I volunteer once a week at the desk in our Clubhouse. It's usually very quiet and I get a chance to read. My main job is to take reservations for various events, then I get a chance to visit with friends and neighbors.
Today was a little different. A woman came in complaining about a lack of response to a complaint of hers. She went on and on because no one was available to take care of her. She had complained about this several times before. After a while, she stopped complaining and started talking.
Then she went on to complain about the solar panels some residents have put on their homes. They're ugly, they look like space ships, etc. She heard about a new company who had a better idea. They were putting thick aluminum, similar to astronauts' suits, in the attic which would block the heat and cold from coming into the house. She insisted that it's not insulation, but very thick aluminum.
From there we got into a discussion about she and her husband (poor man) use only natural products around the house. Her daughter also uses only products, they are "going green". She was so proud of that, and said we should all "go green". It's better for all. Then I reminded her that solar panels were also a way of going green. Since she was no longer complaining about conditions in our community I felt comfortable in gently arguing with her.
From living green she jumped to all the "junk" the stores sell especially around Halloween. The stores shouldn't sell that, that is just poison for the children, those poor children. I reminded her that the parents didn't have to buy it, they could say "NO" to their children. If no one bought it, they'd stop making it.
I'm a firm believer in the parents' responsibility to their children and I kept reminding her of that. The children don't go to the supermarket, they don't buy the food, they don't pay for it. The parents don't want to say "no" to their children, it's not the manufacturers' or the stores' faults or responsibility.
I told her that I never had a problem saying "no" to my children. At Halloween, they were allowed to have 3 pieces of candy each night. After about a week or so, they got bored and forgot all about all that candy.
Then she went on and on about being invaded by ants that must have been in a bag of potato chips one day, and even the next day after she had disposed of the bag. It seems that she has a problem with stores, management of our community, chip manufacturers, etc.
I had such a good time gently arguing with her. I love a good argument, but I'd hate to live next door to her.