Does Anyone Here Speak Fluent Sarcasm? (And if so how do you say MYOB?)

8 Jun

“So,” she began, eyeballing me from head to toe. ” How’d she break her arm?” she inquired, pointing at the little one by my side, as we stood in line at a local bagel store on the day my daughter donned her first (and hopefully last) cast.

I’ve been asked this question several times already today, but this time was different.  It’s hard to miss the  bright pink cast encasing 3/4 of the little one’s arm. The little one, my 2-year-old Delilah, with her china doll face, bright blue eyes and cascade of curls, looks like the kind of girlie girl you’d expect to serve tea and crumpets to her dollies,  not at all like the rough and tumble little bruiser that she actually is. The youngest and toughest of my children, she is always banging or bruising something in an attempt to keep up with the bigger kids.  She is a daredevil in a pink tutu if there ever was one. Her petite little prettiness is quite the juxtaposition to her tough attitude, and this never seems to go unnoticed.   It wasn’t so much the question that bothered me, rather the tone of which it was asked. I understand that it is surprising to see such a little moppet in an arm cast, and thus the natural curiosity and questions that follow. The previous six times I was asked, it was in a sympathetic  conspiratorial tone exchanged between another mother/ grandmother/and I, who had clearly been there done that, and were members of  ‘The CASTmates Club’ themselves.  This time, not so much.  I’m a fairly perceptive person, and I couldn’t help but notice  the woman standing behind us at the bagel parlor had a judgemental sneer of disapproval on her face as she eyeballed me from head to toe.  I almost felt violated by her scrutiny and her question wasn’t in the ‘poor baby’ tone that the others had used.  She was a little older than I, preppy in business casual attire, and had an air of haughtiness about her I couldn’t pinpoint, but it chapped my cheeks none the less.  She was judging me, as a mother.  I immediately felt subconscious. My blonde afro (Thank you,  Jersey humidity coupled with 85 degree weather)  was thrown up in a ponytail slapped on top my head, in a hair style one might expect to see on a Q-tip.  Looking down I noticed a rainbow shaped smear on my pant leg.  Heavens to blarney stones, it must have come from a leprechaun, because its green. Yep, that’s right my friends, a large booger smudge across the thigh of my black capris, from when the little one leaned into me and wiped her nose with my pant leg.  Nothing says “I’m a loser” like snot on your trousers.  Lovely.  I know I look like a real ‘prize’.  I don’t know if it was the “I-smell-farts” look she was giving me, or her sizing me up, or the fact that ‘Aunt Flo’ was due for a visit and I was cranky, but for some reason my guard went up and self-consciousness morphed into defensive anger.  Sometimes fighting stupidity with absurdity is all you got. And when that happens, sarcasm is my weapon of choice.

“Well,  I had my back turned while I was playing Farmville, and she grabbed my beer and took a sip. I grabbed the closest thing to me – a ball peen hammer, and whacked her on the arm so she would drop it.”   I answered her in a deadpan voice.

“You’re…..joking….” she replied, looking flustered.

“No, I’m not. Last time I leave my brewski where she can reach it.”  I pause, she gasps, looking repelled.

“Of course I’m joking.”  My turn to sneer and look at her as if she was the one with snot on her britches.  ” She fell off her swing.”   I leave her speechless and turn back around in line.  Luckily, my order is up.  We take our bagels, and  leave her standing there, looking perplexed as we exit the store. Blonde Q-tip afro bopping a victory dance, as we sashay out of there,  the little one’s  chubby arm in a hot pink  cast swinging as she walks.  Score one for the Human Boogie wipe!

I couldn’t help but wonder why it is that some women can be so judgmental. Raising children is hard enough, why can’t moms just support each other or just shut it?  Rude and accusatory insinuations,  always said with an icy smile: are not uncommon on the mommy circuit:   “Why is your child so loud/wild/mouthy?” (uhhhh…..she takes after my mother in law.)  “What happened to her arm?” (She broke it.  ) “Her hair? ” (She cut it. Click HERE for that story ) ” Her clothes?” (She wont wear anything but rain boots and Cinderella pajamas. ).  It’s not the question that is insulting, rather the spirit in which the question is asked. As if the fact that your kid walks in circles with a bucket on his head, or carries her umbrella in broad sunlight, means either something is wrong with your child, or you’re a bad mother.  Taking it a step further,  why do they feel the need to insinuate that the choices you’ve made as a mother are wrong?Breast versus bottle.  Stay at home verses working.  Public verses Private school. It’s all so maddening, and its never the actual question that is offensive, rather the tone of what they are implying, which is : You suck.

