on being A Spectacle
warning: crabby, sleep-deprived post below.
"EXCUSE ME! EXCUSE ME!"
I glance across the aisle of the restaurant. A middle-aged woman is waving at me frantically. Is her husband choking? Does she need me to flag down her waitress?
"ARE THOSE TWINS?!"
She is pointing at us, at the baby slings Matt & I are each carrying. I'm confused. Is she really trying to strike up a conversation with us? At the top of her lungs? In a restaurant? While we are eating dinner with our family?
We are compelled to shout answers back at her because she seems intent on knowing:
ARE THEY IDENTICAL?
BOYS OR GIRLS?
WERE YOU EXPECTING TWINS?
At this point, I try to take a bite and look away because I know what's coming next: ARE YOU DONE?
And I'm sorry, but I'm just not shouting aloud: JUST TO CLARIFY, ARE YOU ASKING IF WE USE BIRTH CONTROL?!
Thankfully, Rude Lady spares me this indignity and instead shouts:
GIRLS ARE GREAT!
Which ticks me off anyway because twin boys would have been what? A disappointment?
And my own boys are sitting right there listening to her.
I hunker down over my plate of beef brisket and Matt does the same. Throwing the beef brisket at Rude Lady would be easier than trying to swallow it while she stares at us.
As we're leaving, Matt remarks: "When she asked if these were twins, I should have answered 'no, these slings? These are how we hide our beer bellies.'"
We laugh uproariously because 1. we rarely drink alcohol and 2. Rude Lady's husband could have used a beer-belly cover-up himself.
I'm considering writing up Answers To Your Urgent Questions on little brochures we can distribute next time we go out:
1. Yes, these are twins.
2. They are girls.
3. They are fraternal.
4. Believe it or not, we DO know how this happens.
5. We don't know if we're done yet---but we so APPRECIATE your concern for our sex life.
6. Congratulations, you can count! We DO have five children! And yes, they're all ours!
Don't get me wrong, I love talking about our twins. On my blog. Or with people I know. But it's getting tedious letting my dinner go cold so I can answer a barrage of (the SAME) questions with complete strangers.
A close friend of mine thinks what strangers really mean to say is: I'm flabbergasted you have twins in addition to your older three children! But the way it comes out is by everyone asking the same questions, over and over.
I think she's right. And I probably need to adjust my bad attitude because rolling my eyes is not exactly setting a good..ahem..Christian example for my children.
One thing I will be teaching my children? That minding your own business is the good, decent thing to do. That it's respectful to just let people BE, that asking nosy questions is being judgmental, and to never, never interrupt a hungry, nursing mama while she eats.
Because you just might end up with beef brisket in your face.