So, my newest neighbor (Donna) has three children...one is Kitten's age and they have become very good friends. For that reason, Donna and I do interact often. There are two topics Donna is VERY passionate about...education and nutrition.
Donna home schools her children, Kitten (my daughter) attends public school (we live in a wonderful school district). Whenever the subject of schooling comes up, Donna goes on a tirade of how AWEFUL schools are. How damaging to our children's' intelligence and creativity they are, etc. How any well informed parent would pull their child immediately from public OR private school because the schools just cannot offer what kids really need....etc.
These tirades are started by the most innocent comments. We were standing outside talking one evening and a new neighbor stopped by and asked about enrollment dates for the 2011-2012 school year. I started to respond to her question and Donna had to make sure the neighbor knew all the evils of public/private school. She always ends her sermons with, "Of course, that's just MY opinion."
Another topic is nutrition. She is convinced that everything we put into our bodies is toxic and is going to kill us. She only eats organically grown products...her meats are ordered on-line from places that only feed their animals natural/organic foods. She also goes off on the EVILS of high-fructose corn syrup. If you mention something tasting funny she will immediately jump into a lecture on how CHEMICALS are ruining our foods and poisoning our bodies. I have been instructed to never feed her children when they are over because they are on VERY special diets and she doesn't want their bodies invaded by the toxins in the foods I buy (since I don't buy organic). I can respect that, I won't feed her kids, although I do resent the implications that I am poisoning my child.
Now, I see some of her points and agree, to an extent...but she is a zealot. She will find the most innocent comment and use it to launch onto her soapbox and lecture the audience with her beliefs....ALWAYS ending with, "Sorry, I know I just go off, but this is a topic I'm passionate about!"
I've tried bean-dip. I've tried the "stare and blink" tactic. But, while she will often allow the topic change, if the opportunity to lecture arises again (and it can be something as innocent as stating you are thirsty! Did you know most of our drinking water is contaminated and it's poisoning us slowly??!!??!!), she's off again dominating the conversation.
So, wise eHellions, are there any other polite tactics I can try to let Donna know that while we respect her passion for her causes...we've heard it all before and we really don't want to hear it again?