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Can We Say Rude? Thoughtless?

June 6, 2010

Memorial Day Weekend was here!  We left the house, packed and ready to vacation.  It would be a quick weekend, but was just what the doctor had ordered.  I couldn’t wait to get away,  just to get a mental break!  This school year has been rough and it was finally over.  We were headed to a weekend of family and boating.  The minute we pulled out of the driveway, I could feel the dark cloud of stress lifting with every mile we drove, aaaaaaaah!

We arrived well after midnight and stumbled in to our beds.  The next morning, the 3 of us were starving.  So we drove to the local diner.  Now, we have gone to Celina, TN and Dale Hallow since I was a kid.  We know many people and enjoy the feeling of old home week every time we go back.  Our favorite place to eat is a one room diner run by a former waitress now owner of her own place, Doris.  My son talks about how great her biscuits and gravy are all year-long.  As usual, the place was packed.  A nice elderly couple invited us to join them at the long table they were sitting at, so we did.  We all settled in for some great home cooking and pleasant conversation.

The couple we sat next to were very sweet.  However, they were very difficult to understand.  Between the very poor dental hygiene and the thick accent, it was almost impossible to make out what they were saying.  My husband quickly gave up and I was soon on my own.  We talked about their grandchildren and our son.  Then, it happened!  Our son got up to go to the restroom, and as soon as he had left the table the woman leaned over to me and asked ,

Did you adopt him?

I replied quickly, yes.  (My husband and I are both white and our son “J” is biracial, so it is quite obvious that he is not the result of our union.)  Then she said it,

Couldn’t you have children of you of own?

Yes, we did, and he is right there!

She laughed and said, Oh, you know what I mean!

Yes, that was the problem, I most certainly knew what she meant!!! More questions followed about adoption, etc., but my mind was screaming!  Are you kidding me?  Couldn’t we have children of our own?  Obviously this poor woman had no idea of what she was saying, but come on people!  Can we say rude, ignorant, thoughtless, personal if you please!  Not to mention the implications of that statement!  Couldn’t we have children of our own,  just kept  ripping thru my brain!  All those old feelings slapped me in the face!  Infertility issues, adoption issues, and on and on my brain went into hyper-drive!  My husband saw the look on my face, and was his usual self.  When I told him what she had said, he just shook his head and said, shake it off.  Let’s go have fun.

I’m so proud of myself because that’s exactly what I did.  For the first time, I actually just shook it off, laughed the ignorance off!  I really did just let it go!  Amazing!  There is hope for me yet!

4 Comments leave one →
  1. srlsfamily permalink
    June 6, 2010 1:16 pm

    Some people are just too stupid to really worry about – though it ruined your morning I hope the rest of your weekend was great!

    • June 11, 2010 7:09 am

      Too true! Yep, we had a great weekend ! Just goes to show the hidden prejudices regarding adoption. We need to talk about it more, get it out there! Adopted children and adoptive parents are not second class, second best, or less than! Thanks for the support!

  2. lighthousegal permalink
    June 8, 2010 4:38 am

    That would be one of those situations where I would have to remind me of the source of the statement. It does not sound as if these people moved in circles where appropriate adoption language is practiced. My girls are learning about those people from visits to my home town where there are a lot of educated people, and a lot of very salt of the earth country people. Sometimes J lookes at me and just says “they don’t know any better, do they, mom”. “Nope, Baby, they don’t.” Then we go through the whole thing of it does not make it right, but we have to accept people where they are and if we even want to expend energy trying to educate them. We also go over that if at any time they don’t want to answer a question, or if they don’t want me to answer a question, all they have to do is tell me. They also have my permission to say to the person “that is private information”. But just like you, it still smacks when they say it and all those emotions come roaring to the fore front again. Glad you were able to walk away, shake off those feelings and have a terrific time!

    • June 11, 2010 7:12 am

      I love the way you handle this kind of situation. Makes me think I really need to talk to my son more and prepare him a little better. Most people are really careful not to say anything in front of him, but I know he will hear it. Thanks for the support and great ideas! I really love, “that is private information”!!!!!!!! That just about says it all, doesn’t it. 🙂

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