People who just don’t get it

Some years ago, maybe seven or eight, I had a standing weekday dinner with friends at a dive bar in Boston. They had a selection of mediocre chicken sandwiches that were 50% off on Wednesdays, so we went and paid $2.50 per sandwich because we were broke post-college twenty-somethings. There could be anywhere from four to fifteen people there.

One night, conversation turned to a “what if” scenario: would you give up your cell phone permanently if someone paid you a large sum of money to do so?

I didn’t even hesitate: yes, I said, I’d do it, but I’d want to have a pager or beeper or some other method of receiving emergency messages in case there was a problem at the barn with Tristan.

One person at the table rolled her eyes and said, “Or you could just fucking let him die. He’s a goddamn horse.”

Which should tell you basically everything you need to know about that particular individual. (Plot twist! She’s now my sister in law. That’s among the milder things she’s ever said to me, but it sticks out, for obvious reasons. The universe is a cruel and fucked up place sometimes.)

So what I want to know is, are there people like that in your life, who go above and beyond the usual “I don’t get it, horses do all the work and can’t you just give them the night off”? They’ve actively said nasty things, or judged you unnecessarily harshly for the time and money you spend.

17 thoughts on “People who just don’t get it

  1. We get a lot of negativity from some family, and it's caused my mother to all but completely keep silent about all of our animals. (We've downsized recently because lack of time, but we used to have chickens, goats, dogs, horses, the random cat, etc) I've had family say a lot of really rude, awful things in regards to my horses. One even told me I was destroying my chance at being normal and having a social life (I quote, “What guy would date someone like you who likes horses so much?!”) and I pretty much ignore them as much as possible. If they don't like it, well, they don't have to pay for my animals or deal with them, so tough.


  2. I don't think anyone in my life vocalizes that kind of dissent–I just have the usual “oh you have a horse? -insert word vomit about every horse fact they've ever known, usually about why horses are dumb-“

    And/or how they're a much better rider than I am, despite not being within 100 yards of an actual horse in the last 10 years.

    I am a master of smiling and nodding.


  3. I'm sure someone has said something that callous, but I try not to think about it. Or I say something equally as callous about their beloved child.

    Like: “Children are gross and disgusting wastes of space and nature. Including me as a child. Why you would ever spend your whole paycheck on one and ruin your life for one is beyond me. Why not just leave it on a hillside and sleep in so you quit bitching about it?”

    Then I go on living my life. Because I'm an adult. And I can afford my own horse, dammit. And who cares. 😉


  4. ^ This is awesome. I had an ex get weird about the amount of $ I spent on horses. Since I work hard and pay my own bills, my opinion was that my budget was none of his business. Current MIL blames the worlds problems on my horses. Again, I don't buy in. My life, my hobby, my $ after all 🙂


  5. The one I hear the most is how horseless friends cannot fathom how much money we spend on them – my take is everyone has something they spend excess money on. But wow, never had anyone says something that nasty to my face!


  6. My Ex and his whole family. Hence why he's an ex and I no longer deal with shitty people like that. There are 7 Billion people in the world and most of them are worth walking away from.


  7. Wow. Just wow. What a horribly rude thing to say to someone!

    I haven't had anyone in my life who really made those sorts of comments about the horses; this is probably because I spend most of my time with horse people. My mom will get kind of weird about them sometimes- saying stuff like “You don't need another horse” or “I don't think breeding Gina is a good idea”, but I feel like she's just voicing her opinion and not in a super rude way.


  8. Oh yikes, that's really bad! I lucked out in the SIL department. But I've had a couple of exes who just didn't get it. When Rico was diagnosed with what I thought was a career ending injury at the time, my boyfriend at the time said that he didn't understand why I was upset. I dumped him shortly after that.


  9. My in-laws, who have only ever had one animal their entire lives (a dog, and only because Charles BEGGED for it.) Which is in stark contrast to my family: we lived on 2 acres and at any point in time had dogs, cats, my horse, geese, chickens, ducks, rabbits, guinea pigs, gerbils, a turtle, goats, and pretty much anything my heart desired: my entire family LOVES animals and all of these were considered pets. Yes, even the chickens! We kept them for their eggs and they had names! My mom and grandfather bent over backwards to allow me to pursue my equestrian dreams as well.

    I saved Charles and gave up on an entire career and lifestyle in order to be with him. I had to leave a second career when we moved to be closer to the in-laws. But when I decided to make the next career vet tech while Charles went to nursing school, they were against it: they wanted me to continue working at a job that paid peanuts where I was miserable at while he finished school. I went to tech school anyway and it was brilliant: a lot of the courses were the same as Nursing, which meant my husband and I could study together. Even after 8 years, my in-laws still don't understand my career choice and the subject is entirely avoided at family gatherings. Everyone gets asked about their jobs except for me. They really, really don't get it.

    Their crowning glory was the day they asked why we didn't just sell Lily instead of moving north: our biggest reason for leaving FL was going to a state where we could both get paid more in order to be able to continue paying off Charles's exorbitant student loans. They said “horses are like boats.” -_- Thankfully Charles spoke up and said no, the horse, just like the cats, is family. And you don't sell family.

    I love him.


  10. I've definitely met people who don't get the whole horse ownership thing. I've also got my mother on the other side of things who thinks that horses should only be pets. She thinks riding them is bordering on cruel and that selling a horse is basically the equivalent of selling your first born. It's very difficult to have any conversation with her about our horses as she thinks going to a show is “trying to kill them.”


  11. ugh anybody who takes that extra step to be nasty and snide gets put on the shit list immediately – regardless of subject matter.

    my experience with people talking specifically about horses sounds similar to other comments – people rattling off 'facts' to show me how expert they are (did you know that 80% of show horses are spanish?!? and that's ALL shows, ALL disciplines, mind you), or make themselves look badass (“we jumped 5 foot solid brick walls” “no, not puissance, actual brick walls”).

    i have a couple family members who 'don't get it' too… but they've pretty much figured out how to keep it to their goddamned selves lol


  12. The thing that goes beyond ignorant or casually mean and right into intentionally cruel is that you had clearly indicated deep caring about Tristan by wanting a pager. So that was more than just a jab, it was intentionally assholic. And while I might talk mad smack about people who are bad at math or who can't control their children, I am never intentionally cruel — unless someone is to me first. And then it is open season.


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