Notes from A Broad

 

I just returned from three weeks in Scotland. Combination golf trip for my husband and visiting relatives and a road trip for me and my sister. The golf was great, the food was terrific (that’s a first) and the weather almost biblically bad. I swear Scotland is the only place you can be too cold and too hot at the same time. And you’re soaked and your hair’s a mess.

Even though it’s an activity I normally enjoy, I was wary about getting provoked into political discussions. This past election was too hard, and my own feelings too raw. The typical Scottish argument goes like this: something provocative and borderline insulting is said. When you respond in disagreement a hand is held up: whoa, whoa, whoa, we’re not talking politics. You then lamely try and make your point while everyone looks upon you like a troublemaker.

It happened over and over. But I simply didn’t respond. I shrugged. I said things like: it’s hard to explain. If you were me you might feel different. On a personal note, it took no effort. I seem to have entered a sort of zen-like state.

So it’s ironic that my only really bad experience was with a fellow Yank.

In Inverness, she approached my sister, my cousin, and me and offered to take our picture. I asked how she was enjoying Scotland and she said not at all. She and her husband were freezing to death and he wasn’t speaking to her. She then offered that they were looking for a country to move to as Trump was now president.

When I asked how easy it was to move to Scotland (knowing damn well it’s not; why do people think other countries don’t have borders and laws?) she replied not at all, so they were leaving to check out Portugal.

I said something nice like: I hear it’s lovely this time of year.

She then went on a tirade about how much Hate! Hate! Hate! there was in the states and that she had to leave. She then said something stupid about the Paris Accord, then how Trump was going to ruin the environment and/or blow up the world. But the Hate! Hate! Hate! was just too much for her to bear.

I’d finally had it. I just said: the hate I am experiencing right now is proof of your claim.

When she responded in confusion, I said: you’ve just approached three strangers and you have no idea their feelings on the matter, nor how they voted, nor the reasons why. And because my zen-like state had left the building, I said: nothing like two sons in the military to focus the mind.

We then turned and walked away, with her yelling at our backs. Which she continued to do until we finally turned a corner a few minutes later. For all I know she’s still yelling.

The good news is she took a great picture.

A cousin (who lives in Edinburgh, works for the NHS and enjoys six weeks of vacation per year, has literally vacationed in more countries than she can name and can’t be fired from her job), my sister Theresa (who was on her first vacation abroad since 1992) and me. I love this picture as for the first time the wind wasn’t blowing and my hair didn’t look like Donald Trump’s.

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  1. drlorentz Member
    drlorentz
    @drlorentz

    Annefy: I’d finally had it. I just said: the hate I am experiencing right now is proof of your claim.

    Good answer. It’s hardly surprising that she was confused by it. Look at the bright side: she and her somewhat estranged husband are looking to emigrate to a European socialist hellscape paradise. They’ll probably never go through with it but we can dream, can’t we? They’ll probably end up in the Bay Area and vote for Nancy Pelosi for the next couple of decades.

    Nice picture, btw. The weather does look awful though.

    • #1
  2. Annefy Member
    Annefy
    @Annefy

    drlorentz (View Comment):

    Annefy: I’d finally had it. I just said: the hate I am experiencing right now is proof of your claim.

    Good answer. It’s hardly surprising that she was confused by it. Look at the bright side: she and her somewhat estranged husband are looking to emigrate to a European socialist hellscape paradise. They’ll probably never go through with it but we can dream, can’t we? They’ll probably end up in the Bay Area and vote for Nancy Pelosi for the next couple of decades.

    Nice picture, btw. The weather does look awful though.

    The rain was beyond description. It was poring so hard in No Berwick when we got off the train we had to “shelter in place” in the first pub we came to. (safety first) Coincidentally it was attached to a hotel where many of our party were staying so we made a night of it. The B&B where we were staying was only two blocks away but far enough to get soaked all over again.

    But my husband got a glorious day when he played the Old Course at St Andrews.

    • #2
  3. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    You have lots more patience than I do, Annefy. As soon as someone from the Left starts talking politics, I interrupt them as politely as I can and say, “I don’t discuss politics.” If the person persists, I excuse myself. Done.

    • #3
  4. Annefy Member
    Annefy
    @Annefy

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    You have lots more patience than I do, Annefy. As soon as someone from the Left starts talking politics, I interrupt them as politely as I can and say, “I don’t discuss politics.” If the person persists, I excuse myself. Done.

    Well, I was typically sitting in someone’s living room, or crammed in a pub booth with nowhere to go.

