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Author Topic: What would you have done?  (Read 2514 times) Average Rating: 0
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GabrieltheCelt
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« on: September 23, 2009, 12:03:07 PM »

Hey y'all,

 I wasn't sure where to put this question so forgive me if it doesn't belong in the Religious Free-For-All...

 Yesterday I was assisting a wealthy client of ours for about an hour and a half.  Because he's very businesslike and professional, the meeting was sorta stressful but I was able to make him laugh out loud several times and, I think, put him at ease about his remodeling endeavor. 

 Well, at the end of this meeting, he takes out his business card and begins writing something on the back.  As he's writing, he explains that he's very happy with my knowledge and friendliness.  I thank him and then he tells me that he owns several "gentlemen's" clubs in several states and that he's giving me the V.I.P. treatment (free drinks, no charges, ... ) at one of his local clubs. 

 He came across as a really professional, nice person.  My boss called me prior to the meeting to tell me that "we" need this sale and that he hoped I could close the deal. 
 
 Rather than explain to him that I'm a Christian and that, while I don't judge others' business, that sort of establishment isn't healthy for me to patronize, I took the card and thanked him.

 Of coarse, it goes without saying, that I won't be taking him up on his invitation, but I feel as though I blew a chance to witness to him.

 What do all y'all think?  How do you suppose I should've handled it? 
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« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2009, 12:03:48 PM »

I think you handled it quite professionally.
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« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2009, 12:12:28 PM »

Hey y'all,

 I wasn't sure where to put this question so forgive me if it doesn't belong in the Religious Free-For-All...

 Yesterday I was assisting a wealthy client of ours for about an hour and a half.  Because he's very businesslike and professional, the meeting was sorta stressful but I was able to make him laugh out loud several times and, I think, put him at ease about his remodeling endeavor. 

 Well, at the end of this meeting, he takes out his business card and begins writing something on the back.  As he's writing, he explains that he's very happy with my knowledge and friendliness.  I thank him and then he tells me that he owns several "gentlemen's" clubs in several states and that he's giving me the V.I.P. treatment (free drinks, no charges, ... ) at one of his local clubs. 

 He came across as a really professional, nice person.  My boss called me prior to the meeting to tell me that "we" need this sale and that he hoped I could close the deal. 
 
 Rather than explain to him that I'm a Christian and that, while I don't judge others' business, that sort of establishment isn't healthy for me to patronize, I took the card and thanked him.

Of coarse, it goes without saying, that I won't be taking him up on his invitation, but I feel as though I blew a chance to witness to him.

What do all y'all think?  How do you suppose I should've handled it?  

On the one hand, not witnessing your faith more explicitly may have been a missed opportunity.

On the other hand, being a "gentleman's club" owner means he's likely heard everything kind you would have to say to him to convince him that what he's doing is wrong; IMO, he'd probably get the Pharisee treatment from the Apostles, so it's better that you were kind and polite (which is also a good witness to your faith), and just "wash your hands" of the whole thing.  (No, really - you don't know where his hands have been.  Wash yours.  With bleach.  Maybe get new ones... Wink )
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« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2009, 12:12:46 PM »

Thats what I would've done.
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« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2009, 12:21:05 PM »

You did well, under the circumstances so don't fret any more about it.
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« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2009, 12:50:22 PM »


I think you did the right thing.

Sometimes at work you have to just stay quiet.

Now that you have his address feel free to send him a pamphlet on Orthodoxy!   Wink
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« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2009, 05:06:30 PM »

I would be very surprised if he couldn't tell from your expression that you were shocked. That might be the best way possible of 'witnessing' to him. You were polite and professional, but he will probably have seen that his gesture wasn't welcome, so - particularly if this has happened to him elsewhere - he may come to realize that what he sees as normal or welcome, is actually offensive to some. Nothing like a quiet moment of shame to change someone's ideas ...


But what a horrible situation to be in! I'm disgusted, and I'm a pretty liberal (or immoral, if you will). I don't imagine he's winning many friends among your female colleagues, for a start!
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« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2009, 11:30:27 PM »

Very thoughtful replies y'all; thanks a million!  But now there's another puzzling addition...

 He returned today to finish up some business; again he was very polite but businesslike.  This time though, he was dressed very casual.  What really caught my eye was his rather large crucifix that he was wearing (about 1.5" in length).  At the end of our transaction, I commented that I liked his crucifix.  Because Christ's body was 2-dimensional, I asked if he was Roman Catholic or Eastern Orthodox.  His eyes lighted up and he answered that he's Roman Catholic and that he just returned from Rome!!  To my amazement, he explained that he goes once a year and that he regularly attends one of the oldest RC parishes in town (it's really beautiful btw, I've been there.).  He said he really enjoys the priest's homily's!! 

