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Friday, January 18, 2008

Bloopers.

Sometimes I am astonished by the things people say and have continually learned to just nod and smile, even if what someone says makes absolutely no sense to me or possibly offends me. The other day, Lori shared a few funnies that have been said to one or both of us in the past. There are so many things that may have made me laugh, drop my jaw or even shriek in horror.

Here's a few of my own personal bloopers that people have actually said to me:

In regards to my son looking a lot like his siblings (my stepkids):

"If I didn't know better I'd think they all had the same mom." (They don't. I promise.)

"I don't see you in him at all. I see T a lot though."

In regards to being young, shopping in the grocery store with three kids:

"You're so young to have three kids, haven't you heard of birth control?"

To which I wish I would have replied, you're so old, haven't you heard of self control?

In regards to being a stepmom:

"Does their mom drive you crazy?"

"Is their mom crazy?"

"Do the kids drive you crazy?"

"Are you crazy?"

(I think all of us are just a tad bit.)

One of my all time favorites, when the Mom's Club representative came to my house shortly after H was born:

"Samara, can I have a snack?" T asked.

"Sure." I answered getting him a snack.

"Did he just call you by your first name?" Snooty Mom's Club rep askes incredulously.

"Yes, I'm his stepmom."

"Well we don't have any other stepmoms in the Mom's Club so if you still want to join you'd need to apply and we'd need to ask the board." (In case you're unaware, my application went in the recycling bin that day.)

In regards to our story in the paper last month:

"So if your husband and his ex get along so well, why'd they get divorced in the first place?"

"So, who had the affair?" (Just to let everyone know, there was no affair, but someone actually asked me this just this week after saying they saw us in the paper.)

Beyond all this somewhat 'outrageous' comments/bloopers there's always questions and formalities. I'm beginning to wonder if part of my somewhat 'new' discomfort in meeting new people is because of past comments and assumptions that have been made about me and my family, stemming mostly from the 'step-family' aspect.

Most people's opinions of stepfamilies stem from their own history and beliefs around it. I've gotten the oohs and ahhs and looks of pity one too many times.

Since we were in the paper, many people have asked a lot of questions about our stepfamily and situation, and to be completely honest, I welcome that. I'd rather someone ask me than make their own assumptions. There have also been some people approach me that were somehow 'unaware' that T and M were my stepkids and then some tell me they too are step-parents or that they are step-children. They share their stories, their experiences and that piece of their unspoken life with me.

I know most everyone at the school I work at saw the story due to the 35 copies of it in my mailbox when I returned. A few teachers mentioned things here or there but I had one staff member (who is also a stepmom) tell me last week that she overheard a conversation about how high maintenance families 'like ours' are. (Though I don't think they were referring to our family as being high maintenance, we were in the "grouping")

I was a little bothered that I was now being grouped in one of 'those' families and also considering, I think our family is pretty darn accomodating. We all stay on top of things for the kids school work, have joint conferences and communicate. We try to take care of everything so there is no additional work necessary for their teachers. There are a few issues we have been high maintenance about, such as not always being seen as "equal families". To me, if we're down in the trenches working things out and making things the best we can for these kids, we get to be high maintenance. We get to advocate for what we think is best for those two kids, just like any other parent would, despite their marital status.

I know I've said the wrong thing at the wrong time, many times over. We all do. But here's to being more intentional with our words and stopping the negative assumptions. And remembering sometimes things are left better unsaid. Even if they make me laugh later.

Happy Friday.

6 Comments:

Blogger Melissa said...

Preach it, girl. And could you make me laugh any harder?! "You're so old, haven't you heard of self control?" I nearly died! Happy QF to you and yours. LUMI!

January 18, 2008 at 10:01 AM  
Blogger Lori said...

Too bad you can't capture the looks we have gotten when we are new to the doctor's appts. I wonder if they have ever figured out that "we" aren't a couple!! Very funny!

January 18, 2008 at 12:50 PM  
Blogger Lacey said...

Good post!

January 18, 2008 at 8:25 PM  
Blogger The Lindahl News said...

You need to write a b-o-o-k!

January 19, 2008 at 11:04 AM  
OpenID susiej.com said...

So funny -- I needed this laugh!

January 20, 2008 at 9:27 PM  
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February 3, 2008 at 2:36 PM  

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