For this topic, I was going to write a post about how I’ve mellowed with age, and get less and less joy from the sport of disagreement. When it comes to politics, for example, my youthful self would be horrified at how apathetic I’ve become.
But then I thought, WHO THE HELL AM I KIDDING? One of the biggest laughs during the speeches at our wedding was prompted by Anthony’s line: “Sometimes, in the cloisters, I find reassurance in knowing that somewhere Nathan has a drink, and is scheming, and that Tabitha has a pen, and is indignant.”
Sigh. It’s true. I am Beth’s opposite on this front. I might not be fighting about politics anymore, but I’m still fighting about, well, everything else. Important things. For example, I recently had a public shouting match with Tim Groombridge over how you pronounce “Moet”, and just thinking about it now, I can feel my blood boiling at how RIGHT I am and how WRONG he is. Those who know us both are probably extremely grateful Tim and I don’t live in the same country. “Never back down” is a philosophy we seem to have in common.
I searched my Gmail for the word “disagree” to see if I could find reference to any more of my choicest disagreements, but it only turned up one reference to a particularly fierce dispute I had with another volunteer in Vietnam about pet turtles. I was right about that too, by the way. But, pleasingly, my search also brought up a Vanity Fair article about the company Groupon that Karen sent me a while back. It contains a little vignette about not backing down that I absolutely love:
Groupon takes its humor rules seriously. Take the example of a Groupon write-up that mentioned that hummingbirds come from cocoons. A reader wrote to Groupon customer service to point out that hummingbirds don’t actually come from cocoons. A Groupon rep wrote back: “Thanks for your email and I’m sorry for any confusion. Hummingbirds do come from cocoons.” The frustrated reader reached out to Ross Hawkins, executive director of the Hummingbird Society, who wrote an e-mail to the reader and to Groupon saying, “Hummingbirds are birds, not insects. They come from eggs.”
The Groupon rep in turn produced a Photoshopped National Geographic cover showing a hummingbird emerging from a cocoon. The e-mails continued escalating until Hawkins bowed out in frustration. Groupon’s final message to the customer was this: “We appreciate your feedback, but we will have to agree to disagree.”
Groupon still has the hummingbird misinformation on its Web site. “We’ll keep going forever,” said Griffith.
That guy is my hero.