Pecan Pie

Social Anxiety from the South

No Means No! (Except When it Means Yes)

I can’t remember if I’ve told you this story, but I tend to repeat myself a lot, so just bear with me.


When I was still married and my baby was still really young, my ex-husband and I went to Wal-Mart for our bi-monthly shopping trip. I took the baby in the cart with me to search out wipes and diapers and such. This Wally World had a separate baby item aisle on the grocery side, away from the infant section, that frequently had items much cheaper, sort of like a baby stuff clearance rack. (I know, I know, but I don’t shop there anymore.)

I am minding my own business, noticing that the popcorn aisle smells disturbingly like breast-fed baby poop, when a male child of about 8 years old walks up to me and boldly asks, “Do you think you are a good person?”

I’m sorry, what?

Out of the corner of my eye, I see Mom standing back a bit, a proud half-smile on her face as she waits patiently for this little production to play out.

The child holds in his hand a small card, the size of a credit card. It has a small black square and instructions written on the side. You are to place your thumb on the square, and like so many mood-rings from my childhood, you wait for the color to change.

Of course, all the colors presumably mean that, in fact, you are not a good person, and will perish in the fiery depths of hell…

unless you listen to this young man right here, who has the answers to the redemption of your eternal soul.


A friend of mine sent me an instant message discussion between her and a guy she used to know. The back and forth that went on was something like this

Her: Yes, I used to be a Christian. I’ve studied mythology extensively. Christianity offers me nothing that others have not purported to offer as well and I find all of them lacking.

Him: Are you home alone? Can I call you? If we can get on the phone, I can just explain my position.

Her: Yes, I’m home. There’s no need for a phone conversation. My position will not change on the phone.

Him: What’s your number?

Her: Look, I’m really well versed in what Christianity has going for it. Basically, I spin webs of apologetics around those skilled in apologetics. I get it. No thanks.

Him: Here, just let me call you real quick.


Sounds vaguely familiar to this scenario I had the last time I said no…

Him: yo Shawty, lemme get them digits.

Her: Ew.

Him: C’mon don’t be like that, lemme get your drink.

Her: It’s just you and your hand tonight…


And this is my issue with evangelical proselytizing. It’s all too familiar to any female who’s ever been to a nightclub, a dating website or the gas station. It’s the heavy mouth-breather that gets all up in your personal space and demands to be allowed to wear you down. It’s the patriarchal dating scene conceptualized and anthropomorphized behind a “benevolent” ideal that doesn’t actually exist.

It’s just…



No means no. And when it means yes, I’ll be sure to let you know about my safeword.

Written by thelittlepecan

October 12, 2011 at 12:33 pm

Posted in atheism

12 Responses

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  1. However, I’ve been told that this actually changes once you are in a relationship. Sometimes being persistent pays off!

    Jesse Gregg

    November 15, 2011 at 11:33 pm

    • Also, the bible pushing bit is tired and old, just stop it people.

      Jesse Gregg

      November 15, 2011 at 11:33 pm

    • Indeed. Jim usually gets his way with a little sweet talking and smoochin’.


      November 16, 2011 at 10:04 am

  2. I mean I NEVER thought of that comparison before…..


    October 13, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    • Glad you’re still reading 🙂

      Yeah, Luxy actually sent me that conversation (it was super long) and the whole time I couldn’t help but think, “So when is he going to ask you to take your pants off?”

      It was absurd. And yet…very familiar.


      October 13, 2011 at 9:11 pm

  3. This is a very interesting observation. Once again, you are making me think. I thought of comparing guys hell-bent on getting a woman to put out to guys heaven-led to convert you. That same relentless hope that the mark will, out of sheer exhaustion, give in and submit.

    Love that you are doing this blog, btw.


    October 13, 2011 at 1:57 pm

  4. In some ways you are being targeted for the same reasons; because you are a vulnerable woman. The same process that designs and then prints out the temperature-sensitive cards provides training. A portion of the training is sometimes in the form of scenario play acting where someone pretends to be a vulnerable person, and the children are taught how to approach you. Parents too are instructed on how to appear genuinely concerned. I’m sure several other of your male readers would also have gotten the “I’m going to make it my goal in life to introduce you to Jesus” oath. The message is chosen from a limited quiver once the mark is identified. There are even handbooks on how this should be done. A famous copyright lawsuit involved the publishing of such a manual (from the Mormons) on the internet; free speech lost that lawsuit or I would give you a URL.

    Of course I’m sure there are many Christian proselytizers who would target you for the same reasons where those reasons involved an alcohol numbed slobbering grope. There, of course, they are just selling everyone short. Why pretend to “care” for a forgettable encounter when really caring can lead to a breakfast of waffles (waffles being one of the underdeveloped, but universal, symbols of sensual gratitude)? Why pander for tawdry favors when with a little more effort one might be able to steal a heart?


    October 13, 2011 at 9:45 am

    • Oh, I’m very aware of the process of training. I have been a witness quite a few times and most of those were when I was a child.

      I definitely felt violated. I was just shopping for diapers, I mean, DAMN.

      Of course, then I was angry that parents lasso their children into this crap.


      October 13, 2011 at 10:31 am

  5. Again… u r ossum

    rhianonmat (LISA)

    October 12, 2011 at 10:17 pm

  6. LOL, nope 😉


    October 12, 2011 at 9:30 pm

  7. The safeword is peanut, isn’t it?


    October 12, 2011 at 6:56 pm

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