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An Informal Date, Click to Buy
“She stood on the pew.”
Owen’s mom tsked. “I’ve stood on a dining room chair before when I’ve needed help to reach something. How is that any different?”
“That’s in your house. Would you go over to someone else’s house, pull out one of their dining room chairs, and climb up on it?”
His mom chuckled. “I suppose you have a point there. What if we were at your grandmother’s house, though? Or someplace where I felt comfortable and familiar enough to make myself at home?”
Owen grunted. “People aren’t supposed to make themselves at home in church, though.”
“Are you sure about that?”
The ground shifted under his feet, and Owen decided to back out of the conversation. He wasn’t ready to jump into that quicksand yet. “That’s not important right now. I need to understand why she got upset when I pointed out that she’d been standing on the pew. It’s not like I said something she didn’t already know.”
Mom exhaled with a half-laugh-half-sigh. “You’re not going to dig in your heels and demand that pew-standing be punishable by flogging, are you?”
Owen ran a hand through his hair. “No. Not giving your son the answer he needs, though... Well, no promises there.”
“Ha. Nice one.” Owen’s mom was one of the few people who always knew when he was joking. People generally took him literally. He couldn’t blame them, either, since he often did the exact same thing to other people.
“Very well. You were stating a fact, but your friend Kimi might not know you well enough to realize that. Most people, when they say something of that nature, mean it as condemnation.”
“Huh.” Owen leaned back in his chair. “Are you sure this isn’t just a female thing?”
“I’m pretty sure it applies across the board — men and women.”
“So... stating fact is a form of judgment?”
“In social settings like this, yeah, most of the time. For example, if you tell someone their shirt is blue, it’s not a big deal. If, however, you tell them their shirt is too small, then you’re judging them for being overweight or eating too much or not being able to properly dress.”
Owen shook his head. “So when I commented on her pew-standing, what was I saying? I wasn’t calling her fat, was I?”
Mom’s chuckle gave him hope. “No, not fat. Maybe a sinner or a heathen or something like that, but not fat.”
One sentence from his mother, and his hope was dashed. Which was worse? Calling Kimi a heathen or calling her fat?