Monthly Archives: June 2013

The Hazards of Awkward Moming

Having a baby opens me up to all kinds of awkward encounters that I never imagined that I would have.

It’s like the baby (even if still in-utero) nullifies the existence of the “personal space bubble”. That is not good for me. I like my bubble. The bubble is awesome!

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Old women (or even creepier, old men) will reach out and touch the protruding abdomen of pregnant women. How does one react to that? I personally, tried to never leave my house again. Ever.

Also, people see a pregnant woman and they decide that you need to know their life story including, if not especially, the gruesome details of their own birth experience (or that of their cousin’s friend. Who was in labor for 300 years and gave birth to a 12 lb wookie). 

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And once my son was born, it didn’t end. People recounted tales of their own (usually horrifying) experiences with children. Plenty of “just wait until he is *insert milestone*”. Gee thanks.. Now that I know having a child that walks is hard, I’ll send him back to the manufacturer. Oh wait…

Strangers also have all kinds of weird and usually invasive questions.

Some of my favorites (complete with appropriate answers):

Question: “How old is he?” Followed immediately by “How old are YOU?”

This one is really silly, as I was 24 when I gave birth. That’s just one year younger than the national average age at first child. But apparently to elderly grocery store patrons, I look like a teenager. I digress.

Answer: I’m 47. I’ve had extensive work done. I could give you the name of my doctor if you want.

Question: What is he? (I’m assuming they meant “what is his ethnic background?”)

Answer: a baby.

Question: When are you going to stop breast feeding him?

Answer: hold on, he’ll be done in about 10 minutes.

AND FINALLY the crowning moment of awkward (complete with the responses that may or may not have happened) goes to this experience:

Background: Recently my friend from my home town in Louisiana visited me in San Diego. It was a situation in which it was necessary to go out and run the risk of interacting with strangers. It was bound to happen…

Woman working at a desk at a museum: so are you guys from here?

Friend says “she is” and I say “no” at the same time.

I clarify that while I currently reside in San Diego that I am not from here.

Woman: well if you live here then you are from here.

Me: funny because I was under the impression that I was from Louisiana and had only moved here a few months back.

Woman: “huh… “*motions towards Moses who is clearly in boy clothing (a bow tie!) “boy or girl?”

Me: I was thinking I would let him decide for himself.

Woman: oh I see… Well what is his name?

Me: Moses

Woman: wow that is a …strong… name for a little guy. Like the Moses from the bible?

Me: no. Like the basketball player.

*friend is visibly embarrassed by my antics and mumbles that we are leaving and drags me away from this woman.

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I have no idea what it is about tiny human beings that makes people lose all tact. But it’s totally a thing. Beware socially awkward mothers! Beware!

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Bird stalking (an Ode to Grumpy Cat)

People often tell me that I greatly resemble my father. I can see it in pictures but in personality it seems that I must have been dropped on his doorstep by some alien fostering program. I have some loose theories about glamour spells being used. Because my dad is like this:

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And I am like this
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In many ways I admire my dad. He is one of those people that never lost his enthusiasm. He has no shame in enjoying things.
For instance he likes birds. Like… more than any other person I have ever known. He knows all the birds and the specific sounds they make and keeps a list of which ones he sees on which days. He goes on trips to see birds he has not yet seen. He has a vest with many pockets (I am not clear on what it’s purpose is, but it has something to do with birds).
He uses the word “bird” as a verb. I have always considered it to be a noun, but apparently that is not always the case. With my dad one can go “birding”. It’s different than “bird watching” somehow because you actively go and find the birds. It could be accurately described as “bird stalking”.
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I personally try to respect the bird’s privacy. I don’t know what they think of my dad’s stalkerish devotion to them. Maybe they are flattered. It’s hard to say. I don’t speak bird.
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Really, I wish I could enjoy anything as much as my dad enjoys adding a magenta created warbler to his life list. I just don’t have it in me. Maybe I haven’t found the right hobby? Reading bad fan fiction on the Internet just doesn’t inspire the same kind of devotion. Or maybe I’m just a crabby bitch by nature.
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I hope that Moses inherits some of his grandfather’s enthusiasm. All signs point to yes.
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Cake Fails

In late 2011, my sister-in-law threw me a baby shower. It was sweet and awesome to have a celebration of the impending birth of my son.

She hosted and provided everything we needed for the party except for the cake.

The cake was my responsibility. And being me, it turned into a complete disaster.

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I put in the order in advance to whole foods, which was an hour away from where I was living at the time. I *had* to have a Whole Foods vegan chocolate cake because I am a vegetarian and prefer not to eat eggs.

So they had the cake ready, and instead of schlepping my 8 months pregnant ass an hour to Whole Foods, I had my mom, who happened to be passing through the area, pick it up for me.

So I go to my mom’s house and discover that my cake is this:

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I was not thrilled.

I was (and still am) a member of a Facebook group of mothers who were pregnant at the time and due in February. I decided to post a picture and ask for advice on what to do.

It turned into a 100+ comment thread filled with some advice, but mostly mass outrage at how anyone could have taken money for that cake.

