It’s Wednesday Again! **
March 8, 2006
Friday night I took the children to a restaurant for dinner. We had to wait for quite a bit of time for a table large enough to accommodate us. There were several other families waiting in the lobby area as well, when the inevitable happened.
Woman, “Oh my gosh. Look at all those kids.”
Daughter, “That’s a lot of kids.”
Woman, pointing while she counts, “One, two, three…”
Daughter, “Four, Five, Six…”
Woman, “There are six kids!”
Daughter, “Seven, Eight…”
Woman, “You got eight?”
Daughter, pointing, “I think you forgot to count that one over there”
Woman and daughter, “One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven…”
Woman, “I think we got them all that time. Seven!”
Woman, “Holy cow! Seven children!”
While all of this is going on I am standing, holding my youngest child, less than two feet away from her. I am looking at her the entire time while she loudly counts and recounts, yet she never acknowledges me.
This happens frequently and I never understand how people don’t think this is rude. It’s almost as if I am invisible. Or deaf and blind.
Ten Fourteen Rudest and/or Strangest Questions/Comments That I Am Routinely Subjected To In Front Of My Children By Complete Strangers:
14) You couldn’t possibly give your children enough time/ attention/ stuff. We’re only having (insert small number, like one) because we want to give our child(ren) everything.
13) Do you want this big bag of hand-me-downs? I was going to throw it all away because the clothing is worn, stained, torn and otherwise not fit for my children to wear any longer, but I thought you might be able to use it.
12) You must have to shop at consignment stores, buy generic food, beg for hand me downs, grow and can all your own food, sew all your own clothing.
11) Do they all have the same father?
10) You’re not going to have any more kids, are you?
9) How can you afford all those kids? ( or the variations :Do you get public assistance?, How big is your house?, What does your husband do? usually while they try to discreetly check out my wedding rings)
Do you work? What do you do? (asked with the implication that I am on welfare)
7) You must be crazy. (or a saint, or Catholic, or Mormon)
6) Better you than me.
5) Don’t you know what causes that? They have things to prevent that, you know. Ever hear of birth control?
4) How do you feed all those kids? How much do you spend on groceries every month? How many gallons of milk do you go through a week?
3) Do you drive a bus? Does it beep when you back up?
2) Don’t you have a television?
1) I feel sorry for your kids.
As much as I would like to say I use rude and snarky comebacks, I don’t. I usually nod and smile. If someone is being particularly rude I’ll ask, “Why? Why are you asking me this?” Most often I will walk away and verbally fillet the person inside my head. It might be my upbringing, but it takes a lot for me to be rude to someone.
Then there are the people, usually cashiers that I can not get away from, who, after asking if they are all mine, proceed to tell me a story about their friend’s neighbor’s second cousin twice removed who had lots of kids and went crazy. And one day they found her completely naked, except for her shoes and socks with little balls on the back of the ankles, tap dancing on her roof.
I’m left standing there with my mouth hanging open, having no idea how to respond, except to say, “I don’t have tap shoes.”
Friday night when the woman standing next to me turned and looked at me I fully expected to hear one of the above comments or a variation thereof.
Woman, “Wow, you are so brave to go to a restaurant with your kids and all their friends.”
*Carmen should have her version of this topic up today also.
** I resurrected portions of this post from my a post in my archives.
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