There was an incident that happened at work and I’m still confused about what the hell happened. I’m even more confused about what this means for my friendship with WhiskeyGirl

I eat with the same people every day – we usually discuss mundane things, but occassionally we’ll travel into the depths of political ideals. We all know and accept each other’s political differences (some people have a more difficult time with this than others), but since we’ve all known each other for years, we’re fairly comfortable with each other. We NEVER bring up these topics when other people sit with us, we are at work and we know better than that.

One thing we do not discuss is religion. While the majority of the table is in agreement with one religion, myself and another person disagree with them. Pearl just has a different ideology and I’m an athiest. It’s a political death-wish at most companies to admit that you aren’t religious and don’t believe in a god. I like to keep it under my hat because of this, and because I’m not in the habit of assuming what anyone else believes or in caring what anyone else believes. Unfortunately, that can’t be true for all people.

WhiskeyGirl is from the bible belt, and one night while we were at a bar she started to ask me about my church. I thought we were good enough friends to confide in her and didn’t think she would care. She was drunker than I first realized, because she jumped down my throat about it in a very garbled speech, letting me know that hell-fire would consume my soul. Mmmkay. Well, it isn’t like I haven’t heard that before. Later we talked and she admitted that if we hadn’t been drinking, that wouldn’t have happened. FYI – that’s not really an apology, but I let it go.

So imagine my surprise when WhiskeyGirl sits at our table and begins a long monologue about different churches, then confronts me about my (lack of) beliefs.

*Crickets chirp*

RT and Dizzy – both known for their outspoken ways – were sitting looking away from WhiskeyGirl with their arms crossed. A blind person could read their body language; apparently not WhiskeyGirl, though. The only person interested in the conversation was Pearl. She’s relatively new to our circle and caused some difficulties when she first started eating with us, because we were censoring ourselves before we trusted her enough to discuss our politics.

I have a bit of a temper, but usually not about religion unless someone is attacking or berating me. WhiskeyGirl was doing both. I counted to ten, tried to picture myself on a beautiful beach and then ended up debating with her anyway. I ended the conversation well, I think. I basically said that everyone at the table has a different view and the only view you should care about is your own. Then I changed the subject to something less incitive. For the rest of the day it irked me that WhiskeyGirl had gotten a rise out of me. I usually know better than to debate at work where others can hear me. You might think I’m parinoid, but I’ve had one of the HR executives talk to me about Christianity and offer to give me books about it. Obviously, he didn’t know that I’m an athiest. People have great predjudice about Athiesm and I’m not going to make enemies over something that no one else should care about.

After work, Dizzy pulled me aside in the parking lot.

“WhiskeyGirl came to our table looking for a fight. Everything she said riled you up, and while I could see you were fighting not to say anything, she managed to call you out and you responded. That wasn’t smart.” I told her about the bar.

“Then I’d watch out. Someone who tries to make you angry on purpose, especially when you’re clearly in a minority group, isn’t your friend. If the wrong person heard and it bothered them enough, they would let you go for “business reasons” – maybe the economy, maybe because of budget cuts or consolidating jobs – but either way, you’d be gone. I’d watch out what else you tell her.”

Now I’m plagued with doubts – is WhiskeyGirl really my friend? Since that day, she’s been friendly toward me and never brought up religion again. But I can’t help but take Dizzy’s advice to heart…

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