Dear Judy,

I loved your story. I gave it some thought.

What would you have done? Maybe you should have whipped out your gun, as all Democrats, who carry them in their cute little Dolce & Gabana purses, do & asked the plumber to sit at your kitchen table, have another little Coke & calmly discuss why he so hates Muslims & why he’s wrong to do so? Or just whipped out that gun to pistol whip him with it — that’ll learn him!

Perhaps you should have educated him on why hatred is wrong in the golden age of trump — people do so love to be lectured & are ever so tolerant, not to mention enjoy to be proven wrong. If you were a 30-year-old man & he was 15-year-old girl, I doubt she would have been mentioning anything about those views. It was because he was sure of his size advantage he felt safe enough to broach the subject. You are white, at least, what did he have to lose?

The only sane, rational thing you could have done is the one you did. I know it didn’t feel good. Still doesn’t. Probably never will. That doesnt make the wrong choice.

Once, looking for an apartment in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, I & my boyfriend at the time (now husband), walked up a flight of wooden stairs & into a large living room. There were three young men in it, who proudly showed us their apartment. I think there was a large balcony. There might have been a kitchen somewhere, a bathroom somewhere else. I don’t know, don’t remember. Because occupying one large wall was a Nazi swastika flag.

Imagine me, a short, dark, Jewish 27-year-old immigrant from Soviet Union (I’ve been in the US 15 years by then), frantically trying to sound as southeast Missourian on the fewest words I will say, & Jeff (who was born in Cape, but not less shell-shocked, though red-haired & 6+ feet tall) trying not to look at the flag & unable to look away, backing towards the door we just came from, while attempting to smile, nod & appear as if we can hear whatever the dude is telling us! Oy! Yeah, funnily enough, we did not try to lecture the three young neo-Nazis on the evils of their ways. Even if it was just me & one of them, I’m not ashamed to admit that I would have ran away. Maybe if it was a kitten with a swastika collar I would let it have it, verbally, of course! Maybe…

In any case, do not beat yourself up. You did the right thing, you live to fight another day. The Resistance needs you. Now you can write about it — & there in lay your power!

Writer and storyteller, immigrant, wife, mom, knitter, collector of jokes, lover of cheap, sweet wine.

Writer and storyteller, immigrant, wife, mom, knitter, collector of jokes, lover of cheap, sweet wine.