Just in case you were ever in doubt about this…you may have said things to strangers, friends, or family that in retrospect may have been a tad over the line but yesterday I was so over the top as to careen over the line/top/cliff at such speeds that it would have made your head spin. Thus, the reason I am now Queen of Inappropriate and Awkward.
Picture it: We were strolling through the flea market, Mr. T, AU, and I having a lovely time. I walk several booths away from Mr. T and AU to check the price on something and see a woman with a kid in a Baby Bjorn pushing a huge double stroller. She is with another woman who is also pushing a huge stroller. Between them ,running about, are many children. As I turn to walk back to Mr. T and AU the Baby Bjorn woman says to Mr. T, “Just one? You are a slacker!” I hear this and without missing *one* beat respond as I approach, “Yes, well, we have 2 that are dead, so that’s okay.”
I know, I know, you are shaking your head saying, “Oh, no you didn’t!” I assure you dear reader, I absolutely, positively did!
Almost needless to say, the woman turns on her heel, mouth slightly agape, and walks away. I cannot say I blame her. I am fairly instantly apologetic and as I bury my face in Mr. T’s neck I ask if I should go apologize. He is giggling and saying, “No, no, I think we should just go,” and “I think she was joking.”
I realize that I, in fact, did not think she was joking and instead interpreted her remark as giving Mr. T a hard time. I brook no one but me giving Mr. T grief. I give him enough teasing and contrariness that he doesn’t need it from strangers! Which is why my hackles were raised and thus the socially inappropriate response.
I’m fairly certain that given the chance to “apologize” I might have said something like, “I am sorry I thought you were giving my husband grief but lady you should not make comments on anyone’s conception choices. Just because you are a Fertile Myrtle who cannot keep her knees together (or maybe you got your brood via IVF…see…no one should make comments!) does not make you Queen of Other’s Reproductive Business. Now, as Queen of Inappropriate and Awkward, I dismiss you to go forth and harangue no more! Begone from my sight!”
My Mom says it was a “crazy” comment. Not like, “Oh, you so crazy.” But more like *real* crazy. I think it was just snarky and came from a dark place that is trying to lighten up. Baby loss and miscarriage is so taboo in our culture and not that I think it is particularly healthy to bring up one’s dead kids to strangers, I do think if more people approached their comments to pregnant women, people with infants, and families with a touch more, “So happy for you!” and a bit less noisy Aunt Mildred (no offense to any actual Aunt Mildreds!) the world would be a less frustrating place to be.
So, repeat after me, “Congratulations!” “I’m thrilled for you!” “What a joy!”
I will try to be more gracious in my response. Give a winning smile and a gentle and blessed thank you instead of something from the crazy box. But no promises! I am Queen afterall!