    I am finding a well-timed shrug to be effective. I can play passive aggressive as well as your average Scot – I just let them rant and don’t stop them til they say something stupid. Then I shrug and say “whatever”.

    • #4
  5. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Annefy (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    You have lots more patience than I do, Annefy. As soon as someone from the Left starts talking politics, I interrupt them as politely as I can and say, “I don’t discuss politics.” If the person persists, I excuse myself. Done.

    Well, I was typically sitting in someone’s living room, or crammed in a pub booth with nowhere to go.

    I am finding a well-timed shrug to be effective. I can play passive aggressive as well as your average Scot – I just let them rant and don’t stop them til they say something stupid. Then I shrug and say “whatever”.

    Even better!

    • #5
  6. drlorentz Member
    drlorentz
    @drlorentz

    Annefy (View Comment):
    we had to “shelter in place” in the first pub we came to. (safety first)

    At least you found shelter in a pub. Hope you got in a game of darts.

    • #6
  7. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    I loved Scotland, and would like to go back.  Inverness was just beautiful, but that was way back in 1984. Lots of Scotland is pretty gritty-they have lost so much industry over the years.

    • #7
  8. Annefy Member
    Annefy
    @Annefy

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):
    I loved Scotland, and would like to go back. Inverness was just beautiful, but that was way back in 1984. Lots of Scotland is pretty gritty-they have lost so much industry over the years.

    At lot of the gritty has been gentrified. The River Clyde in Glasgow was someplace to avoid in the 70s and 80s and is now dotted with a beautiful river walk and trendy restaurants and bars. The buildings have had their coal dust sand blasted off and the architecture can now been appreciated.

    Same with Greenock where my mother grew up, home in the past to many shipyards. Edinburgh has always been beautiful, though it’s the only city where I saw any homeless people.

    I’m not clear on what industry is keeping everything afloat, but all my relatives and friends are doing amazingly well economically. But no one wanted to talk about their work; instead the conversation focused on where they’d been on holidays past and where they’re going in the future. That they get four / six weeks vacation a year while we in the backwater of the US only get two.

    • #8
  9. Goldwaterwoman Thatcher
    Goldwaterwoman
    @goldwaterwoman

    Annefy (View Comment):
    I’m not clear on what industry is keeping everything afloat, but all my relatives and friends are doing amazingly well economically.

    Could well be that economic drivers have changed in the last 15 years, but 15 years ago a good friend of ours lived in Scotland and was employed in a bustling oil industry.  Commercial fishing was another big industry along with tourism.

    • #9
  10. Annefy Member
    Annefy
    @Annefy

    Goldwaterwoman (View Comment):

    Annefy (View Comment):
    I’m not clear on what industry is keeping everything afloat, but all my relatives and friends are doing amazingly well economically.

    Could well be that economic drivers have changed in the last 15 years, but 15 years ago a good friend of ours lived in Scotland and was employed in a bustling oil industry. Commercial fishing was another big industry along with tourism.

    It’s certainly not oil. There is talk of the “crisis” which has left many oil workers unemployed. Although those workers have been very well compensated in the past so I don’t know how grim the crisis really is

    • #10
  11. drlorentz Member
    drlorentz
    @drlorentz

    Annefy (View Comment):

    But no one wanted to talk about their work; instead the conversation focused on where they’d been on holidays past and where they’re going in the future. That they get four / six weeks vacation a year while we in the backwater of the US only get two.

    Lots of vacation time is overrated, unless you hate your job. Maybe that explains why they need so much vacation time in these socialist lands. If they ever smelled the sweet scent of freedom they might not hate their daily lives so much that they need escape.

    • #11
  12. JcTPatriot Inactive
    JcTPatriot
    @JcTPatriot

    Great story! I am glad you had a nice time there. The picture – as I sit here in a muscle shirt (tank top? wife-beater? What do we call a man’s shirt with no sleeves now?) and shorts to keep from having to crank the A/C all day here in Texas – is hilarious. It looks like you are in the middle of Winter, not the middle of June!

    I know a lady like the one you met. She is far-left, as is her husband, and not very bright. Way back when Republicans took back the House and then the Senate during Obama’s term, she and hubby (they live in Alaska) started looking “for a country where there isn’t so much Hate” you know, like there is in the USA. She was talking about the oppression she and others on the Left were feeling. She actually started talking about being worried that people on the Left were going to be “rounded up” – I am not making this up – and put in jail. I asked for examples, and of course, she just kept talking about her “feeling” like it was starting to happen. Who needs facts when you’re deranged? Anyway, she came to visit last month, and they still haven’t found that magical country to which they will move and live in safety from the Evil Right. When she mentioned Central America, I snorted a little too loudly, and got a dirty look from her for my faux pas. So I had probably given her a new example to tell her freak friends of the Hatred Coming From The Right.

