the music, but dreaded the thought of pissing someone off out here in the wilderness.  People can be unreasonable.  Especially the kind of people who play music really loud.  (As an aside, this pet peeve of mine started when I lived in a penthouse apartment in Cleveland after my divorce.  No, it wasn't as nice as it seems.  The apartment sucked, but I did get half the roof!  My only neighbor was an architect who had parties at night for the bar workers after the bars closed.  Picture being roused from sleep by thumping bass at 3 am more nights than not.  It totally sucked. Totally.  Sucked.)

Long story long, as I was considering driving down to introduce myself to loud music person, the music stopped.  Confrontation avoided.

Years ago, when I worked at GEICO, I told my boss that I don't like confrontation and he laughed me out of the room.  He gave me an example of earlier that day when a vice president of IT was wrong and I firmly told her something or other.  He told me that I'm not afraid of confrontation at all.  Interesting to hear someone else's viewpoint, but I wonder what he would have said as I struggled with myself about whether to confront loud music person.

PS.  It occurred to me later that I may be able to contact the Harlem writer without becoming fodder for the commentocracy by using email instead of a comment.  I'll let you know if anything comes out of it.


  1. There's a video on YouTube a friend sent me recently about what Round Up really does...not good :(

    Good luck with the email

  2. Another way to look at it would be that your comment in support of goats vs. Round Up might have made her day. I have a feeling that you will run into this confrontational subject more than once while you work toward your goal. Maybe you could use it as an opportunity to educate and offer alternatives? As far as loud music players in the middle of nowhere - you are probably right. And being a single woman makes one even more hesitant about routing out the miscreant.

  3. Hey Stepahnie - if you read this, can you forward the link? I'm curious...

    Sue - good point. I hadn't looked at it that way. I did email her though, to let her know that she's not off base at all.

  4. I find as I get older confronting things gets easier. Must be as you age you get to the point where you've had enough!!! I try not be mean about it though. I just say what I think.