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  • November 21, 2017, 12:54:59 AM

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Author Topic: really wishing I would have remembered to use this one, Mother's Day editition  (Read 10392 times)

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Zizi-K

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I was at a home improvement store with my DH on Sunday, buying some grass seed. He had to run to the restroom, so I went through the checkout line by myself. The clerk said, "Oh, you better get those kids to do this for you!" meaning, spread out the grass seed. I was so confused--there were no children near me that could even possibly be construed as mine. I said, "I'm sorry?" and she just repeated herself. I stayed silent because I was just trying to process why the heck anyone would say that and just assume that someone had children. Because it was Mother's Day???? So she just laughed and said, "Oh, I just assumed." All I could say was, "um, no." Then the transaction was over and I was on my way.

This, of course, happens just as I have just gone through a cycle of IVF and am suffering horribly from OHSS (a possible complication). I am also in the very early stages of pregnancy (but am not counting my chickens before they're hatched, or at least reach into the 2nd trimester), so I'm feeling out of this world hormonal.

Free Range Hippy Chick

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Total blank incomprehension was probably the best answer you could give. I do sometimes want to say 'I'm sorry, I recognised all those words individually, but they made no sense at all in combination...'

Luci

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Oh, I do so wish people would think before they speak.

More than once I have had someone say something that hit a very painful spot.

Mostly when I was having pregnancy issues, but the worst was "what are you doing for your mother this weekend?" before my first Mother's Day. "Um, sitting in the hospital watching her die. How about you?"

Best wishes for successful pregnancy! You have a lot of courage.

Lula

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Even sitting here in the perfectly comfortable solitude of my living room, I'm at a loss for a response to that woman.

I felt the tiniest puff of steam come out of my ear when a cashier wished me "Happy Mother's Day!" yesterday.  I know it isn't really a rude or inappropriate thing to say to a stranger--after all, I do celebrate Mother's Day in honor of my mom and maternal figures.  But as I couldn't tell whether she meant a general "enjoy whatever you're doing on this extremely popular holiday you're statistically likely to be celebrating in some form or other," or whether she assumed I was a mother because of my gender and age, resentment was the first reaction my brain landed on.

But that was all on me, I suppose; Mother's Day can be a little complicated for me as I am a non-mom by both chance and choice.  The lady in the OP, by forthrightly assuming the OP has children--and can't or shouldn't sow grass seed by herself(!)--was just plain rude.

Ponydoc

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That clerk show a complete lack of awareness.  I had a similar thing happen to me last year on Mother's day.  We took my MIL out for lunch and the waitress turned to me and said "I'm sure next year it will be your turn!".  This occurred when I was dealing with possibly being infertile.  I think I murmured a "um, urr".  Luckily like you I'm now in my 1st trimester.  I will keep my fingers crossed for both of us.

NFPwife

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People can be so clueless and insensitive. I know you don't want to count your chickens, but... Congrats!

Total blank incomprehension was probably the best answer you could give. I do sometimes want to say 'I'm sorry, I recognised all those words individually, but they made no sense at all in combination...'

I like that response.


Erich L-ster

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I think everybody has had a foot-in-mouth moment. Yeah the clerk shouldn't go assuming but it seems like she was trying friendly small talk and unintentionally said something stupid. It shows grace to not rub someone's nose in it.     

Zizi-K

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I can't say whether I was graceful or not, I was just so confused in the moment. Then, when I understood what she was implying, I was just lost for words, especially given everything I've been going through to try and get pregnant.

I also just can't think of anything positive when someone implies that you just "look like you have kids" even though none are around. Does that mean I look fat, like my body looks like I've given birth; old, like I must have children by now; or tired, from raising up all those kids? How is it that parents look, exactly?

I do understand cutting people slack, but how is this person supposed to learn not to say stupid and hurtful things like that if everyone always reacted as though it were ok? I'm not sure why her face-saving is more important than my feelings--which I didn't even express because I was so bowled over at what a strange assumption it was.

The worst part was that she knew she was making an assumption that might very well not be the case. Why give voice to it??

