‘Affable encounters’ are welcome in these difficult times

in Cherimie Crane/Contributors/Voices by

By Cherimie Crane Weatherford

The absence of subject matter from the throes of the past few weeks is not at all cause for writer’s block.

But tip-toeing around the socially dangerous political turmoil as if avoiding shards of skin-piercing glass has become a dance I struggle to master.

Bobbing and weaving through perceived black and white while resting amongst the gray has been my solace in a most embroiled environment.

Not being born with the talent of circumstantial silence, it behooves me to avoid most human contact; however, the needs of my husband and thriving 3-year-old provide impetus for venturing into the wild.

Completely without the ability to form sentences of which I do not believe, superfluous topics such as weather, traffic and bad hair have been my go-to small talk champions, fleeing the scene the moment talk turns towards the unkind. Creating novel, worthy excuses for exit is, after all, an art form.

Unless gifted with superior swimming skills, living in a small town surrounded by often treacherous waters leaves little room for anything other than congenial conversation.

With little chance of escape, having an affable encounter is self preservation in its most fundamental form. Having opinions is a southern woman’s specialty, but having friends is quintessential. In the current atmosphere having both is quite dubious.

I believe I am not alone. Women and men all over our precious town are avoiding the tightrope of political banter.

Not to be confused with indifference, our avoidance is often with respectful intent.

Emotions are high, frustrations abound and opinions often outweigh facts. In its simplicity it is quite beautiful: Passionate discourse encourages many people to soul search otherwise forgotten subjects. Irony and suspense keep many aware that otherwise may turn away.

What a glorious thing it is to be American. We can despise the belief, defend the action and live to argue another day.

Dismissing debate and social media melee is highly advised, although like a good bottle of Merlot, often impossible not to partake and certain to cause headache.

Surely peace will prevail, commonality will be sought and grocery stores, salons and restaurants will once again be safe from potential political pandemonium.

Until then, revel in the opportunity such conflict brings. Individuals are learning to stand for what they truly believe, but we must respect the differences of those with opposing views and live side by side in one of the most beautiful places on earth.

Cherimie Crane Weatherford, owner of SugarBelle boutique, real estate broker and observer of all things momentous and mundane, lives on Lady’s Island with her golfing husband, dancing toddler and lounging dogs.