Thursday, November 22, 2007

Spumoni + Vagina

So there is this street in Chilliwack named Spadina Avenue (pronounced spa-dye-na) that always makes me think of spumoni flavoured ice cream, and the word vagina. Every time dispatch asks for our location and we're anywhere near Spadina Avenue, it throws them for a loop because when we say "Spadina" on the radio it sounds like vagina. They ALWAYS ask us to repeat it.
Don't ask me where spumoni comes from; I don't know.

On a different note, has anyone else noticed how some strangers consider it their business to evaluate your parenting to your face in the guise of safety?
"Do you really think he should be eating that hard candy? My kids always choked on hard candies like that."
"I don't feel safe having your child sit in the buggy without the child restraint fastened." (Then please ensure that the child restraints are fully functional. If your store was truly concerned they would check all the restraints in all the carts on a regular basis and FIX the broken restraints. Besides, Ayden is four. He doesn't need the restraint any more)
"Don't put your baby there because he can reach the conveyer belt." (he's three. Not a baby, and I have my eye on him thank you very much)
"Did you know that grapes are a choking hazard?"
"Is that your little boy at the top of the jungle gym? He's making me sweat!" (this one is semi legitimate because Matthew is so small he looks younger than his age, and he is a terrific climber, ahead of his developmental age in that category)
"Are you watching him?" (my eyes are looking straight at my kid)
"It's dangerous to let your kids climb trees." (??????)
"Abby, stay away from the boys. They are playing too rough." (not too rough)
"Don't let your kids run on the sidewalk because it is slippery." (you're not concerned about their safety, you are concerned about your store's liability)
"You should put him in a stroller when you go to the mall. That way he won't get lost." (this one was weird. Matthew was holding my hand in the mall, quietly walking beside me)
"Candy is no good for their teeth, you know. My husband is a dentist." (Congratulations. Go away)

Parenting advice is always welcome when I have a warm, personal relationship with you and I respect your opinion. Otherwise, keep your trap shut.
If you see my kid is in danger and I'm NOT paying attention, please stick your nose in--then I appreciate it!!

I got sick of a few repeated phrases when I was pregnant, too:
"Oh, your life is about to change FOREVER!"
"Enjoy your sleep now because you'll never sleep again afterwards!" (like any pregnant woman can sleep in the last 3 months of pregnancy)
"You're about to pop!"
"You are huge!"
"You must be due any day now!" (nope. Weeks and weeks to go.)
"Make sure you get your baby to take a bottle as soon as possible after it's born."
"Is it a boy or a girl?" (why, oh why do we want to stick kids in gender boxes at the earliest possible date?)
or, alternatively, "You're having a __________. I can tell by the way you are carrying."

Same as above; if you have a relationship with me you are allowed to say stuff. If not, buzz off.


Tonya said...

Cracking up here! I completely agree! People do not know how to keep their mouths SHUT! I always come up with great, witty comments well after the fact. One of my favorites was when Abigail was about 6 months. She had incredibly big curls in her hair. A lady at the store actually asked me if I CURLED HER HAIR! I was like, yah, she sits still every morning while I use the curling iron on it. WHAT? Also, when I was super over due with Rebekah, people would call (including family members): "did you have the baby yet?" I SOOOO wanted to answer, "Yes, I had her 3 days ago, but didn't think you were important enough to call." Enjoy Brent this weekend! I will be praying!

Roboseyo said...

Oh good. I thought Spumoni + Vagina was going to be a weird fetish-related paramedic call story.

It's funny. For some of life's occasions or situations, we have old traditions and rituals (turkey for thanksgiving, advent candles, music, and gifts for Christmas, showers and ceremonies and rings for weddings) and then for others (and sometimes accompanying the ceremonies and traditions, or following after them) there are a whole spate of inane, thoughtless, or outright rude comments.

bereavement: "Oh, God has a plan" "time heals all wounds" "you must feel so bad right now" (and the awful, all-too-punchable 'pity' face

pregnancy: (see Tonya's post)

being very tall: "Do you play basketball?"

(in Korea, having blue eyes: Are you a American? --also, having curly hair in Korea, where mild waves are considered a bold curl, five times a week I'm asked if it's a perm, and about once a month somebody says, "Have you thought about having it straightened?" -why the HELL would I try to make myself look more bland?)

being single: "God's preparing someone for you" "Don't give up!" "She's out there somewhere"

breaking up: "There are plenty more fish in the sea" "I guess it wasn't meant to be" and my personal favourite, "I knew it wasn't going to work out" --THEN WHY DIDN'T YOU TELL ME?

and of course, comments on physical traits:
that beard's got to go. why don't you wear pumps to appear taller? I know a good dermatologist who could help you with that. . .

and so forth. people are predictable that way.

Roboseyo said...

Oh yeah. then there was "How's you mom" while mom was dying of cancer. "Still dying. thanks. i was trying to get my mind off it, and now I feel terrible again, thanks for caring"

and the worst of all:

"I'm gonna send you this amazing ginseng extract that cured my aunt when SHE had cancer. . . " made me want to start throwing punches.

Tonya said...

Ahhh, yes, roboseyo. Yes. People can be so predictably rude! I love when people shake my hand and say, "you have dry skin! You need to use lotion." Really? Are you serious? I had no idea. Thanks for pointing out one of my least liked things on my entire body within the first few seconds of meeting. Being a not so tall person (I think we are the same height, right Melissa??) people will say, "wow, you're short." Huh, didn't know that. All this time I thought I was tall. Damn. Guess I won't play basketball as a career.

Thanks for the fun. I love thinking up these things! People just make me laugh!

When I know someone is going through a horrible time (like the death of a loved one), my comment is usually, "this sucks!"

Roboseyo said...

I read this anecdote in Reader's digest -- whether it's true or not, I re-tell it constantly:

A single young lady with a large extended family got really tired of all the older relatives sidling up to her at every wedding reception, grinning sideways, and tactlessly intoning, "So. . . it might be you next time, hey?"

When the entire extended family next gathered for a funeral, she sidled up to all the uncles and aunts who annoyed her at weddings and said, "So, it might be you next time, hey?"

At weddings, they never bothered her again.

I wish there were some simple, not-too-impolite comeback for such tactlessness. Like the t-shirt I once saw an extremely tall man wearing, that read,

"I'm six foot eight.
Yes, I know I'm tall.
The weather is fine up here.
No, I don't play basketball.
Let's talk about something else."

I try really hard to Not Talk About It.

Roboseyo said...

(unless they bring it up first)

Ms. Dragonfly said...

Love your outlook. You know I agree with you 100%. Except when it's me, a strange mom at daycare, asking you personal questions. Then it's perfectly ok.

Rebecca said...

I keep a hat in my pocket so whenever a granny comes by and tells me my baby will catch cold if she doesn't had a hat on, I can pop it on. Three seconds after granny turns her back, baby pulls the hat back off and I pocket it again. It's just not worth the fight! With number one, I fought the granny (no, really, you get colds from bacteria, not from not wearing a hat). With number two, I fought the baby (you *will* keep this hat on!). With number three, I just decided it's not worth fighting it!

About "I'm sorry about your Mom", a few times I threw someone with: "I'm sorry about your friend, my condolences to you too."