 Again, I don't wanna seem judgmental; we're all sinners and make bad choices on our journey's.  It just seems really odd that a seemingly devout Christian would be in business with this type of establishment.  He reiterated again that he was offering me the V.I.P. treatment (whatever that means...) at his club and again, I thanked him but didn't say 'yes' or 'no'.  Nor did I bring up what I thought/think is the obvious: what's a seemingly devout man doing with a "Gentleman's Club"? 

 I guess I'm just really naive and live in my own little insulated world because this whole thing just seems really odd. 
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« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2009, 09:40:55 AM »

Cool move, reminds me of certain cases where antichristians send whores etc. to tempt our Saints. Smiley
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« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2009, 10:04:20 AM »

My suggestion would be to pray for him.
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« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2009, 10:30:08 AM »


Gabriel,

I know exactly how you feel.

I work with an Orthodox woman. I was so thrilled when her "lab" joined ours.  Now I had an Orthodox girl to befriend.  What joy!  What fun!

Oh my gosh!  Sadly she is Orthodox in name only.  ....and what's worse, she advertises very proudly that she's Orthodox.

She only goes to church for weddings and baptisms...and she's the godmother over and over and over.  Her church is Old-calendar, however, while she tells everyone it's her Christmas....she doesn't take the day off.  She doesn't want to waste her vacation time.

I visited her church for vespers and then when I asked her something about the priest...she didn't even know his name.  When any theological topic comes up she never explains the Orthodox view, but, whatever is in fad at the moment.  The world is ending 2012, because apparently the Aztec were always dead on and they knew the future....and aliens inhabited the planet....and....

She is always off at the casinos.  She and her friends go to Canada to gamble and hit the strip joints.   She comes back in to work and you get hear about their exploits....very explicitly.  Her language is always F this and F that, and everyone and everything can go to H - worse than any sailor!  It's just terrible.  She's got 2 kids in college and yet she acts like a teenager herself.

The folks who work with her have to tolerate her, but, those who don't deal with her daily, just scowl when they hear her name and roll their eyes.  She's a bad emissary for Orthodoxy.  I wish she wouldn't tell everyone she's Orthodox....because then they think Orthodoxy is very lax and permits all this bad behavior.  Even during Great Lent...she'll say that it's Lent....but, it's stupid...with all those restrictions and she doesn't feel the need to follow it.

Unfortunately, I was moved to her lab this week and for the next two.  I have been "biting" my tongue this whole week.....I soooo want to say something....but, like others have said, it would be pointless. 

Last time I worked in this lab, I had to go out and purchase an iPod in order to plug up my ears and not listen to the foul language.  The iPod has been sitting in a drawer for months, and now that I am here, it again is getting a work out!

What's to be done?  Cannot change the world....and it's work...you can't truly speak your mind.

I dread getting up in the morning and going in to the office.  2 weeks and 2 days left before I return to my own lab.

When I found out Friday that I would be working with her for the next 3 weeks, I cried the whole way home.  Please pray for me that I don't say something stupid! 



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« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2009, 10:44:37 AM »


Gabriel,

I know exactly how you feel.

I work with an Orthodox woman. I was so thrilled when her "lab" joined ours.  Now I had an Orthodox girl to befriend.  What joy!  What fun!

Oh my gosh!  Sadly she is Orthodox in name only.  ....and what's worse, she advertises very proudly that she's Orthodox.

She only goes to church for weddings and baptisms...and she's the godmother over and over and over.  Her church is Old-calendar, however, while she tells everyone it's her Christmas....she doesn't take the day off.  She doesn't want to waste her vacation time.

I visited her church for vespers and then when I asked her something about the priest...she didn't even know his name.  When any theological topic comes up she never explains the Orthodox view, but, whatever is in fad at the moment.  The world is ending 2012, because apparently the Aztec were always dead on and they knew the future....and aliens inhabited the planet....and....

She is always off at the casinos.  She and her friends go to Canada to gamble and hit the strip joints.   She comes back in to work and you get hear about their exploits....very explicitly.  Her language is always F this and F that, and everyone and everything can go to H - worse than any sailor!  It's just terrible.  She's got 2 kids in college and yet she acts like a teenager herself.

The folks who work with her have to tolerate her, but, those who don't deal with her daily, just scowl when they hear her name and roll their eyes.  She's a bad emissary for Orthodoxy.  I wish she wouldn't tell everyone she's Orthodox....because then they think Orthodoxy is very lax and permits all this bad behavior.  Even during Great Lent...she'll say that it's Lent....but, it's stupid...with all those restrictions and she doesn't feel the need to follow it.

