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Teaching an Old Dog a New Trick

I had a pretty interesting conversation at Arby’s yesterday. I was waiting for my food next to an old guy who was probably around 80. He had ordered a couple of shakes to take home for him and his wife. He was telling me that his wife likes the Jamocha shake, but he likes the black and white shake. He then joked about not being racist because of the black and white shake. Not all that funny, but he was an old man and I got where he was going with it. But then things turned interesting. He said almost out of nowhere that he’s not about the gay marriage though.

So I decided to have “that conversation” but to do it in a light hearted way. I asked him with a smile on my face, “Why not? It’s no big deal.” Before he could answer I continued, “Who cares, they deserve to be happy too, right?”

He kept my light hearted tone and say that the Bible says no to gay marriage. Clearly he really doesn’t know what the Bible actually says on the matter and I could have quoted verses to him. I could have also pointed out the Bible’s support for slavery, genocide, etc. But I still wanted to keep the conversation non-confrontational.

I continued in my light hearted tone, “The Bible is wrong. It was written a long time ago by people who didn’t know how the world really worked.” I then said something about society learning and progressing.

The old man actually seemed to agree with me on that. He said in an obviously defeated tone that he supports all the rights for gay people, but he just doesn’t think it should be called marriage.

I just laughed it off and told him that that sounded like semantics and that I have friends who were gay married and their relationships are fine. I continued in my jovial tone and told him that it doesn’t really matter what you call it, it still is marriage, so we might as well just say so.

He nodded in agreement and oddly enough that was when our orders were ready. I held the door for him on the way out and he told me that the other day a woman held the door for him too. He told me that she said that she didn’t hold it for him because he was old, but because she thought he was cute. I told him that I didn’t swing that way and that I just hold the door for everyone.

He chuckled and we went our separate ways. I actually think I changed his mind on the subject right there on the spot and that doesn’t happen very often. And they say you can’t teach old people new tricks.

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