This is the story of a woman I'll call Jan. She's sweet, she's funny, she's smart. She's also a very easy person with work with. Unhappily, Jan's also an Olympic-Class conclusion jumper.
In our office, most people choose to have lunch in the staff room. Each of us takes a piece of the New York Times. We read as we eat and interesting discussions often follow*
Here are some examples of Jan's odd conclusions.
1) The article was about a graphic novel used in Europe to teach children between the ages of ten and fourteen about the Holocaust. There was a little discussion. Jan's reaction?
"Oooh, you're really into Manga, aren't you?"
Noo. The only graphic novels I've read were 'Maus' and 'Persepolis'. I have nothing against Manga, it just isn't a genre I enjoy.
2) The article concerned a man who had several children, a busy house and who wanted a bit of adult peace. He built himself a retreat in his back yard. There was a little discussion. Jan's reaction?
"Oooh, you're an avid gardener, aren't you?"
Noo. If the truth be told, houseplants flinch when I approach. They all know that the touch of my hand is the touch of death for them. Even grass parts before me as I walk across a lawn.
This sort of thing happens at least once a week and it's been going on for a year or more. Perhaps Jan's Championship jump happened when I wished her a Happy Thanksgiving a week early. I explained that we would be enjoying the holiday on a cruise ship en route to Hawaii. Jan's reaction?
"Oooh, You're going to retire on one of those live-aboard ships, aren't you?"
Noo. Those things don't interest us at all. They're ruinously expensive and you still have to maintain a land-based address for tax purposes.
Thanks to EtiquetteHell, I've learned to use "What an interesting assumption" when questions of this nature arise. Jan isn't being rude and I don't mind answering her. Her questions are more amusing than annoying. Still, "What an interesting assumption" said in a friendly way helps a lot.
* FWIW : By unspoken agreement, the discussions of newspaper articles are limited to sections of the paper dealing with art, food and home. Politics and news in general is Verboten unless we're talking about a natural disaster and the horrors that entails.