Unfortunately, I was moved to her lab this week and for the next two.  I have been "biting" my tongue this whole week.....I soooo want to say something....but, like others have said, it would be pointless. 

Last time I worked in this lab, I had to go out and purchase an iPod in order to plug up my ears and not listen to the foul language.  The iPod has been sitting in a drawer for months, and now that I am here, it again is getting a work out!

What's to be done?  Cannot change the world....and it's work...you can't truly speak your mind.

I dread getting up in the morning and going in to the office.  2 weeks and 2 days left before I return to my own lab.

When I found out Friday that I would be working with her for the next 3 weeks, I cried the whole way home.  Please pray for me that I don't say something stupid! 

I hope you are as vocal as saying you are Orthodox as she is. At least the contrast will be evident, Lord willing.

As for Gabriel, if it happens again, thank him but say that as the Fathers say, those who fear slipping shouldn't go in slippery places.
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« Reply #12 on: September 24, 2009, 10:57:52 AM »


I hope you are as vocal as saying you are Orthodox as she is. At least the contrast will be evident, Lord willing.

I am.  I try not to be "too" vocal, however, everyone by now knows I am Orthodox.  I DO take the Feast days off, when at all possible, I openly wear my Orthodox cross, I have an icon at my desk, etc. 
It's fun to see that folks look at me and then say "Well, I can't tell you that joke because Liz is listening."  I am happy when I hear that.

I know that I lack terribly in my discipline and I am a great sinner.  However, I hope it's not openly evident and that for the outsiders I am a good example.

As for Gabriel, if it happens again, thank him but say that as the Fathers say, those who fear slipping shouldn't go in slippery places.

^I LOVE that statement!  Excellent!

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« Reply #13 on: September 24, 2009, 11:39:47 AM »

Liza--you seem to be doing all you can to bear witness to your faith. Seems to me that some of your co-workers could come to you with questions or advice if they think you would guide them gently in the right direction.
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« Reply #14 on: September 24, 2009, 12:20:29 PM »

I know what you mean guys. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of my income to the Church. I thank God that I am not like other men, the nominal Orthodox, who are robbers, evildoers, adulterers or even Publicans.
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« Reply #15 on: September 24, 2009, 12:48:40 PM »


OzGeorge, I hope that wasn't aimed at me.

I will be the first one to state my many shortcomings.

However, since Gabriel explained to us his encounter, I thought I would share my little story.  It pains me when this girl constantly harps on being Orthodox and than speaks about how wonderful her experience was when she saw the "Thunder from DownUnder" performing at the casinos.

The point being that arguing might defeat the purpose depending on where you find yourself at the moment.  Sometimes it's best to hold your tongue in order to keep your job.

Please forgive me if I came across as self exonerating...because I didn't mean to.

However, I also want to make the point, that no matter how "good" an Orthodox you are, or how "bad", you are the example of Orthodoxy to the non-Orthodox world. 

Therefore, we should all be mindful of our actions and be good examples.

Please forgive this sinner,

Liza


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« Reply #16 on: September 24, 2009, 01:21:35 PM »

I'm curious to know why some RCs and EO traditionally haven't seen anything wrong with casinos, nightclubs etc., while Evangelical Christians would see this as basically a test of fellowship?
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« Reply #17 on: September 24, 2009, 01:28:15 PM »


Hi Rosehip!   Wink

I am certain that my Ukrainian Orthodox Church would frown upon casinos, as well as frequenting gentlemen's clubs, etc.

Casinos foster a number of addictions - gambling, drunkeness, smoking, wasting one's time, not spending time with your kids/wife/husband/, etc.

Anything that is "addictive" in nature and takes one's attention off God, is forbidden I believe.



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« Reply #18 on: September 24, 2009, 01:30:52 PM »

I know what you mean guys. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of my income to the Church. I thank God that I am not like other men, the nominal Orthodox, who are robbers, evildoers, adulterers or even Publicans.

From the Prayerbook:

NINE WAYS OF PARTICIPATING IN ANOTHER'S SIN
1. By counsel.
2. By command.
3. By consent.
4. By provocation.
5. By praise or flattery.
6. By concealment.
7. By partaking.
8. By silence.
9. By defense of the sin committed.

THE CHIEF SPIRITUAL WORKS OF MERCY
1. To admonish sinners.
2. To instruct the ignorant.
3. To counsel the doubtful.
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« Reply #19 on: September 24, 2009, 01:33:31 PM »

I'm curious to know why some RCs and EO traditionally haven't seen anything wrong with casinos, nightclubs etc., while Evangelical Christians would see this as basically a test of fellowship?

