Imagine for a moment that you go to your dentist on Monday morning, and he greets you with, “Hi! How did you spend your Easter?”
Why do people assume it’s perfectly ok to make small talk by inserting the name of the nearest holiday, and assuming that everyone they come into contact with celebrates that holiday?
Now imagine you’re African American (if you’re not), and you’re waiting in line at the bank. It’s December 27th. The woman in front of you turns and asks, “How did you spend Kwanzaa?”
Or let’s say you’re grocery shopping, and when you get to the cashier, she looks at your slightly longer than average nose, and while scanning your items, she says, “So, how was your Hanukkah?”
Maybe your skin is a golden brown – because you’re Native American – and you’re checking out a book at the library, and the librarian makes small talk by asking you how you celebrated Cinco de Mayo.
Perhaps you’re an overweight woman, and the new pastor at your church wishes you a Happy Mother’s Day … even though you’re not pregnant.
How would you feel if people just randomly assumed something about you, based on your appearance? Would you think it impolite? Is this something you do to others?
Religions are so diverse these days; holidays are celebrated by many different types of people. So why is it that 99% of the time, it’s members of the christian religion that do this to others? How often do you see a jewish person wishing perfect strangers a Happy Hanukkah? When is the last time a muslim stranger wished you well on Ramadan?
Christians talk a good game about how they’re being oppressed – especially around xmas! – but they never stop to consider that not everyone celebrates their holidays or that it’s extremely annoying (and possibly even offensive) to those that don’t, to have to continually have another person’s beliefs foisted upon them. Why is it that christians think that’s acceptable?
Someone please explain to me why I have to explain to others that I don’t celebrate the holiday that they seem to think I do based on my appearance? Because, honestly, that’s the only basis they have for their assumption. I’m Caucasian, so the assumption is that I celebrate christian holidays. Because, you know, all white people are christian … right? And all people with long noses are jewish. And all people with golden brown skin are Latino. And all fat women are pregnant.
Can’t people just leave their assumptions at home, and their holidays/religion out of small talk with complete strangers?
I don’t walk up to complete strangers and wish them a Happy Zombie Weekend.
But I don’t.
Because I don’t know what they celebrate, just by looking at them.
But maybe I should start.
Happy Zombie Weekend!