The other day as I was walking into the grocery store with Susan and Spot, a couple in their fifties passed me. The man looked at shivering Spot and said, “Wow, you look really cold.”
What he meant was that I was a bad mother who didn’t care that my kid was freezing and likely to catch her death and never grow up to be a productive member of society, and also that my new haircut was really quite ugly and didn’t I care that my husband actually did prefer it long and that he doesn’t even like my special white chili and neither do my kids, who would rather eat the “orange” macaroni and cheese every day of the week and also that it’s really gross that if someone tried to eat off my kitchen floor they’d choke on the cracker crumbs and get their tongues stuck on the milk-and-cereal glue.
Then, before I could open my mouth to defend myself/tell him to mind his own business, he turned to me suddenly, smiled, and said, “I bet she refused to put on her jacket this morning, huh?”
Reader, I wanted to kiss that man.
Right there in the middle of the no-parking zone in front of the stacked bundles of firewood for sale. Because. That MAN. He gets it.
(Perhaps he cheated by having kids of his own.)
Tonight I said something really stupid to my sister. We had the fam’ over for dinner and a presentation of Susan’s first-ever church talk “I Am Thankful For My Special Bunny . . . and Jesus.”
My sister is sweet and capable and vulnerable, and I said something dumb to her. I wanted to apologize, but didn’t want to risk reminding her of what I’d said, in case she’d forgotten or hadn’t really noticed (which doesn’t make writing about it here a good strategy, but hopefully she’ll accept this public flogging of my flopping lips so I will not have flopped in vain).
Why do I say stupid things? And why do I get all mad when someone else says a stupid thing? Probably they regret it when they have a chance to think it over (if they’re blessed with a stop and reflect gene, anyway).
I have the stop and reflect gene, only, it is just a tad slow, not to mention sometimes out-of-order.
How about you? (And, am I the only one who hears a lot more when a stranger makes an off-the-cuff, sorta-nosy remark?)