Which is why after we left the store with that nosy-body standing there in shock, I laughed all the way to the car.  Sarcasm is my second language, and I hope to pass that along to my kids someday.

Thanks for reading! And thank you to those who forward my posts on to friends. I love you guys!

Copyright 2011 Livelaughloveliquor. All Rights Reserved.  No reproduction in any medium without prior written consent of the author is permitted.

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25 Responses to “Does Anyone Here Speak Fluent Sarcasm? (And if so how do you say MYOB?)”

  1. lifeintheboomerlane June 8, 2011 at 8:09 am #

    I love this post. People always ask obvious questions about everything, but of course, when it concerns our kids, we get a tad bit defensive. Brings back the memories, for sure.

  2. Get Real Chris June 8, 2011 at 8:16 am #

    You definitely do no SUCK! I home Little One feels better soon.

  3. Get Real Chris June 8, 2011 at 8:18 am #

    ….that was supposed to say DO NOT suck. But, I suck at typing. Sorry!

  4. Michelle T June 8, 2011 at 9:50 am #

    Good for you for saying what you said to that bully. That is what she is… a bully…

    Hope her arm heals quickly and that cast comes off very soon! How long does she have to have it on for? Hope not all summer. HUGS!

  5. Marilyn June 8, 2011 at 9:58 am #

    Thank you again for a great, entertaining post!! Keep ’em coming!!

  6. Chase McFadden June 8, 2011 at 10:06 am #

    I love the kids, but when they mess with Daddy’s brewski, a message has to be sent, and sometimes it’s painful.

    Sarcasm is wonderful. Well done.

  7. my0wneyes June 8, 2011 at 10:47 am #

    I was in the same boat when my oldest broke her arm at 4. She thought she was supergirl and could jump from a rolling chair to the chaise lounge…people are just a mess and act like their kids were totally perfect. Your baby sounds just like my oldest…she always wore her rain boots with her pajamas and a scarf (her outfit of choice) and more recently she decided to shave her eyebrows off…although she had never seen me use a razor she sure knew how to use it. Kids … SMH … LOL

  8. ournote2self June 8, 2011 at 10:52 am #

    Haha. Love it. I normally have boogers on my shirt…but hey, the pants are cool too.

  9. Anne June 8, 2011 at 11:22 am #

    LOL I have a daredevil child too. Youngest of course. She fell off the bed not two feet from where my husband was standing and I was across the room. Broke her arm just above the elbow. She was only 19 months old when she did it.

    This is the same child I had to call Poison Control on THREE times in less than 6 month period.

    Good thing she is the last one cause she is going to drive me over the edge.

  10. Deborah the Closet Monster June 8, 2011 at 12:49 pm #

    Your mock explanation had me in stitches. I’m trying to get better about answering comments like that with humor–no matter which form–instead of laser beam vision.

    The night before last, I read one mom’s reflections on people judging her for not managing her “unruly” child properly. I loved the way she addressed those people head-on, but I loved most of all her recounting of the mom who walked up to her and asked, “Does your child have autism?” then offered to help. How much kinder would the world be if more people took that approach?

    Folks always called my mom a horrible mom. To her face! Once I got older, I tried telling her, “It’s what happens later when you know if you’ve done it right or not. This stuff? What do they know?”

    I did run into one of her neighbors a few times after schizophrenia stole her away. That neighbor had the audacity to say, in different ways, “It’s a shame you’re not doing more for your mother.” I was stunned and barely able to restrain myself from punching her in the face each time. How would she have any way of knowing what we had or had not done? She was way too busy judging to ask questions or look for anything resembling the truth.

    I’ve since become calmer about questions like that, mostly be feeling a little bit of sadness for people who’ll never know just how much they’re missing by taking the stance they know it all already. So many missed opportunities for wonder and/or connection . . . !

    Thanks, as always, for the inspiration and the laughter 🙂

  11. Darcy June 8, 2011 at 1:03 pm #

    I so agree with you and understand!! I LOVE your stories cuz they are the truth! Sarcasm is my first language and no one gets it, but my kids are starting to!