    She is a friend of my dad’s wife, not me, so I don’t really care.

    Going back to your story, can you imagine standing in the street yelling at a complete stranger because of who they voted for? Some of these people are actually insane, I think.

    • #12
  13. drlorentz Member
    drlorentz
    @drlorentz

    Annefy (View Comment):

    Goldwaterwoman (View Comment):

    Annefy (View Comment):
    I’m not clear on what industry is keeping everything afloat, but all my relatives and friends are doing amazingly well economically.

    Could well be that economic drivers have changed in the last 15 years, but 15 years ago a good friend of ours lived in Scotland and was employed in a bustling oil industry. Commercial fishing was another big industry along with tourism.

    It’s certainly not oil. There is talk of the “crisis” which has left many oil workers unemployed. Although those workers have been very well compensated in the past so I don’t know how grim the crisis really is

    I’m guessing they’re still riding on past high oil prices. Socialists don’t mind eating their seed corn.

    • #13
  14. Addiction Is A Choice Member
    Addiction Is A Choice
    @AddictionIsAChoice

    Annefy:…I seem to have entered a sort of zen-like state…

     

     

    Plus, your Ricochet-name doubles as a mantra: “Ann-e-fy, Ann-e-fy, Ann-e-fy….” ;)

    • #14
  15. Muleskinner Member
    Muleskinner
    @Muleskinner

    Annefy: She then said something stupid about the Parish Accord, then how Trump was going to ruin the environment and/or blow up the world.

    Too late, I seem to recall Reagan doing all of that decades ago.

    • #15
  16. Annefy Member
    Annefy
    @Annefy

    Muleskinner (View Comment):

    Annefy: She then said something stupid about the Parish Accord, then how Trump was going to ruin the environment and/or blow up the world.

    Too late, I seem to recall Reagan doing all of that decades ago.

    (Thanks for the quote Typo fixed)

    Odd – I know that thanks to Maggie Thatcher many of my cousins inherited money. The first of anyone I am related to ever doing so.

    Yet the acrimony against her remains fierce.

    • #16
  17. Annefy Member
    Annefy
    @Annefy

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Annefy (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    You have lots more patience than I do, Annefy. As soon as someone from the Left starts talking politics, I interrupt them as politely as I can and say, “I don’t discuss politics.” If the person persists, I excuse myself. Done.

    Well, I was typically sitting in someone’s living room, or crammed in a pub booth with nowhere to go.

    I am finding a well-timed shrug to be effective. I can play passive aggressive as well as your average Scot – I just let them rant and don’t stop them til they say something stupid. Then I shrug and say “whatever”.

    Even better!

    Another effective technique is what I call”the high road.” You nod and smile and then say : it’s a big world. There’s room for all of us.

    I am not so nice that I don’t enjoy the frustration it inspires.

    • #17
  18. drlorentz Member
    drlorentz
    @drlorentz

    Addiction Is A Choice (View Comment):

    Annefy:…I seem to have entered a sort of zen-like state…

    Plus, your Ricochet-name doubles as a mantra: “Ann-e-fy, Ann-e-fy, Ann-e-fy….” ?

    I thought it was a portmanteau of “Ann” and “defy.” Keep defying the Left: Annefy ’em!

    • #18
  19. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Annefy: Even though it’s an activity I normally enjoy, I was wary about getting provoked into political discussions. This past election was too hard, and my own feelings too raw. The typical Scottish argument goes like this: something provocative and borderline insulting is said. When you respond in disagreement a hand is held up: whoa whoa whoa; we’re not talking politics. You then lamely try and make your point while everyone looks upon you like a troublemaker.

    Nope.

    Savage and relentless non sequiturs. That’s my ploy.

    “You Yanks and your utterly mad support of the Zionists …”

    “Bear Bryant was once asked to donate $10 for a sportswriter’s funeral. He replied ‘Here’s a twenty. Bury two.'”

    “What … er … what I’m saying is that the Palestinian people have suffered …”

    “Walt Disney was a musophobe: he had a deathly fear of mice.”

    “Walt Disney? What? What I am trying to explain to you is …”

    “Charlie Chaplin once came in third in a Charlie Chaplin lookalike contest.”

    Keep it up long enough and they either go away or an interesting conversation starts.

