Thursday, April 03, 2008

Thoughtless...

Sometimes people make remarks thoughtlessly...randomly. And leaves you with a bad taste that takes a while to shake off of your system each time you see that person.

The other day a friend walked in as I was feeding KG. I make KG sit in her bouncer in order to feed her - that is pretty much the only time she is put on the bouncer. This friend really likes KG (and very obviously favors her over KB - which makes me feel bad - but I do think she is not obliged to like them both equally). She walked in , dropped off something and ran into the house quickly to give a hug for KG. She told me how KG reminds her of her own daughter when she was a baby like KG. And then added this. "But you know L (her daughter) was so active, she would never sit in the bouncer like this". A very casual remark. But something very distasteful in my opinion. And this is not the first time she has said something of this nature. She made a similar remark about KB in comparison with her son. "Look at KB - if you put him in one place, he sits there. Whereas if you put my son in one place he will just keep running around...he is too active". I just don't respond to remarks like these. For one, I feel too petty to defend my children against such nonsensical remarks and I also cannot stand the strain that comes from such sharp exchanges had I retorted. But when it happens more than once, you somehow feel less inclined to ignore it. I would not even dream of making such remarks about her children. She is a nice person in many ways, but it comes as a package deal - the comparisons and remarks such as these. I just wish people would think a little more before making such remarks.

Another remark of a similar vein made by yet another person who visited my place. She saw a photo collage and said "Oh this is KB's photo?". I said yes.
"Oh wow - he looks nice in this picture - I mean his c.o.l.o.r" She spelled it out. Like it is some taboo word. I just don't know how to respond to a remark like that. Do I say, he looks nice even now? or what's wrong with his c.o.l.o.r now? That would make it look like I actually care about his being "fair" like he did in that picture...I really don't even notice such things. I just don't get how people in this day and age can point to a picture and say he looked nice because he looked fairer in that picture and that he has become darker now! I mean to say this to my face on top of it! I just don't get it at all!

Ok, enough ranting. Time to go to bed.

16 comments:

30in2005 said...

People are idiots. Ignore them.

Candyfloss said...

Really, you shouldn't even bother. Like today, a perfectly nice Thai lady we know told me: "I saw your husband the other day. He looks good. I thought he'd be black!" I mean really, what do you say to that?! I just laughed.

Asha said...

Ignoring the remarks is the best you can do..

DotMom said...

I don't the remarks should be ignored. I think you should have a very, nice elegant come back. These remarks bother you and unless you do something about em, they are not going to stop bothering you. The next time the woman says something about how her kids were active you should just say sweetly but with a lil sympathy in your voice "I suppose, I lucked out, huh?" or something like that. And to the woman who comments on KBs c.o.l.o.r you shou genuinely ask her why she is spelling it out. Very sweetly, but you are puzzled as is everybody and just ask her if she thinks its a taboo to be of the wrong color.

S said...

Such asses,noon. They increase one's tolerance levels, don't they?

I'd be tempted to do something hopelessly immature like show my middle finger, I swear. That'd be my knee jerk reaction.

You're a real classy lady, my friend.
Stay that way.

Cantaloupes.Amma (CA) said...

If this has happened more than once, I think you should politely let the person know its not welcome.
Being nice all the time has its disadvantages unfortunately :(

noon said...

30in05 - yeah exactly what B says! :)

TPWUTBKAMM! (now candy floss) - God - what a weird comment from her! Seriously! What goes on when people make such comments!

Asha - Well, I did. But still bothers me when it happens again and again. Hence I blogged about it! :)

Dotmom - I always think of these elegant comebacks - but the problem is at that moment - I am so taken aback by the absurdity of such comments that I feel embarassed to even acknowledge that it was made..too embarassing to say anything. And sometimes I feel people who can make such remarks on your face like that must be dense enough to not even understand an elegant come back..I don't mean they are not academically smart or anything - just that some social wiring in their brain must be off...how can you put down another person's child to the mother itself!! And really KB picks out a toy or two he likes when he is at their place and plays with it...or just overall is not hyper or running around - he is that way when he goes to some one else's house...that' just how he is. I don't like to explain anything to her because I feel stupid to defend KB about all this...mostly just feel, "what ever - you are so immature to be making such remarks!"
About color issue - I think part of it stems from her own issues about it -I think she has faced some comments about this issue since her kid is on the darker side...but I don't understand why people say such things in the first place...about a child! She said it so casually - am sure she did not even pause for a second to think that it is not nice to make such remarks!

