Moments of silence

Have you ever experienced a “moment of silence”? You know, that awkward moment right after you say something without thinking and completely shock your conservative friend or relative? Let me offer some examples.

Some time back I was out shopping with my mom.

Me: “This looks like the kind of material my friend Anna is looking at for her bridesmaids’ dresses. She’s in full wedding planning at the moment, it’s all she talks about.”

Mom: “Oh, that’s sweet. When is her wedding?”

Me: “In a year and a half.”

Mom: “Oh. That must be really hard to wait that long.”

Me: “Well it’s not like they aren’t already living together.”

Mom: …silence…

Here’s another one, from a time my husband and I hung out with one of my brothers last year:

Me: (To my husband) You’re going to love the Christmas present I’m getting you!

Husband: Oh really? How are you so sure?

Me: Oh, I’m sure. I told my friend Jared what I’m getting for you, and Jared said I’m the best wife ever.

Brother: (To my husband) It sounds like you better watch out!

Husband: No worries, he’s gay.

Brother: …silence…

At first I highly regretted each of these instances – wishing that I hadn’t mentioned that my friend was living with her fiance, and that my husband hadn’t said that our friend Jared was gay – but then I kind of wondered if perhaps little offhand comments like these help to normalize these sorts of things - cohabitating or having gay friends – or at least make them less foreign.

And now it’s you’re turn. Have you experienced “moments of silence” like these?

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About Libby Anne

Libby Anne grew up in a large evangelical homeschool family highly involved in the Christian Right. College turned her world upside down, and she is today an atheist, a feminist, and a progressive. She blogs about leaving religion, her experience with the Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements, the detrimental effects of the "purity culture," the contradictions of conservative politics, and the importance of feminism.