    • #19
  20. Goldwaterwoman Thatcher
    Goldwaterwoman
    @goldwaterwoman

    Annefy (View Comment):
    It’s certainly not oil. There is talk of the “crisis” which has left many oil workers unemployed. Although those workers have been very well compensated in the past so I don’t know how grim the crisis really is

    I still have property in Alaska, a heavily-dependent oil state currently in a recession because of low oil prices. Scotland was indeed riding high because of oil off their coast at one time, so that industry surely is affected by today’s low oil prices.

    • #20
  21. Nanda Panjandrum Member
    Nanda Panjandrum
    @

    Braw and bonny, @annefy!  Thanks for this!

    • #21
  22. Annefy Member
    Annefy
    @Annefy

    Goldwaterwoman (View Comment):

    Annefy (View Comment):
    It’s certainly not oil. There is talk of the “crisis” which has left many oil workers unemployed. Although those workers have been very well compensated in the past so I don’t know how grim the crisis really is

    I still have property in Alaska, a heavily-dependent oil state currently in a recession because of low oil prices. Scotland was indeed riding high because of oil off their coast at one time, so that industry surely is affected by today’s low oil prices.

    Undoubtedly.  But I saw no evidence of anyone experiencing anything other than what my husband now calls “easy living”.

    • #22
  23. Goldwaterwoman Thatcher
    Goldwaterwoman
    @goldwaterwoman

    Annefy (View Comment):
    Undoubtedly. But I saw no evidence of anyone experiencing anything other than what my husband now calls “easy living”.

    Hmm. Could it have anything to do with Mother England throwing money at them so they’ll go along with Brexit and stay in the UK? I’ve noticed the separatist people seem to have quieted down.

    • #23
  24. Annefy Member
    Annefy
    @Annefy

    Goldwaterwoman (View Comment):

    Annefy (View Comment):
    Undoubtedly. But I saw no evidence of anyone experiencing anything other than what my husband now calls “easy living”.

    Hmm. Could it have anything to do with Mother England throwing money at them so they’ll go along with Brexit and stay in the UK? I’ve noticed the separatist people seem to have quieted down.

    Just not sure. Couldn’t get a handle on it at all. No one was anxious to talk about Brexit and I heard very little about independence. There was a rallly in Glasgow when we were there but it seemed subdued

    • #24
  25. James Of England Moderator
    James Of England
    @JamesOfEngland

    I thought that this was very well written. Gave us both a smile. Thank you!

    • #25
  26. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    I thought the people of Scotland only emerged from the mist once every hundred years.

    No, seriously, the fault is all yours. You should have sprayed yourself heavily with Scotchguard every morning. It makes Socialists bead up and roll off.

    • #26
  27. Manny Member
    Manny
    @Manny

    This reminded me of many years ago as a young a man when I went to visit relatives in Italy and they ridiculed Ronald Reagan who was president at the time.  I was too young at the time to really engage, so I just let it go.

    What makes your situation different is that she was an actual American.  My relatives were Italian, and came from a wing in my family that were communist sympathizers.  She can take a flying leap into Loch Ness as far as I’m concerned.  And I’m certainly glad she is moving out of the country, our country, if she’ll really do it.  I’m skeptical.  Just like Ronald Reagan had the last laugh with my family, I hope Donald Trump has the last laugh with her.

    That is a lovely picture.  I enjoyed my brief trip in Scotland many years ago.  It was 2003 I think.  I had nice weather.

    • #27
  28. Ansonia Member
    Ansonia
    @Ansonia

    That’s a great picture and this is a good post.

    I love it that your question got her to acknowledge how hard it would be to move to Scotland. In conversation, it’s mainly through reasonable questions that anyone persuades me to reexamine anything. I might dismiss, ignore or evade the question at the time. But,  it stays with me.

    There are a few people who died without ever knowing their questions eventually changed my mind about something. I hope they had faith in the possibility.

     

     

     

    • #28
  29. cdor Member
    cdor
    @cdor

    Fun post @annefy. BTW, liberals always bring up politics, no matter how much we try to avoid it… doesn’t matter if it’s in Scotland, New York, California, or your own living room. Oh, and your hair looks great.

    • #29
  30. Wolverine Inactive
    Wolverine
    @Wolverine

    What drives me crazy is when people who don’t know you from a hole in the wall automatically assume you will agree with their politics. Talk about ignorance. I never discuss politics with strangers and never assume anything. You handled that situation perfectly @annefy. I am glad we have people like you on our side.

    • #30

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