Some memorable quotes:

“It looks like the person decorating it forgot how to spell “Boy” and did a bad job of correcting their error”

“My five year old could have done better than that”

“It’s like the guy decorating it was all ‘man…i hope my boss can’t smell the weed on me….mt. dew rocks…dude! I am kicking this cake’s ASS!'”

I felt validated. I was enraged and perhaps a little bit hormonal. I decided that backed by my army of pregnant women, I would make Whole Foods pay for their evil deeds.

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I started by posting a picture and complaint to the Facebook page of the particular Whole Foods which inflicted the ugly cake upon the world. But almost as soon as it was posted, it was removed by an admin.

Upset and mad with imagined power of an army of pregnant women at my back, I created my own hate page for the cake. It got over 100 likes in an hour.

The next day was the baby shower. I decided I would play up the awkwardness instead of ignoring it. I took photos of people giving judgmental and horrified looks towards the ugly cake

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She looks so disappointed.

To add insult to injury, the thing didn’t even taste good! It was dry and gross. Not at all up to par with the cakes I have had from Whole Foods in the past.

Afterwards, I called whole foods and personally confronted the (I’m guessing in some way intoxicated) person who decorated the cake. It was really good that this was not a face to face interaction or I probably would have imploded from awkwardness. But they gave me a refund.

So yeah. The lesson here is don’t get between a bunch of third trimester pregnant women and cake. It will not end well for you.

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He was still angry about it, even a few days after he was born.

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Guilty Pleasures

Everyone has little things that they do when they are having a bad day to cheer themselves up. For a normal person, I guess that might be watching a funny movie or drinking a nice cup of herbal tea.

But for me it’s much more shameful. In deep ugly corners of the internets lurks fan fiction. Usually Harry Potter fan fiction to be exact. Twisting the plot of one of my favorite book series into an unholy abomination of badness. It is creepy. It is wrong. It is hilarious.

I don’t know exactly when this started, but after learning that there were portmanteau couple names for pairings such as “Snarry” I knew I was hooked.

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I usually go in looking for the worst possible fan fic. Sometimes that can be challenging, as there are so many bad ones to chose from. Bad spelling, Purple prose, mixed metaphors, they’ve got it all.

There is a particularly we’ll known (amongst people who seek out bad Harry Potter fan fiction… It’s a thing) example is “My Immortal” By the (supposedly real?) Tara Gillespie. It is the story of Enoby Dark’ness Dementia Raven Way, a Hogwarts student in an alternate universe where all the main characters (excepting Snape/Snap/Snop/Snoop) are “Goffic”.

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Some quotes:

“I MAY BE A HOGWARTS STUDENT” Hagrid paused angrily “BUT I AM ALSO A SATANIST”

“U C Enobby” Dumblydore said, watching the two of us watching the flame. “2 c wht iz n da flmes(HAHA YOU REVEIWRS FLAMES GEDDIT) u mst find urslf 1st, k?”

“Abra Kedavra!” he yelled at Snape and Loopin pointing his womb. I took my gun and shot Snape and Loopin a gazillion times and they both started screaming and the camera broke.”

Now how could anyone be sad or lonely when things like this exist in the world?

So yeah… Totally legit and not at all creepy thing for a 25 year old mother to spend her time reading right?

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Face-mind

So I have this problem. No matter how hard I try to disguise my feelings, my face gives it away. In my head I can be like “ok. Play it cool.” And then face-mind takes over. My discomfort is apparent. Not even just a little bit. Like in an overly expressive awkward way.

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It wouldn’t be such a bad thing to be a genuine person not afraid of expressing my feelings if it weren’t for my major social awkwardness and feelings of horror when people touch me.

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My husbands family consists of almost entirely immigrants. I hear that it’s common for people to cheek-kiss as a greeting in their culture. But in my own culture (that of a socially awkward WASP?) it’s a face-mind attack waiting to happen.

One time my girlfriends dragged me out of my cave to this middle eastern restaurant. They happened to have Belly Dancers performing that evening. My asshole friends decided to both go to the bathroom and leave me at the table to watch their purses. And then scantily clad hip shaking woman approaches the table. Face-mind is flaring up to eleven at the moment my friends return.

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This is why I have more friends on the Internet than I do in person.

No one can see my affliction through text. So they don’t find me so off putting.

Picture this senario:

Friend and I are at lunch. Friend has questions about my experiences in parenthood, as she does not yet have children.

Friend: so was Moses born with hair all over his body? Because I read on the Internet that it’s a common thing. And my cousin’s friend’s daughter was basically a wookie.

Me: *facemind* uhhh.. No?

The awkward questions could go on for ages and my face-mind would escalate to something truly horrible to look upon.

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And if people don’t know me then they will probably take it as an insult or find it just plain creepy.

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But with my online friends we can talk about almost anything and I can come across as fairly personable. This makes me really worry when I have an in-person (in-face-mind) meeting with one of them. So far it hasn’t been too bad.

So… Yeah. Face-mind is a serious condition. I think it deserves its own awareness ribbon.

Do you think I should have my son tested?

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