Once in a great while one will come across a term that does not fit its situation. Words that are spoken too quickly in certain situations can make someone appear to be an ass. The following example is one of my shining moments which will further explain exactly what I mean.
Once upon a time...
I was working at P.F Chang's China Bistro as a server late one night, when I received a table of two old black ladies in the mood for some dinner. The table started off like any other: I asked how they were, they were friendly, and we chatted briefly. By the time the old ladies were through with their meal we had spoken about different subjects and had pockets of nice conversation throughout the night. Normally that is where every story about a nice table ends, and in a way, that is still true for this story. Yet, just before I left and said goodbye to the old black ladies, they asked me one last question.
“We were trying to think of the name of this old horror movie we saw, maybe you can help us? Have you ever seen a movie where a woman is sewing a quilt together and when some man walks up to the lady she jumps up and stabs him in the eyes with her quilting tools?”
With some shock to such a random question, I quickly replied, with some emphasis towards the end, “No! But it sounds like that’s one crazy knitter!”
Looking back, I do not remember how long I stood there. The old black ladies and I just stared at each other in shock, confusion, and with a tad bit of horror. I only remember the quite walk back to the kitchen.
Was it subconscious racism that sparked such a witty comment, or was it sheer coincidence that the term I used was unfortunately similar to an ignorant slur? Either way, I hate the term knitter for being too much like a callous word.