Actually there are plenty of Evangelical Christians who frequent such places.
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« Reply #20 on: September 24, 2009, 01:35:31 PM »

Well, it certainly wasn't allowed in my former church! One could have one's membership removed for doing so, or, at the very least, a public confession in front of the entire congregation before going to communion. Sometimes a relatively lengthy period of discipline would also follow.
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« Reply #21 on: September 24, 2009, 01:38:56 PM »

^What about bars and Pubs?
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« Reply #22 on: September 24, 2009, 01:40:43 PM »

Also forbidden. It never crossed my mind to even enter such an establishment. To this day I still have a sense of committing a sin if I go inside, and I almost never do so, even though technically it is now "allowed" for me to do so.
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« Reply #23 on: September 24, 2009, 02:54:03 PM »

Very thoughtful replies y'all; thanks a million!  But now there's another puzzling addition...

 He returned today to finish up some business; again he was very polite but businesslike.  This time though, he was dressed very casual.  What really caught my eye was his rather large crucifix that he was wearing (about 1.5" in length).  At the end of our transaction, I commented that I liked his crucifix.  Because Christ's body was 2-dimensional, I asked if he was Roman Catholic or Eastern Orthodox.  His eyes lighted up and he answered that he's Roman Catholic and that he just returned from Rome!!  To my amazement, he explained that he goes once a year and that he regularly attends one of the oldest RC parishes in town (it's really beautiful btw, I've been there.).  He said he really enjoys the priest's homily's!! 

 Again, I don't wanna seem judgmental; we're all sinners and make bad choices on our journey's.  It just seems really odd that a seemingly devout Christian would be in business with this type of establishment.  He reiterated again that he was offering me the V.I.P. treatment (whatever that means...) at his club and again, I thanked him but didn't say 'yes' or 'no'.  Nor did I bring up what I thought/think is the obvious: what's a seemingly devout man doing with a "Gentleman's Club"? 

 I guess I'm just really naive and live in my own little insulated world because this whole thing just seems really odd. 

Well, here's my completely cynical view:

He saw you were shocked by his previous offer.

He realizes he's in hot water and many people will think less of him if it becomes wildly known how he likes to do business.

He's trying to appeal to your 'as a fellow Christian' so you will see how pious he is and forget totally about what happened before.

I mean, seriously ... he's suddenly wearing a huge great cross you've never noticed before? I hope I'm wrong, but I have a sorry feeling I'm not. Many people hide behind religion.
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« Reply #24 on: September 24, 2009, 03:00:01 PM »

I'm curious to know why some RCs and EO traditionally haven't seen anything wrong with casinos, nightclubs etc., while Evangelical Christians would see this as basically a test of fellowship?

Isn't there a huge difference between a nightclub (not that I'm saying they're necessarily good places to be), and a 'gentleman's club'? Nightclubs are, yes, full of young people dancing, usually drinking, and often flirting. But gentlemen's clubs are surely in a whole other league, if we're using the term the same way? It's a euphemism for a strip club, right?

I'm sorry, but I find these places totally beyond the pale, and I have some left-of-liberal views on most issues of sexual morality. I think they are utterly degrading, and it's even worse when they are used as venues for business deals.
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« Reply #25 on: September 24, 2009, 04:47:17 PM »

Isn't there a huge difference between a nightclub (not that I'm saying they're necessarily good places to be), and a 'gentleman's club'? Nightclubs are, yes, full of young people dancing, usually drinking, and often flirting. But gentlemen's clubs are surely in a whole other league, if we're using the term the same way? It's a euphemism for a strip club, right?
Yes, that's how the term is applied in the U.S. as well.
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« Reply #26 on: September 24, 2009, 06:22:00 PM »

Isn't there a huge difference between a nightclub (not that I'm saying they're necessarily good places to be), and a 'gentleman's club'? Nightclubs are, yes, full of young people dancing, usually drinking, and often flirting. But gentlemen's clubs are surely in a whole other league, if we're using the term the same way? It's a euphemism for a strip club, right?
Yes, that's how the term is applied in the U.S. as well.

You're not the only one Liz! I had to pm GabrieltheCelt to ask him what a Gentleman's Club was!
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« Reply #27 on: September 24, 2009, 06:22:01 PM »

I know what you mean guys. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of my income to the Church. I thank God that I am not like other men, the nominal Orthodox, who are robbers, evildoers, adulterers or even Publicans.

From the Prayerbook:

NINE WAYS OF PARTICIPATING IN ANOTHER'S SIN
1. By counsel.
2. By command.
3. By consent.
4. By provocation.
5. By praise or flattery.
6. By concealment.
7. By partaking.
8. By silence.
9. By defense of the sin committed.

