Contrary to what the post title seems to indicate, this is not actually a letter to the person in question. This exchange happened a few weeks ago so I'm enjoying blowing on the cooled embers of my righteous fury.
So someone had posted a recipe for something that called for almond milk. I had just bought my very first carton of almond milk to make banana-applesauce cookies, so it piqued my interest that someone posted on her recipe: "But almond milk is bad, don't use it."
I replied "almond milk is bad?" to her comment, hoping she would elaborate. Instead she replied "Yep." Uh, thanks, very illuminating. I said that I was asking for clarification. SHE said "best you look it up yourself. Google saves time and lives, I always say." This was followed by a smiley emoticon.
Hold up, sister. Did you just go all "Let me Google that for you" on my ass?
I tend to think the "Let Me Google That For You" response is appropriate, if ever, for questions like "how late is the Bank on Whatever Street open?" or "who won the 83 World Series?" To be fair, although I have never said it to anyone, I have pointed out its relevance in posts like this one, so I did ponder for a second whether her use of it was warranted.
I don't believe it was. I had, in fact, Googled it quickly between asking her for clarification and her response. Googling brought up several results on the health benefits of almond milk, and one article expressing reservations about the carageenan in it. There certainly weren't any clear-cut "almond milk is bad" results. When you express a negative opinion about something that a lot of people think is positive - voting in elections, say, or the long-form census, or vaccines - you might want to give some supporting information to avoid sounding like a strident yahoo, in my humble opinion. By asking for clarification, I was giving her a chance to do this - for all I knew she was a dietitian, or had just read a revealing article and had information that I didn't.
And then the scalding insult of the smiley face. Don't get me started (ha! just kidding, it's clearly way too late to not get me started) on the off-the-charts passive-aggressive cowishness of saying something bitchy and pretending you're not being bitchy. It smacks of those concern trolls who comment on articles something like "well, I'm terribly sorry to say it, but by feeding your baby formula you're practically guaranteeing that he'll grow up smoking pot and liking Justin Bieber - best wishes!" Or the people who write to Richard Dawkins "you're a fucking gay stupid faggot and you're going to burn in hell for all eternity - God bless!" If you're going to be stubborn and opinionated and refuse to substantiate your assertions, just own it already.
I didn't engage on the Facebook thread. I don't know her, I don't know if she's always like this, I didn't want to make my friend uncomfortable (on the off chance that she's reading this - sorry, but where else can I air my petty grievances with all humanity but on my blog?), and as hard as it might be to believe, I do try to uphold a modicum of classiness on social media.
But this is the response I gave in my head: "Fair enough. You don't know me, so I guess you had no particular reason to provide a response that was kind or helpful. I, of course, had no way of knowing that you're the kind of person that needs a particular reason to be those things."
Perfect mix of classy and snotty, don't you think?