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If you can't say anything nice, part 2

Because I'm a glutton for punishment, I went back to the grocery market yesterday for the last few items on my Thanksgiving recipe list. (Even though everybody knows you don't go anywhere near a grocery market two days before Thanksgiving!) Different market than the one mentioned the other day, and this time I had Sweet Boy with me (he usually keeps me on my toes, which means we move faster through the store, thereby spending less money -- which was not actually the case on this day, but let's move on).

So we're wandering through the produce section in search of decent looking shallots (which I buy, like, twice a year, so it takes me a while to even find them), Sweet Boy driving the car at the front of the cart, which means I'm steering awkwardly though the jam-packed aisles, apologizing left and right as I knock down displays and bang into shins. Along comes this kind-eyed old woman, beaming a smile at my boy. She looks at me and says, "What a lovely child. Good thing you had a boy, though."

At first, I'm thinking, wow, what a nice thing, to remark on my beautiful boy and my good fortune (because as you know, I'm feeling all head-in-the-clouds grateful this week). So I reply: "Yes, I'm very lucky to have a little boy. I really love his energy, don't you?"

She looks at me like I'm speaking Chinese, then says, "No, honey, I mean because he's going to be so tall. You don't want a really tall girl, after all."

Um, what? Again, I'm speechless. Stupefied. Amazed at the lack of tact. With nothing to say, I continue on my way. But she goes on defending her thesis: "I mean, with his height, at least he'll be a star athlete someday. Maybe basketball or baseball..."

I just snap back, "No, actually, he's much more musically inclined." (I readily admitted, did I not, that I never have a witty comeback? I gave it my best effort.)

Keep in mind, this stuff doesn't really hurt my feelings -- I'm damn well used to it after all these years of tallness. What I'm wondering today, though, is do you think she just didn't notice that I'm in fact a tall girl? Perhaps she thought I was standing on a step stool or she was standing in a foot-deep hole. Am I just being sensitive, or did she really imply that it would be a horror to have a tall daughter? And I won't even get started on how vehemently I hate the notion that all we tall people are good for is sports!

I wish I could say these kinds of remarks only occur at grocery markets, because hell, then I'd just stay out of grocery markets. But it's just coincidence that I've had two stupid comments thrown my way in the past week, and that both of them occurred at the grocery. It happens anywhere, anytime, and usually when I least expect it.

Maybe I should change the title of this blog to People Are Stupid, or I could call it Check Your Brain Filter. There certainly would be no paucity of material.


  1. Sorry to hear about the rudeness lately. This season really brings out the best in people. Sounds like you need a list of ready responses such as "well, at least I'm not short on tact!" :)

    Might Sweet Boy grow up to be President someday? After all, Americans don't elect short and stubby men. There are many, many career options other than in the NBA.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. Ugh! I can't believe the comments you've been getting. I think Sweet Boy will be able to be whatever he wants to be.


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