Excuse me?

“I don’t like kids. Never have and never will. I don’t understand why people want so many of them.”

Ever so slowly, I turn my head to the left, where a salesgirl with too long hair and too tight pants is pin-tucking a dress shirt at Men’s Warehouse at a table approximately four feet away from me. She surveys my daughter, quietly playing with my bracelet.

“They are so sticky.”

Yep. That is her.

I look at my husband, who is meticulously choosing the pattern of his vest for underneath his wedding tuxedo, grab his hand, and say. “We are leaving.” I haul my two year old daughter off of my lap, onto my hip, and escort the team of Canadian/American beer league hockey players that is my wedding party out the door.

I can excuse you if you make a comment like this near me, or even to me, if my child is not, quite literally, on my hip. Or if you have no idea that I am a mother. Or even if you are a teenager and think that you don’t like kids, because chances are, you will change your mind in a few years. But if you are a 30 year old sales person in a professional setting where a lady WITH a child who is clearly hers is sitting directly ON her lap and you proceed to proclaim why you dislike children at the top of your voice with my daughter as the offender, I am going to do one of two things:

1) Punch you in your stupid face.

2) Leave the store, with my groomsmen thinking I am a wildly dramatic bride having a ‘moment’.

It has been months since this encounter, yet I have spent much time contemplating what could have taken place that day. What might have transpired  if I had said “You know, usually I dislike clothing salespeople. They are so tacky,” punched her in her stupid face, and then walked out, instead of just leaving without saying a word to anyone? Would I feel better about it? What if I told her that she would be better off not reproducing, that she could consider it her one big gift to society if she remained childless?

But, despite all of my do-over day dreams, realistically I know that I couldn’t do that for two reasons, 1) I do not, in fact,  believe that clothing sales people are tacky, (I used to be one), and 2) I doubt my ability to execute a face-punch, since I have never given one before.  After all, I cannot be a hypocrite AND a pussy. What kind of example would that set for my sticky child?

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20 responses

  1. I often tell my own grown children, when asked why I didn’t have children of my own, that it is because I could never find a use for infants or human beings under the age of three. My sons are actually 34 and 32 now, they are also my step-sons who have been with my since they were 2.5 and 4.5. When their father and I divorced they remained in my custody, they were teenagers by then.

    (Infants terrify me) I adore my grandson but even he terrified me.

    The truth is of course I had them and somehow that was enough. The other truth is something I will never share with them, it is something they don’t need to know because it goes to the heart of their fathers problems and I will not take from them who he was to them (he has since passed).

    People can be ignorant. Meeting their ignorance with grace is sometimes difficult, you did a great job. I would have been tempted to find the store manager and provide him with the total $$ lost because of her ignorance, I would have done it with her standing there so her humiliation was complete and public. But then, I am older and meaner than you I suspect.

    • Thank you so much for this comment. To me, and in my family, step parents are parents. No difference, at all.
      I do believe it would have been a hefty amount of money that they would have missed out on. We had a TON of people in our party. I did not feel graceful- I felt pissed off and rotten inside for having been around that woman. But I am pleasantly surprised that it sounds as though I was polite, lol!

  2. I have face-punching day dreams all the time, but I also doubt my ability to execute. What if I hurt my hand? What if their mouth is open and I cut my hand open on their teeth? Human mouths are grody places and I just don’t want to take that kind of risk.

  3. Hell yeah. You can’t be responsible mom and ass-kicking mom in the same day. You did the right thing, and now that sales-lady has the rest of her lonely life to spend watching other people angrily walk away from her.

    • I think she must be lonely. That is the only plausible excuse I can come up with. It has taken me three lunch breaks, but I am almost done reading your DMT post. I really like it, (even though I am way too much of a pansy to ever even consider trying it).

  4. I absolutely HATE when people say this. They do realize that they were once kids themselves? Did they really have that bad of a childhood to Hate kids?

  5. I think they should have given me credit for that kick-boxing class I took at the Y when I was going through school to become a counselor. I could have expanded my repertoire of therapeutic interventions.

  6. If I was prepared, I would have said,”You know, I really dislike rude people” before I left. Of course that’s very mild, but appropiate to say in almost any insulting situation.
    When a (male, of course) customer of mine persisted in saying, “wow, you’ve put on some weight” every time he saw me, I finally said “Wow, you’ve really
    gotten rude”. (he did say he was sorry, and never mentioned anything personal about me again)

  7. ok. i’m a father to be and i think she has the right to an opinion, regardless. i hate the fact that i have to hide what i really think, just to be politically correct.

    altho, a punch in the face could be something outstanding. a bit of violence has always helped me to relieve my stress. but again, you must be politically correct there too.

    • I think I presumed that since she was working, she was required to be politically correct, or at the very least, polite. Everyone is indeed entitled to their own opinion, thank goodness, or I would have been forced to purchase expensive clothing from that dreadful woman.

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