My family (all vegan) recently had new neighbors move in next door. For the sake of this article we will call them "The man" and "The woman." The first time we met them, the conversation quickly turned to their love of smoking meat.
The man: When all our stuff finally arrives, we will have you over for a big cookout. We love meat.
Me: Uh huh
The man: We smoke everything. What did we just smoke? Oh yeah a whole turkey.
Me: Oh yeah?
The man: Oooh yeah! We’ll have your whole family over and maybe smoke ribs or pork or beef.
The man: Any meat you could ever imagine, we can smoke it.
The man: Smoked chicken. Now that is tasty. (He goes on and on about all the meat he wants to cook for us.)
Me: Um…. I think I should let you know…. we are vegan.
The man: *blank stare*
The woman: *uproarious laughter* He tells everyone about the meat he loves to smoke. That is the best response I have ever heard.
The man: *blank stare* *red face*
The woman: *laughter*
Me: I am so sorry but I had to tell you. I thought it would be more awkward if you invited us over.
The woman: It wasn’t awkward at all. I love it. I will tell all my friends. *still laughing*
It's typically not my style to mention we are vegan upon meeting someone new but, obviously in this case, it was necessary.
Fast forward about a week later. He and I were talking in my backyard.
The man: Do you have a garden?
Me: We just grow flowers. Unless you count all those berries. *points to the berry bushes*
The man: What kind of berries are they?
The man: Oh cool. When they get ripe we can have a get together and mix them with some vodka. We love to drink.
Me: Ahh. Yeah. Cool.
I refrained from telling him that I don’t drink! ;-)
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Photo credit: cc: flickr.com/photos/elbiffster