Reader

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I should have used it when I was asked by a cashier at a garden store "when are you due?", given I've been trying to gain weight due to being underweight for the past few years, and had finally managed to gain 10 lbs, maybe I gained too much lol? Probably had to do more with the loose fitting dress I was wearing.  Totally almost shocked me speechless, and all I could do was stammer out "I'm not" before turning beet red, but not as red as the cashier.  I can't imagine how I would have felt had I been in the OP's shoes.   :o

diesel_darlin

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This is the first Mother's day since Ive had Facebook that I havent had a zillion posts to my wall wishing me happy Mother's day. I appreciate the sentiment, but Im not a Mother, and probably never will be. Like another poster said, by chance and by choice. Even though my mother bore 3 children, she was perfectly willing and capable of spreading her own grass seed. Some people just need to keep their trap shut.

chicajojobe

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I understand that this probably hurt since you'd just been through IVF, but I really don't know if it's an etiquette violation.
I suppose in that making assumptions about anything in anyone's life sort of is.

It's not totally surprising to me, though, because I find that, on Mother's Day, businesses tend to assume EVERY female customer is a mother. So really the part about 'you look like you have kids' generally doesn't mean anything other than 'you look old enough to legally buy cigarettes'. I don't know if this is a corporate mandate or what, but it's happened to me many times.
Once I actually got a discount at a restaurant for Mother's Day (I was not there with my mom!). I even told them when they said they'd be taking off a certain percent for Mother's Day that I didn't have any kids, but the waiter just said "Well for your future Mother's Day then."
Also an interesting assumption, eh?
« Last Edit: July 13, 2015, 01:30:30 PM by chicajojobe »

Jocelyn

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Once, my mother was having her hair done by a substitute for her usual stylist. The woman chattered on and on about her grandchildren, then asked my mother, 'How many grandchildren do YOU have?'
My mother replied, 'I'm not old enough to have grandchildren.'

This is even more amusing when I tell you that Mom had her family late in life, and there are many women who are grandmothers at the age she was when she had me.  >:D

Assuming about someone's reproductive activity is likely to result in gaffes.

tabitha

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I have children, but we don't celebrate Mother's day.  I also get confused when people ask "What are you doing for mothers day?"  I get it at the grocery store or from people from work.  I don't know how to answer, there's just a silent pause. 
Last time I got it at the nail salon where the aesthetician went on about different celebrations with her partner's mother, and then her mother and then something for her and I just thought, what a pain in the butt, that must be!  Then I got asked what I was doing...I just said dinner. 

But it's such a silly holiday, and so many women choosing not to have children and being made to feel a way about that, or women who want to but have difficulty having children, which must be so frustrating at around that time.  My mother's dead, some peoples mothers are sick, some people don't talk to their mothers.
 I'm single so I would have to pay for or cook my own mother's day dinner or ask my kids to make something, which is just weird. 
I live in Ontario and about ten years ago, they introduced "Family Day".  It really pissed me off.  So now the government is telling me when to spend time with my family...I have no family other than my kids and my sister, I don't need to be told when to spend time with them. 
Anyway, I'm sorry you had to try to figure out something a store clerk decided was totally normal.  Obviously you already had children, obviously they were physically healthy (what if you had a child with Cerebral Palsy?), obviously you can't lay your own grass seed..but I am a very grumpy lady!  I like it when you go to a store or a restaurant and are asked, how can I help you, how would you like to pay? Thank you for coming, good day!  And that's it.

jane7166

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Quote from: tabitha link=topic=138233.msg3334738#msg3334738 date=
 
Anyway, I'm sorry you had to try to figure out something a store clerk decided was totally normal.  Obviously you already had children, obviously they were physically healthy (what if you had a child with Cerebral Palsy?), obviously you can't lay your own grass seed..but I am a very grumpy lady!  I like it when you go to a store or a restaurant and are asked, how can I help you, how would you like to pay? Thank you for coming, good day!  And that's it.
I don't think you're grumpy.  You just like to think things though!  My only child has autism and I was picturing what she would do with a bag of grass seed - nope, I think I would put it down myself!  Some service people, in a attempt to be friendy, say the darnedest things.  I've been on the receiving end of some doozies of thoughtless comments and they do sting and they do stay with you.  Developing a hard shell takes time.  A very edgy sense of humor helps.