  12. pissykittyslitterbox.com June 8, 2011 at 1:48 pm #

    Okay, that just cracked me up, and I gotta tell ya, I’m proud of you, and that’s EXACTLY what I would’ve said! Although I probably would’ve replaced the hammer with a bat cause I never think much about that tool. Truth be known, she’s probably never had one of her own, but likes to stand in the bleachers giving directions to the team. ((sigh)) I went through the same thing. My kids never had knicks and scrapes. They got hit by cars, broke bones, had gashes inches wide, etc. I had little monsters that could scheme, manipulate my attention away, and then get into all sorts of predicaments. Thankfully, I no longer have to worry about someone coming to the door to tell me that my son tore up their garden, getting a call from his school to tell me that he pulled the fire alarm and the trucks responded, my daughter just cussed out someone’s child, or my youngest was doing something stupid like pissing on a tree…a million proud moments come to mind. Just love the boogie on the pants too! Been there, done that.

  13. KathyG June 8, 2011 at 2:33 pm #

    I love, Love, LOVE your response! That is just perfect! You rock!

  14. carldagostino June 8, 2011 at 7:28 pm #

    She broke her arm smashing some fool old woman in the face while in line at Walgreen’s who asked nosey questions

  15. notesfromrumbleycottage June 9, 2011 at 11:50 am #

    I can relate to the snot on the pants because my youngest would wipe his face on my shirt while pretending to give me a hug. People without children or perfectionist parents need to spend a day with my kids. We have never had a broken bone but there was the time a horse bit the top of #2 son’s head at the County Fair. Try explaining that at the ER without sounding like a total idiot.

    • ladyladylike May 1, 2012 at 2:54 pm #

      Omgosh! Bit his head? That’s crazy!! & Love the element of your son’s decoy operation 🙂

  16. The Logophile June 9, 2011 at 12:19 pm #

    LOL. I wish I could come up with those lines on time. I tend to stammer and blush and moments later smash myself over the head for not saying something smarter. I get all the lines when I can think straight. When I am on the defense, I am a useless one. Hope she feels better soon. When I was a lil girl I had a cast up my leg from falling off a Big Wheels… wonder what that one looked like for my mom. I gotta learn how to come up with the snide comebacks sooner. 🙂

  17. thedailydish June 10, 2011 at 12:34 pm #

    I hope Lilah feels MUCH better soon! She’s probably enjoying the attention at least, though you – poor thing – sure aren’t. Damn. Personally, I think the “judgmental b*tch factor” seems to rise along w/ income. NOT always, but I think those w/ less are often FAR more understanding of life’s inequity and tend to be more lenient on others. The rod-up-the-butt set are far too intent on keeping themselves apart than to identify w/ the reality most people face. Just my 2 cents.

    YOU ARE A KICK-ASS MOM.

    XO

  18. Tori Nelson June 11, 2011 at 7:21 pm #

    Thank God you found a way to give the snooty moms a run for their judgments! Cheers to sarcasm… and keeping tiny fingers off our brewskies 🙂

  19. natalie @ book, line, and sinker June 14, 2011 at 8:47 pm #

    argh! that lady was such a snooty-tooty! i can’t stand people like that. i hope your little cutie makes a speedy and full recovery!

    while i don’t get the judging parent thing, i DO get the simpering, condescending, “ohh, you don’t have any children? how sad.” it’s to the point that when people ask, “oh, you guys have been together forever! any kids yet?” my answer is: no, we can’t have kids. (pregnant pause) we have WHITE SOFAS. that usually quiets them down.

  20. Amy June 16, 2011 at 12:00 pm #

    Love it! Love that you shoved it right back in her face……I am a mother of 4 also and can’t stand getting the sneery up and down looks sizing me and my children up…..grrrrr. Just love your blog style and your voice! Keep up the good work……and keep writing these stories……these are family treasures!!

  21. ladyladylike May 1, 2012 at 2:52 pm #

    “Thank you, Jersey humidity coupled with 85 degree weather) was thrown up in a ponytail slapped on top my head, in a hair style one might expect to see on a Q-tip. Looking down I noticed a rainbow shaped smear on my pant leg. Heavens to blarney stones, it must have come from a leprechaun, because its green. Yep, that’s right my friends, a large booger smudge across the thigh of my black capris, from when the little one leaned into me and wiped her nose with my pant leg. Nothing says “I’m a loser” like snot on your trousers. Lovely. I know I look like a real ‘prize’. I don’t know if it was the “I-smell-farts” look she was giving me, or her sizing me up, or the fact that ‘Aunt Flo’ was due for a visit and I was cranky, but for some reason my guard went up and self-consciousness morphed into defensive anger. Sometimes fighting stupidity with absurdity is all you got. And when that happens, sarcasm is my weapon of choice.”

    I think this is one of the most wonderful paragraphs I have ever read. I LOVE it!!

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