Wednesday, September 12, 2012

What Not To Say

Yesterday at HEB I had one of those experiences; when you don't know if you should laugh, cry or shake the person you are talking too.

It probably bears mentioning that I am a magnet for rude comments, inapporpriate questions and probing strangers.

The Scene: What Not to Say to an Expectant Adoptive Mama

The Set: Check out line of HEB

The Actors: Me wearing a Love the Orphan t-shirt and my Ethiopia bracelet, Gabe wearing an Ordinary Hero t-shirt, check out clerk in red HEB vest

The Script:
Clerk: I like your shirt. Where is it from?
Me: Sevenly (then I shared with her about Sevenly and their mission)
Clerk: Is his shirt the same?
Me: No, his shirt is from Ordinary Hero. They help adoptive families fundraise to bring their children home.
Clerk(putting together our shirts and my Ethiopia bracelet): So y'all (obviously we live in the South with her use of y'all) are adopting from Ethipia?
Me: Yes (and give brief explanation)
Clerk: Is it taking a long time?
Me: We've been waiting a year this month for the referral of our child.
Clerk: Wow, that's a long time.
Me: Yeah...
Clerk: I know what you're going through. We picked our dog out of the litter when she was 2 weeks old and then had to wait 8 weeks to bring her home.
Me: silence, dead panned look Clerk hands me the receipt and we leave.
Clerk: left wondering if patron developed an immediate bout of muteness.
End Scene.

There are not many times that I'm rendered speechless. While I may not always have a witty response, I generally have some response. But had I opened my mouth something would have come out. And it wouldn't have been kind. Or grace filled. Or Christlike.

It would have sounded something like "You are comparing adopting a child to buying a dog? For real? Have you lost your mind? Seriously lady, you're joking right? Child? Dog? No freakin' comparison"

So yes, it was better that I was speechless or just struck silent by ignorance. Either way, not having to be removed by HEB security was a good thing.

Surprisingly, I wasn't upset by her.... shall we call it, ignorance. Rendered speechless, yes. Disappointed in her comparison, highly. But more so, just amazed at the stupid things people say.


Stephanie said...

First my mouth dropped, then I had a slight chuckle... And then a head shake! I am with you on that one my darling.... Sometimes no words is just enough words.

Colin and Jess said...

Oh my. Sometimes these ignorant comments are better left with no response. Wow. That's all I can say!

Mike Medved said...

I laughed out loud at this hilarious story. Sometimes all you can do is laugh. I fear this won't be the last dumb comment you hear.

People ask us all the time if our identical twins are twins. I think your comments are going to take the cake lady!


megs said...

I would have been speechless too. But sometimes people don't know what to say so they can be clumsy. Sometimes people are trying to understand or empathise and it goes wrong.
Yes I've been there, we waited 2 years for our adopted son, and we've had some amazingly crass comments like this one.
But no-one can understand what it's like to wait endlessly for your child if they haven't been there.
And a dog can be very precious especially to people without kids. Our cats were 'baby surrogates' to us for years.