Monday, February 9, 2015

Slightly Offensive

Have you ever been sitting somewhere with a complete stranger, or even a semi-aquaintance like a fellow soccer mom, and said something that you know was tongue in cheek but the other person may not understand your humor?

I've run into such commentators from time to time. Whether it's in the grocery store or at the doctor's office or standing at my daughter's soccer practice tonight. I am sure what she said was not meant to be offensive, but I am slightly offended by her remark.

As we were there watching our girls practice, we were making conversation about various things. The subject of needing help with referee duties came up. She knew my daughter was certified and had asked if she could help out. I let her know that until I knew when u12 was playing, I wouldn't be able to give her a definite answer. As it was, my youngest son was playing at the same time as this team at a different location so I was already trying to figure out who could be where. She then says, matter of factly, "That's why everyone should just stick to single children." I sighed almost silently before responding, "Oh, that would make things so much easier, wouldn't it?"

Now, I am not one that becomes offended very easily but this woman doesn't really know me. And I don't really know her, so how am I to interpret what she is actually trying to convey? Was her comment made tongue in cheek? Does she look down on large families? Was she judging me for having five kids all playing soccer? I don't know her well enough to say which was her intention but I am leaning towards tongue in cheek. Still, she did not hesitate in her comment, she just blurted it out probably without thinking about her audience. Maybe that is her personality, again, I do not know.

Then, as conversations continued, she begins talking about her son's u8 team last year. She says, "So, we were at this game and the team across the way, all these crazy moms were wearing tutus that matched their kids' team colors! We were all looking at them like they were nuts!" Cue foot to mouth....

"Oh, that was MY SON'S team! I was one of those crazy moms wearing matching tutus and teeshirts." I was proud of the fact I could make her a tad bit uncomfortable realizing she was talking about me while I was sitting right there because I was not ashamed to be supporting my son's team, even if it was just a u8 game with no goalies.

She quickly added that they were a bit jealous that they didn't think of anything cool like that and the other moms suggested we get matching teeshirts made for this team. So, look for a bunch of crazy moms on the soccer field in a few weeks wearing matching teeshirts in support of a u10 team :)

Anyway, the point of my blog this evening is really that we should be mindful of what we say and who we say it in front of. I spent coutless grocery trips answering questions in the cereal aisle about whether all the children were mine (or all have the same father), "Oh, no, I just pick up random kids in the parking lot and take them shopping with me. Doesn't it look like fun? (and I don't know, but Little Johnny doesn't look much like his father, if you ask me."). And they asked if I was Mormom, Catholic, or knew what caused that, "Uh, no, no, and from the looks of it, no." And let's not forget the twins/triplets question when you have two or more close in age, "yes, they are triplets but one is still in an infant seat because she was the runt of the litter." These questions always come from complete strangers, or mere aquaintances, too. Your friends never question why you have so many kids, most of the time they don't even care how you manage to take care of them as long as you have wine and chocolate in the house when they come to visit.

It's my choice to have a houseful, err handful, of kids. It's my choice to be whatever religion I want, or don't want, and still reproduce like a fucking rabbit. It however isn't my choice to take them all out in public with me at the same time only to be bombarded with assinine questions regarding my religion, my sanity, and my sexual tendencies. Not really your business, Grandpa. Unless you need me to point you to the diaper aisle, stop asking me questions.

And for the love of all things holy, please do not make comments about soccer parents in front of soccer parents that you do not know because you just may be talking about that soccer parent sitting next to you (or someone they know). And never tell me how many kids I should have had... I'm not telling you to give your children a sibling or four or saying you should never have procreated in the first place. It's just kinda rude... and slightly offensive.

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