Author Topic: Not only did you strike out while hitting on me - you hit a BINGO (long)  (Read 7007 times)

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UpdatedName

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OP are you from the south? (I'm making some assumptions based on your name, forgive me if I'm wrong!). I wonder if some of the differing opinions in this thread arise from regional differences about what constitutes 'personal information.'

I live in the south, and your conversation sounds pretty typical for two strangers striking up a conversation to pass the time. I've certainly engaged in similar conversations with strangers (thankfully, none were actually looking for my number!).  My mother, who was raised in the northeast US, would probably think that it got way too personal!

Anyway, FWIW, I thought it sounded like an amusing situation!  And I do think it was nice of you to tell him you probably wouldn't be calling....perfectly civil way to let him down easy.

Not the OP, of course, but I've lived in the South my whole life, and still find the level of information shared to be...incautious. FWIW.

NestHolder

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I'm going to admit to finding the conversation very amusing - the man seems to have been completely unaware of the fact he was saying some actually appalling things (left his children to his wife to raise? I see nothing admirable in that at all), and went on to give the OP his card.

It seems to have been a perfectly polite conversation on both sides.  Yes, possibly he was trying to convey "I'm an atheist" without actually saying so, but I hardly think the OP's suggestion of a possible church for him was offensive.  It's not as though she grabbed him and insisted he must attend!

But I wonder... was it the good etiquette that led the man to think he might be getting somewhere?

gollymolly2

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OP,

First, I don't think anyone has snarled at you. You shared an (amusing) story but without a question to guide conversation, so naturally people are responding to what jumped out at them.

I agree that it's pretty funny that you two were a bad match on nearly every conversation topic.

I also, like many posters, thought it was a bit of an overshare. Not in the sense of "can you believe this woman told me all this TMI about herself," because even though i do think sharing information about your exhusband being a deadbeat dad and that sort of thing is waaaay too much for a first conversation with a stranger, obviously he was interested in sharing the same level of detail about his life, so it was no problem. Instead, as others have said, it's disconcerting because you've given a lot of information that could be used to hurt you. I'm not the type of person to suggest that women spend all day locked in their homes holding a can of mace and reading the Gift of Fear, but I do think giving certain types of information too freely can open you up to being a victim if you tell the wrong person.


Also, I do think you were rude for suggesting he visit a local nondenom church. I think in the context of the conversation you were having, it would have been fine for you to respond to his statement by asking more about why he doesn't like organized religion or explaining why you like your own religion or bean dipping, but I don't think the proper response to "I don't like organized religion" is ever a suggestion that someone go to church. I think the above analogies don't totally capture the situation because religion is so much more personal/private/intrusive than meatloaf or ultimate frisbee.

There are a number of reasons a person might say they don't believe in organized religion.  For example:
1) they grew up in a Christian church and are still Christian but didn't like all the rules/strict structures
2) they grew up in a Jewish/Muslim/Hindu household and still hold some or all of the beliefs but don't like to attend (place of worship) and do (rituals of the religion) etc
3) regardless of how they grew up, they find the history of religious institutions (eg crusades) to be off putting and don't want to belong to one
4) they are interested in the idea of a God/higher being but don't think humans have found the answers and don't want to be part of a structured religion

And on and on and on. And of the wide range of reasons that someone could "not believe in organized religion," your suggestion could only be useful for someone in category 1, in my opinion.



TL;DR:  In general, suggesting that someone go to a Christian church when they tell you "I don't like organized religion" is both a rude response and not a particularly helpful one even if they're open to solutions to their dislike of religion unless you know they have Christian beliefs.

Redneck Gravy

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Workerbee

I'm in West Texas

My nephew calls this down South but I consider Southern states to be Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama & Georgia.

I consider Texas and Florida to be Texas & Florida, although both are almost as south you can get while staying in the US.  Then again I consider New Mexico to be southwest with Arizona.  But California is California just like Texas & Florida.   

Did that answer help you any ?

Frostblooded

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Workerbee

I'm in West Texas

My nephew calls this down South but I consider Southern states to be Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama & Georgia.

I consider Texas and Florida to be Texas & Florida, although both are almost as south you can get while staying in the US.  Then again I consider New Mexico to be southwest with Arizona.  But California is California just like Texas & Florida.   

Did that answer help you any ?

What happened to Oklahoma, Kentucky, Arkansas, Tennessee, Virginia, the Carolinas, Georgia, and West Virginia? I also consider Texas as Texas and Florida as Florida, but you forgot a slew of states for the south.

SiotehCat

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Workerbee

I'm in West Texas

My nephew calls this down South but I consider Southern states to be Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama & Georgia.

I consider Texas and Florida to be Texas & Florida, although both are almost as south you can get while staying in the US.  Then again I consider New Mexico to be southwest with Arizona.  But California is California just like Texas & Florida.   

Did that answer help you any ?

What happened to Oklahoma, Kentucky, Arkansas, Tennessee, Virginia, the Carolinas, Georgia, and West Virginia? I also consider Texas as Texas and Florida as Florida, but you forgot a slew of states for the south.

See, I wouldn't consider any of those except Georgia to be the south. I am from deep down South Texas, and I don't consider that the south either.

Allyson

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Sometimes conversations can get surprising, so I'm not judging anyone for level of information disclosed. I'm normally a very private person who doesn't go beyond small-talk on the first meeting, and also someone who isn't big on physical contact. There have been two or three times where I've met people and for whatever reason, we mutually broke those rules and were behaving much more friendly by the end of the conversation than we normally might have thought. So if that can happen to someone like me, who doesn't easily warm up to others, I don't find it that strange that a first-time conversation could meander to personal details.

Redneck Gravy

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Workerbee

I'm in West Texas

My nephew calls this down South but I consider Southern states to be Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama & Georgia.

I consider Texas and Florida to be Texas & Florida, although both are almost as south you can get while staying in the US.  Then again I consider New Mexico to be southwest with Arizona.  But California is California just like Texas & Florida.   

Did that answer help you any ?

What happened to Oklahoma, Kentucky, Arkansas, Tennessee, Virginia, the Carolinas, Georgia, and West Virginia? I also consider Texas as Texas and Florida as Florida, but you forgot a slew of states for the south.

See, I wouldn't consider any of those except Georgia to be the south. I am from deep down South Texas, and I don't consider that the south either.
I agree, I did forget a bunch.  Please don't take offense, just if you ask me off the top of my head - that's what I think.   I just consider those others middle states?  If you tell me you're from back East, I'll think Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania-funny how we think directionally/geographically. I think of Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas & Nebraska as mid-west but I think they really may be closer to the eastern side of the center of America.   

Mental Magpie

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  • ...for the dark side looks back.
I grew up in PA; to me the south started with North Carolina and ended on the west with Texas...it was only a few years ago that I learned that some people in Tennessee and Kentucky consider themselves as having had a southern upbringing and that completely perplexed me.
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.