February 08, 2009

People Are Not So Bright Sometimes

T was talking to some acquaintances of ours and mentioned that we would be seeing Ms B soon.

One of the people listening wanted to clarify that B was Puppy's birth mom, too. Confused, T explained that, no, our kids have completely different first families.

Why would this person think that Puppy and Firefly shared a birth mom, you ask? In his words: "Oh, I just thought--I mean, you always call them brother and sister."

***

Which made me remember a time I shared a straw or a spoon or something--maybe it was a lollipop?--with Puppy in front of some other moms. One woman was looking at me funny and I asked her if she wasn't big on sharing straws/spoons/lollipops. Because some people just don't like the idea of sharing utensils, you know? My dad is like that.

She answered that of course she didn't mind sharing with her children, but that was because she is related to them (emphasis hers). Shared DNA makes a spit-covered lollipop less gross, I guess.

I just pointed out that she wasn't genetically related to her husband but I bet she had shared a lot more than a spoon with him.

30 comments:

Pronoia said...

Oh, the stupid things people say. It's kind of amazing how little thinking plays a part in what comes out of their mouths.

My name is Andy. said...

I like the comment about the husband! Some people are pretty dumb!

KLTTX said...

Idiots! We havn't received any yet but our son is only 5 months old. I am sure they will come.

lassie said...

I got a pretty inappropriate question on Face*book the other day about adoption. It was one of the few times I've been shocked at someone's attitude toward adoption.

makes me wonder about all the ignorant things I've said over the years. Too bad like doesn't have instant replay or better yet, Do-over!

Kendra said...

Generally, as I navigate this process, I try to give people the benefit of the doubt, because I realize that sometimes people just don't know much about adoption and the proper terms to use (like birth or first mother instead of "real" or "natural" mother) -- and because I remember some foot in the mouth moments that I had myself years ago. (I remember saying to the dad of two adopted girls down the street that they looked "like sisters," trying to convey that they looked genetically related. Of course, the difference is that even then that gave me an internal wince and I knew that the wrong words had poppped out.)

However...the two examples here are pretty bad. Especially the second one, in my opinion.

craptastic_mail said...

grrrrrr......I am SO glad you are able to be composed and intelligent when responding to these people. I think I'd just bite and spit.

More likely I'd stand there, mouth hanging open, not knowing what to say.

You give me good words to use if/when in that situation!

Rachel said...

I am so glad I have your blog to read because it's preparing me for things that are so stupid that I would never, ever know that I had to prepare myself for them.

It helps, but it also makes me worry. I'm a worrier.

PS -- my word verification is 'allies.' I like that.

Frenchie said...

Wow, those are some doozies. Especially the one about sharing (lollipop, spoon, whatever) being gross...if you're not 'related'. I am so amazed by your composure and kick-ass response. I haven't heard any doozies like that yet, but people always want to ask me about my son's "Mother" "Real Mother" "Real Parents" or "Grandparents/Real Family". Oy.

luna said...

hearing these kinds of things makes my stomach turn and my head spin.

perfect response about sharing with the husband. hard to believe people are so dense and ignorant.

Kathy's Korner said...

Just seconding here....


PERFECT response! PERFECT!

Would have loved to have seen that woman face after!!

shmode said...

Wow ... I mean just ... wow. The only thing I've ever heard is 'real mom' and it was from my middle child. Wow. It is hard to believe how surprised I am at the stupidity of people. I'm very glad you had the wit to respond as I may have been to speechless to do so.

Skye said...

Oh my stars.

Really, I can't come up with anything else to say.

Rebeccah said...

Kinda makes you want to smack 'em upside their heads, doesn't it? (sigh...)

marymurtz said...

What idiots. Gawd!

Sam said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE the husband comment! Classic!

Lisa V said...

My BF lived us when Mallory was a baby. She was going through a divorce. One day Mallory dropped her binki in a parking lot. Rosie picked it up, wiped on her pant leg, stuck in in her own mouth and then gave it to my hysterical child.

She then looked at me and said "I guess I'm family now."

Lisa said...

I can't believe the other mom was really that grossed out by your non-biological sucker share! Even if she was, I can't believe she actually said that out loud to you. Ha!

The funny thing about the "brother" and "sister" thing is people do this all the time. My niece calls her stepsisters “sisters” and I never thought anything of this. I just took it to mean "though we are not related, we are siblings because we share a family and life together!” People are dummies.

cynthia said...

Nice comeback, girl.

Guera! said...

Whoa, I am dizzy from my head spinning...
Great comeback though...classic. I hope I remember that one.
Stupid Stupid Stupid People. How is it that I continue to be surprised?

Lori said...

I'm in shock. At a total loss for words. I mean, really, do people believe that only DNA makes a family?

(HOS) Husband of Spring said...

Heather,
Excellent comeback on the sharing with her husband comment! I love it when the right words come to you at just the right time.
HOS

cindy psbm said...

You are right about the husband thing. Part of what makes a person 'family' seems to be how much that they can physically share with one another.
Maybe this women was thinking that life could be more simple for you if you only had one set of first parents to think about.
Maybe she knows someone who adopted siblings and thought that was a common thing to happen??
People are weird sometimes.
Good thing you know your stuff.

Kohana said...

Oh, the husband comment is just great! I wish I said stuff like that in real life. :)

It doesn't happen often, but every once in awhile I am just completely shocked at how much some people DON'T GET adoptive relationships. Our feelings for our children are so maternal, so strong...so normal, but some people perceive them to be something else entirely. It's like I'm in my own little world with my family and am shocked when I realize someone doesn't "gut" us!

Kohana said...

And but "gut", I mean "get" ;)

Sarah said...

People are so stupid sometimes. I have four sibs: two bio and two not. I guess I didn't realize all this time that my brother and my sister weren't, you know, my brother and my sister.

Good job on the comeback! I would have loved to see the look on that woman's face afterwards lol.

This is my first time stopping by, but I think I'll definitely have to come by again!

Spring said...

It surprises me that some commenters are surprised that people make comments like this. They do. People clearly see adoption as fair game.

For me, it's important to teach my children to feel comfortable in situations like this--and your ready reply did just that.

Alison said...

I love your response!! Some people are so ignorant.

JJandFive said...

great response, Heather!

JJandFive said...

great response, Heather!

Maru and Fico said...

Ugh, people... Great response!

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