Tuesday, May 13, 2008

You look too old, so how do you like that?

It's not everyday that someone tells me that I "look too young" to have five kids, or that I "look too young" to have a teenage daughter, but I would say, at least once or twice a week, someone, somewhere tells me this in some way or another. That number is ,of course, way down from a decade ago, when I was twenty three ,and the mother of one four year old, and one infant, but I still consistently hear comments like this.

In part, I guess, I do look younger than I am. In fact, on a recent vacation some woman told me that I looked eighteen, which at this point, is nearly half my age. I don't personally think that I look that young, but maybe, I do look a little younger than I am. Some woman at McDonald's, who was stunned when I told her my baby wasn't my first, but my fifth, guessed that I was twenty- three. She was twenty five herself and was obviously impressed by my youthful look and not trying to be passively nasty, so I told her thank you, and asked her for all her contact info, so that we can be best friends.

For every one person who means the phrase "you look so young, or you look too young" as a complement, there are ten people who are trying to be nasty. How do I know? I am not an idiot. I can hear it in their tone, see it in their faces, sense it from the air that they give off. Most recently, a mother in my oldest daughter's class saw me at school and said, "oh, you look too young", I didn't even see YOU there, I thought that you were one of the kids.

This woman has known me now for over eight years. For the most part, up until this point, our contact has been friendly. On this particular instance, I chose to sort of ignore her comment. I am fairly certain that she knows approximately how old I am. If she doesn't think that I am old enough to be my oldest daughter's mother at this point, well, what I can tell her? Not too many people want to adopt thirteen year olds...

A couple days later, I ran into her again at the school auction/fundraiser. I greeted her pleasantly, and she made the comment again. This time, I gently lobbed the ball back at her? Is there such a thing as looking too young?

Her answer, "well I wouldn't want to be thirteen again" didn't really answer my question, and I was quite frankly appalled by her bold face rudeness. I had my daughter young, admittedly, I was two months shy of turning twenty, so technically, I was a teenage mother- there I said it. But, hey , by the way, for all smug mothers who think that you have to be in a state of advanced maternal age to give your child a fighting chance in this world, please note that Barack Obama's mother was also a teenager when she gave birth to him. Pity how he turned out- probably he will be the first African American presidential nominee, and he will likely also become president(sorry Hillary, I'm still with you- I'm just sayin).

This woman, who repeatedly insisted that I look "too" young, probably had her daughter in her mid thirties, because my guess is that she is now in her late forties to early fifties. I may note that our daughters applied to the same secondary school, and only one of them got in- and it wasn't mama Grannie panties daughter. Maybe that's why she now scowls at me. Maybe she is jealous. Idk, as my daughter would say.

Whatever the case, I can't understand why people, in general, feel it is okay to make derogatory remarks to women that they think look young to be mothers. Maybe, a woman did have a baby at a younger age then planned, but then, hey don't you think that might just be a sensitive subject? Maybe strangers and semi acquaintances ought to back off and not poke and prod at such a sensitive subject. I mean do they want an honest answer...

Yes, I was a whore in college. I was so drunk/high/stupid, that I got pregnant. I wanted to become a drain on society, so I chose to keep the baby and not to have an abortion or give her up for adoption. So kind of you to recognize how I failed my entire family and myself. It wasn't at all painful feeling isolated, as all of my friends were at frat parties, and I was at home folding laundry and breastfeeding. I love to talk about the good old days. Please be sure not to give me any credit for the sacrifices that I made. Don't count the fact that I went on to complete my college degree, while being a mother to my child, hundreds of miles away from all my family and friends. Simply treat me as a complete piece of shit that you spew offensive things at without making any type of apology. By the way, my brother is alcoholic, perhaps you'd like to talk to him about why he doesn't drink anymore? Maybe you can ask him where he thinks the best rehabs are- he has been to five of them across the country.

Or do they want me to return the favor...

I don't know if you can look too young, but Jesus Christ, you sure as shit can look too old. Did you know that grey hair makes you look like some one's grandma. I mean I have a great hairdresser who can perform miracles. A little botox, a new wardrobe, have you seen the show ten years younger? I'd be willing to write into the website for you.

And by the way....

I know that I look young, but last time I checked girls can start getting pregnant by about age twelve. So, unless you are certain that I am under twenty five, and the mother of five, do yourself a favor and do not say to me " You look too young to be a mother/her mother/ their mother- okay, you mothers?

1 comment:

mommastantrum said...

I love it!!

"And it wasn't miss Grandma Panties!"

I am going to use that in like 400 sentences today.

My mom was 19 when she had me...and everyone goes "oh, you can't be her mom, blah blah blah" and we always laugh and call them stupid heads. I would so rather have a young mom than a Grannie Panties mom, because that means that I will look good when I hit 50.

FWIW, you did done good. And that lady is a jealous nasty noodle. (Well, I was going to use another word, but I have to be careful now so I don't get a time out.)