Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Reading Between The Lines

If you've met my husband, then you know that "friendly" doesn't even begin to describe him.  Everywhere we go, he is running for mayor-- shaking hands, meeting people, kissing babies, flirting with old women, etc... He never meets a stranger, and it is NOT uncommon for him to meet someone in the grocery store and then actually keep in touch with them.  He loves people, all people, and there is never a crowd that's too big.

Me on the other hand, I try to hide from people.  I wish I was exaggerating- but unfortunately, I am not.  If I walk into a store, and see someone I know, but I'm not really in the mood to talk, I avoid them.  And I'm talking about people I genuinely like!  I may see them coming straight at me, so I'll duck behind big rack. Sometimes (a lot of the time) I'd just rather do my own thing, at my own pace, without much chatty chat.

So imagine my discomfort now that Max is a social butterfly as well.  Naturally, he runs most of my errands with me- and this is great fun for both of us... until he starts talking and waving to every passerby. He sits in the cart and picks his "friend" and begins making his move.  He'll click at them, wave, talk, grin, clap, etc... Like to strangers.  Any and all of them. Male, female, young, old.  And it's very awkward for me because I don't know whether to acknowledge the person he is talking to or just pretend like I don't know it's happening.  Sometimes we'll be walking up a long aisle, and he's just a talkin with someone... and then they start talking to me!

It usually starts out with "How old is he?"  And then they comment on his size- everyone says something different- "Oh, he's a big boy" or "I thought he was only about 7 months".  I always get the "Wow, he's so cute/adorable/ precious" comment as well.  And usually by this point, I can make my getaway.  But sometimes you'll get the person who wants to give you their advice- I've heard all sorts.  And they don't stop just because you start walking away- they follow you!  And let me mention that Max is still winding them in-- cooing and batting his eyes- just to make sure he's proven himself to be the most wonderful baby in the world.  (Which he is.)

I want to tell you about my most recent comment.  And it happened TWICE in the same day, at TWO different stories by TWO different people.  The conversation went like this:

Stranger: (to Max) Oh hi there (to me) How old is he?

Me: Almost 9 months old

Stranger: Oh, what a big boy.  He's just beautiful- I love his eyes and his smile.  Wow.

Me: Thanks (and I begin trying to make my getaway.)

Stranger:  What does his Dad look like?

Now you may not know about my hidden talent, by my roommates from college can attest to the fact that I am FANTASTIC at reading between the lines.  For instance, if someone sends me an email, or gives me a look, I can tell you what they really meant.  So let me tell you what that comment really meant-- Stranger said "what does his Dad look like?" but what Stranger was really saying was "You are clearly not cute enough to have that gorgeous of a child- there has got to be another reason for it- and the only possibility is his father."

The first time, I answered politely- because Stranger had the same color hair as me, and was about my build, so I was thinking that she probably wanted to find a spouse like mine, so she could have a baby like Max.

The second time is another story.  When Stranger asked "the question", I replied "I'm not sure- I don't know who his father is."

Needless to say, I was free to make my exit at that time, as Stranger turned red faced and walked off. I walked away chuckling...until the Holy Spirit struck and I found myself marching back over to Stranger to apologize for my rude comment and explain that I did indeed know his father, but had just let my insecurity get the best of me.

Now who walked away red faced?  I'll give you one guess.

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