I recently took my car in for an oil change, going to the place I usually go for oil changes and, as usually happened, the person who helping me recommended upgrading to a different oil.
I said no thank you, as I usually do, and the young woman who suggested the upgraded oil made “the face.”
I know this face, I have seen it many times. It is the “what’s wrong with you” face; the “what kind of an idiot are you” face; the “you are not worth my time” face.
I used to see it all the time on hair stylists after I refused their hard sell for the latest prestige shampoo, conditioner, or other product. I was not jumping on their band wagon, therefore something was wrong with me.
I never get a hard sell about anything from my current stylist, which is why I have been going to her for almost 10 years. What’s better, 10 years of my paying for regular haircuts or a one-time purchase of an expensive shampoo and the guarantee that I will never come back?
Adding to my natural reticence to “just go” with someone’s exhortations, I am also an attorney. (No, I won’t give you legal advice so please don’t ask!) I don’t practice as a “traditional” attorney because I dislike the adversarial process (I tried it, was not a big fan).
Instead I worked with judges for almost 15 years, which means my focus has been to see things from both sides.
I have learned that when hearing polarized positions, the truth is almost always somewhere in the middle.
It also means that I don’t get as excited about issues as someone else might, having seen so many iterations of disagreements among people.
That doesn’t mean I don’t have opinions. I do. I also change them when facts warrant and don’t when facts offered are sketchy.
How this plays out in real life is that when someone sings to me the praises of buying a more expensive motor oil, or prestige hair care products, I am not going to jump right in.
The reverse is also true. If someone in all earnestness and good intentions starts warning me of some obscured badness, I am not going to immediately start ducking the falling sky.
An early adopter, I am not. But once you convince me, once I am on your team – you watch my dogged advocacy.
There are a lot of people out there, shouting their causes for the world to hear and some of them are really good causes. I think that is great. I think society has gotten to an amazing place where we have the intelligence and wherewithal to tackle really complex and abstract social issues.
But I can’t do them all. There is too much information out there, making it impossible to review it all to make a fully informed decision.
I have to pick and choose what I am going to agree with, what I am going to support, what team I am going to be on, and where my dogged advocacy is going to be used.
This evaluation centers around the Navigator and what is best for him and for our family. That applies to whether I vaccinate my child, whether I support Autism Speaks, to which charities I donate my monies, or which businesses I patronize.
Support of someone’s cause is definitely not going to happen if, when I don’t immediately buy-in, I get “the face.”
Originally published on Autism Mom