Today is Tuesday, and on Tuesday we rant! Cousin Carla wonders if she is nuts…..I’ll let you decide.
I hesitate to ask this, but am I crazy? What has happened to appropriate social boundaries? I think of myself as a moderate person in general but fairly liberal regarding social issues. It doesn’t matter to me who you date, or sleep with; how you choose to raise your children; what clothes you wear or car you drive. As far as I’m concerned for the most part it is none of my business. I would never think to comment on a stranger or even an acquaintance’s private life. It is called a private life for a reason and it encompasses many aspects including but not limited to diseases, sex life, divorce troubles, and spousal problems. However, it has come to my attention that a lot of people don’t share my views. I took a friends child to the movies tonight and was asked by the concession help if she was my daughter. When I looked confused she explained that she just asked since I have dark hair and the child is blonde. Like that gave her the right to ask. Yesterday while shopping for my new refrigerator the woman at home depot was giving me an estimate and asked for my name. I said Carla and she replied that Carla was her best friend’s name in high school. I smiled and said something inane like, “Oh? With a C or a K?” She burst into tears and sobbed, “She died the day after graduation in 1980.” At that point I was at a loss.
Twenty years ago I was asked, when buying a pregnancy test, whether I hoped it would be positive or not. I have had wait staff jump in to conversations I was having with a lunch date. Being pregnant was the worst! It was like pregnancy makes it okay for stranger to not only ask inappropriate questions like how much weight you’ve gained, but it also gives them the right to comment on how you’re carrying, where you’re carrying and to touch your stomach.
When introduced to someone I believe a handshake might be appropriate but certainly a hug is not. Perhaps once we’ve spent some time together like a meal or a party then maybe I short hug, but not upon introduction. Believe it or we are big huggers in my family. We hug each other. We hug our friends. We just don’t hug perfect strangers. And you can forget about coming in for the air kiss or the European two-cheek kiss. I mean aside from the movies, where does that actually happen without being really weird? I am surprised by how many people try to get away with it. I feel a little like the old Seinfeld episode where he puts his foot down against the kiss hello.
My latest problem is with people’s response to the question, “How are you?” When did it stop being understood that this is just a social courtesy and not the opportunity to talk about your hemorrhoids, gout or other malady? I have greeted acquaintances at the grocery with a hearty, “Hi! How are you?” and gotten responses ranging from “Well my husband just left me but other than that I’m okay” to “Did you know I had a hernia operation” accompanied by a lifting of the shirt to show off the scar. When Brad and I got divorced I still replied fine when people said how are you and then I sent out Christmas cards without him in the picture. A little too subtle, perhaps? Really I am just looking for a “Fine. How are you?” so I can say fine and we can go on our merry ways. If I want to know about the personal details of your life I will call you, or invite you to lunch or at least make an attempt to be your friend first.
Now let me ask again, am I nuts?
Thank you Cousin Carla for sharing! I can’t comment on wither Carla is nuts or not…she is family. However, the other day, when I was asked by a grocery store checker who I was voting for, I just smiled, and asked why she wanted to know. Odd friend Sue was told by a holy man, that a made up answer to a question, that is none of the other persons business, is never a lie. And then I think Sue or the Holy man added, so there! I can never remember the details.
What are your thoughts? Is Carla nuts?
Odd Loves Company!