Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Do you realize you said that out loud?

I wrote this a few years ago for a different blog, but a recent post at Dirty Little Secret about comments to pregnant women inspired me to resurrect this little gem.

For some folks, twins are an excuse to make stupid comments. Just because I have a set of kids who arrived as a pair does NOT mean you have a right to consequence-free stupidity. If you make an asinine comment, I reserve the right to mock you mercilessly.

When my twins were tiny, it was much worse. As they've gotten older, they look less and less alike, so people often don't realize they're twins (which leads to all sorts of other stupid questions), but we still get stupid twin comments on occasion. Complete strangers have said things like:

They don't look like twins.

Lady, they ARE twins and this is how they look. Therefore, based on definition, they do in fact, look like twins.

Oh a boy and a girl?

We got this one all the time when they were babies and even through toddlerhood. People said this when they were both wearing traditional "girl" colors. People asked this when they were in matching frilly pink dresses. People said this when they were both in pink shirts with the word, "GIRL" in large font (which, coincidentally are the same shirts I wore as an infant and people still insisted I was a boy too).

One woman even asked that when they were tiny and they were both in onesies. One was pink and the other's was white with a ballet slipper print all over it. When dh corrected her, the woman said, "Oh, but that one's in pink." To which I replied, "Yes, and the other one's in pink ballet slippers."

Let's not forget the countless people who, upon being told they were both girls, would say, "Oh but she/they is/are in blue." To which dh would reply, "Yes and so is my wife."

And it's so very difficult to top one man we met at McDonalds when the kids were about 15 months old. They were both wearing coordinating white frilly dresses with flowers embroidery. The man asked if the kids were a boy and a girl. When I answered him, the man said in reference to Girl2, "That's an awfully butch haircut on that one."

He's mad because he has to wear an outfit that matches his sister.

No, she's a girl and she loves her outfit. She's just mad that we have to take the time to deal with idiots like you instead of just paying and leaving. I swear Volde-Mart breeds these morons. The next comment came from a Wal-Mart cashier as well.

I'd kill myself if I was having twins.

Wow. That was the worst comment we ever got. How on earth do you reply to that? I think my mouth just fell open. And for me to be speechless, it's gotta be bad. Hopefully, you'll never reproduce and the world will be spared from the possibility of you spawning equally stupid off-spring.

I couldn't have handled twins at 16.

That was said to me when we were all out with my sister and niece. My daughters were maybe 6 months old at the time. The woman who uttered it was a sales clerk who then proceeded to follow us around and stare at us. Come on, lady. I know I tend to look younger than I actually am. It's a curse that has befallen my sister as well. But give us a break. 16? I was not, by any stretch of the imagination, 16 at the time. Are you so old that you have long since forgotten what 16 looks like? This was yet another one that left me speechless for a second, but when I recovered, I simply said, "Oh my! I couldn't have handled them that young either. I couldn't have handled one baby at 16." It didn't seem to help. The cashier didn't get it and continued to believe I was both a teenager and apparently a thief as well.

Well, I guess you're done.

No. we weren't done. We wanted more children (and have since had one). But what gives you the right to make such an intimate statement? Many twins today are a result of fertility treatment. So how the hell are you going to make someone feel whose twins are a result of clomid or IVF? While they may want more children, their physical issues may make that impossible. Now they have to deal not only with how that makes them feel, but with stupid comments from people like you. I came up with the best response, though. When people made this stupid comment, I said, "No, we're trying for at least 6." That always shut them up. I didn't really want 6 kids, but I did want to silence the stupidity.

They're awfully close in age, aren't they? or How far apart are they?

This one is usually said in a judgmental tone because people assume we are teenagers who don't know how to use birth control. It's a bit different now because we don't look quite as young as we used to (it helps that dh can have facial hair now that he's out of the military). This ticks me off to no end. We prefer to get the second question because then we can simply reply, "One minute." That usually stops them dead in their tracks. Mind you, the girls are only 1/2 an inch different in height and 3 lbs off from each other. So how far apart could they possibly be? Come on. They may not be identical, but they're obviously not far enough apart in age to be anything but twins.

Let's not forget one woman at Target who thought they weren't twins and then felt compelled to tell my sister and me (both complete strangers to her) that she conceived her second child on her first's birthday. AHHHHHHHHH. Too much information! We don't want to know that. No one does.

Often, in the same day, we'll have people who ask if they're identical and then someone will insist,

They don't look a bit alike.


One of my sisters actually made this stupid comment. Girl1 and TheBoy share many of the same facial features. They both favor their father. Girl2 favors me. When I sent pictures to family showing the resemblance between Girl1 and TheBoy, one of my sisters wrote back,

You need to have another one so Girl2 has a twin.

Um...she already has a twin. She came with one.

This conversation baffled me. Here's the scene; we're at the portrait studio. The girls are about 2. They're dressed in matching dresses.

Random lady: Are they sisters?
Me: They're twins.
Random lady: But are they sisters? opposed to what?

And please note that if someone is rushing through the store with two babies roughly the same size in a double stroller, you can pretty much assume the babies are twins. No need to ask any questions. If said woman is rushing with two tiny screaming babies, you should avoid, at all costs, jumping in front of her and trying to ask questions about the babies. It should be obvious not only that the babies are twins, but also that this woman desperately needs to restock her fridge and she's trying her damnest to deal with the colicky babies in an attempt to go food shopping and YOU AREN'T HELPING.

I've blogged about the topic of stupid comments about kids once before, so I'll direct you there as well: FAQs For Morons

I know stupid comments are not reserved just for twin moms. Feel free to leave a comment and share other stupid comments you've had the "Pleasure" of having stupid people throw at you.


Katie said...

When I was pregnant I had 2 people say to me "Are you SURE you are pregnant?"

What I get now is "OMG she's so tiny"...uhhh she's a baby and was only 5lbs 7oz at birth give me a break. (She weighs 8lbs 12oz now thank you very much)

And EVERYONE asks if she is a boy or a girl or refers to her as "he" even when I have her in pink and draped in a lavendar blanket with pink hearts on it.

Grrr. I feel your pain

Reiza said...

I just read a comment on a message board that I must share. One woman said that, when asked if her twin boys are twins, she once responded with, "No, they're sextuplets, but it's just easier to leave the other 4 at home."

Robin said...

My daughter was pretty much bald for the first two years of her life. It didn't matter whether she was wearing a pink gingham dress or a potato sack, everyone always thought she was a boy!

I've got a good comeback for an earlier stage question though. When we got tired of answering "don't you have any kids yet?" I told someone that I'd had two but I'd sold them. Shut them right up LOL.

Jerseygirl89 said...

Oh I love this post! I love your responses.