THE CHIEF SPIRITUAL WORKS OF MERCY
1. To admonish sinners.
2. To instruct the ignorant.
3. To counsel the doubtful.

"The" Prayerbook? Are we Anglicans? Smiley
I am only spiritually advanced enough to know that I am righteous in God's eyes since I fast and pray and give alms and I'm not like the nominal Orthodox Christians- those adulterers and evildoers and publicans. I am not spiritually advanced enough yet to admonish those sinners and give spiritual counsel to others, but I am getting there. My righteousness and Illumination grows by the day. At this rate, I expect to reach theosis by mid November, by which time my spiritual wisdom will be made manifest in the world and I will be able to admonish, instruct and counsel those poor sinners, or at least let them bask in the Uncreated Light eminating from my being.
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« Reply #28 on: September 25, 2009, 12:46:28 AM »

I'm curious to know why some RCs and EO traditionally haven't seen anything wrong with casinos, nightclubs etc., while Evangelical Christians would see this as basically a test of fellowship?

Isn't there a huge difference between a nightclub (not that I'm saying they're necessarily good places to be), and a 'gentleman's club'? Nightclubs are, yes, full of young people dancing, usually drinking, and often flirting. But gentlemen's clubs are surely in a whole other league, if we're using the term the same way? It's a euphemism for a strip club, right?
Yes ma'am, indeed it is.  I put the word gentleman in quotations because a true gentleman would never patronize a place like that.

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« Reply #29 on: September 25, 2009, 01:43:18 AM »

Very thoughtful replies y'all; thanks a million!  But now there's another puzzling addition...

 He returned today to finish up some business; again he was very polite but businesslike.  This time though, he was dressed very casual.  What really caught my eye was his rather large crucifix that he was wearing (about 1.5" in length).  At the end of our transaction, I commented that I liked his crucifix.  Because Christ's body was 2-dimensional, I asked if he was Roman Catholic or Eastern Orthodox.  His eyes lighted up and he answered that he's Roman Catholic and that he just returned from Rome!!  To my amazement, he explained that he goes once a year and that he regularly attends one of the oldest RC parishes in town (it's really beautiful btw, I've been there.).  He said he really enjoys the priest's homily's!! 

 Again, I don't wanna seem judgmental; we're all sinners and make bad choices on our journey's.  It just seems really odd that a seemingly devout Christian would be in business with this type of establishment.  He reiterated again that he was offering me the V.I.P. treatment (whatever that means...) at his club and again, I thanked him but didn't say 'yes' or 'no'.  Nor did I bring up what I thought/think is the obvious: what's a seemingly devout man doing with a "Gentleman's Club"? 

 I guess I'm just really naive and live in my own little insulated world because this whole thing just seems really odd. 

Well, here's my completely cynical view:

He saw you were shocked by his previous offer.

He realizes he's in hot water and many people will think less of him if it becomes wildly known how he likes to do business.
As nice as he seems, he's from a really big Northern city; a city known for it's corruption, mean streets and just downright seediness.  There's the possibility that you could be right, but I don't believe he'd give a damn how others view him.  

He's trying to appeal to your 'as a fellow Christian' so you will see how pious he is and forget totally about what happened before.

I mean, seriously ... he's suddenly wearing a huge great cross you've never noticed before? I hope I'm wrong, but I have a sorry feeling I'm not. Many people hide behind religion.
I've only seen him twice so I can't say he's 'suddenly' wearing a cross.  But you may be right that he's trying to appeal to me by using religion though.  But then again, he may not.  I'm not positive, but my guess is he's a street-smart hustler who's moved down here to get away from something, probably someone(s).  He's a flashy dressin', funny talkin' Roman Catholic Italian who owns a real life  'Bada Bing!".  Y'all can think what you want about me for suggesting this, but it wouldn't surprise me if he were mafioso...

If I see him again I'll just keep doing what I'm doing- be genuinely polite and happy to see him.  He'll either think I'm some naive hillbilly; using religion to hustle him; or really happy and secure in my faith which might cause him to think about his lifestyle.
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« Reply #30 on: September 25, 2009, 09:42:43 AM »

Y'all:
I may be sounding like Miss Manners, but I have found that a blank uncomprehending stare perhaps followed by a bewildered, "Oh, no thank you" covers a multitude of awkward social circumstances.



« Last Edit: September 25, 2009, 09:43:31 AM by katherineofdixie » Logged

"If but ten of us lead a holy life, we shall kindle a fire which shall light up the entire city."

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