Monday, October 27, 2008

Personal vs Public

Something funny is up with total strangers blurring the lines between private and public info. People will ask anything! And out of experience, my criteria has become this - make it funny if you're going to make remarks or ask questions!

This stranger phenomenon first struck when I was pregnant with twins. Perfect strangers wanted to know my complete fertility history, and were not shy about asking if I was on drugs. Fertility treatments, in-vitro, acupuncture, karmic meditation - how did this happen to me?? It always caught me off guard, though I probably should have come up with a good line early on. I don't think well on my feet.

Well, that's not quite true. I think fine on my feet, only a foot usually ends up in my mouth. :) So, it's better for me to have down pat what I will say, so as to avoid awkward stares. Plus, I have face that is practically glass. Everything I think runs right across my face, like the CNN ticker. Or maybe my eyes are projectors, like those script-thingies public speakers read from.

Either way, I would stare blankly at the nosy nelly stranger, and state the truth. "Dropped two eggs, and both took! Wow, what luck!" Finally I saw a tee shirt that gave me an answer to if twins "run in my family" - I would say "Depends on who is chasing them." :-) That became a favorite.

But now, when we roll with our entire entourage, people watch and smile or grimace or follow us and ask to be adopted. Oh wait. That's Angelina that gets that question.

So we were going into a store, the whole kit & caboodle, and a kind gentleman was holding open the door. As the kids paraded around the corner, followed by Rick with the stroller, I could see by the stranger's face that he was thinking of those circus clown cars where 3000 clowns climb out of a tiny VW.

He said, "Well, that's a passel of kids! Don't you have a TV???"

Cut to Rick & I, giggling at each other, wondering when our personal life became mall-parking-lot fodder. But truly appreciative of two things: 1. it was funny, 2. we hadn't been asked that before, in quite that way.

A TV? Maybe I should have just told him I ran out of books to read... :)


  1. That was hilarious Bethany, I do love it when the prying is at least clever.
    Andy and I were in Asheville, and I went into a store and asked if there was a pharmacy nearby.
    Some little lady--60 or so--asked, "what do you need there?"
    I could not believe it!

  2. unrelated:
    what are ya'll doing thangsgiving weekend? email me. ;)


Put it right here, babe!