“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?