S - not classy - just feel they will never change no matter how I react...I will just go through the tension of having said something harsh to them...but nothing will change!

CA - I don't think even that I was being nice - just feel they will not get it...they will just think am over reacting! So just vented on my blog and moving on until I hear some such absurd remark again - it will not change I think! :)

Collection Of Stars said...

I agree with 30in2005 - People are idiots :)
And insensitive as hell - people who give importance to color need to get their heads checked.

Usha said...

I understand it when you say that you
cannot stand the strain that comes from such sharp exchanges had you retorted. I am like that too.

But if she is doing it habitually you must make her see it by letting her have it sometime and making a comparative remark sometime asking why her kids are so hyper - if she gives them too much sugar.
Seriously, until they are on the receiving side these characters never learn.

the mad momma said...

i sooo know what you mean. i have a friend who does that. i do have comebacks - but then that just makes it unpleasant. and i dont know if i want to lose the friend or not. its such a dilemma.

i get the opposite about the brat who is quite a hyper kid - about how their child is so well behaved and quiet. i dont point out that their child isnt half as bright or aware. but what the hell... someday they will see and learn. they'll get their come uppance.

what bothers me is that these are our friends. if they were strangers i'd give them a sting in the ear. its hard to deal with a friend who upsets u....

hang in there

noon said...

Usha - Problem is that the basic nature of people hardly changes...I may retort then but it would not have penetrated to the other side...but what will remain is that I "over-reacted". And people who make such remarks are also capable of talking loudly about what happened and twist things to make it appear like they didn't really say anything much but that we are the ones over reacting. Sometimes I feel they have to learn their lessons on their own when they are at the receiving end...sometimes I wonder if they feel insecure like "Wow how is this child so well behaved when he goes to someone else's house?" etc and hence feel like they have to put down the child somehow...I just don't know...

MM - Yeah I know what you mean...are such friends worth keeping? The way I think of it now is that such people can never be my closest friends...they will be friends because we have to function in a community and have overall amicable relationships to keep it all pleasant...also for the sake of our children who enjoy the other children's company...I mean we all can say things that can hurt another person - but we feel bad about it...and we at least don't make obviously rude remarks about their children at least...with these people - there is no winning. If your child is hyper they point to that as a flaw...and if your child is mild, they point to that too as a flaw!

noon said...

CofS - I do think the majority of people - esp from India - obsess about being "fair". Partly I think some of them have been at the receiving end of harsh remarks as a child...I had a friend (lost touch with her) who was very dark and her sister was fair - one took after the mom and the other the dad...and she used to tell me how her relatives used to blatantly talk about her "dark" complexion in front of her and sort of pity her mom that one daughter is so dark and the other so fair...I just cannot imagine that something like that won't affect a child very very deeply...it showed in her as an adult...in the way she viewed the world...

Aryan said...

Ignore them yaar..but it is difficukt to do so...
AM

Poppins said...

This active/quiet thing, I have heard a zillion times so am quite immune to it (not that you should be!) Basically all moms think their children and their style of upbringing is purrfect. When they see children who are different, they want to remark about it.

The color remark annoyed me more than the other ones. I HATE HATE focusing on any physical feature of a child. Bah.

bird's eye view said...

I'm with dotmom - zing it but innocently. I'm sure your friend will get the point. I still burn about a remark I heard abt me from a colleague yrs back "Oh, you look quite nice today" - and I know how much more it hurts from the comments are abt yr kids.

Girl Next Door (gnd) said...

quite a late reply huh? am catching up :)
my sis tells me that she'd give it all for friends, but once someone says something like this, just watch out!
in a lighter vein, when my aunt once told me how "light" t2 is after carrying her, i laughed and told her, "if you wanna carry someone heavy, you can carry me".
she has not opened her mouth ever again about t2's weight (or lack of it).
:)