Irritability Day

 

After the following incident, I am finding myself unreasonably irritable. Like, the woman behind me on the elevator just now was obnoxiously slurping a glass of ice water (who brings a literal glass of ice water with them to travel?!) and I just about nearly pressed all of the buttons and then jumped off at the next floor.

THAT kind of irritated.

And it all started with an elevator.

Waiting to head out for some coffee, I can assure you I had already hit the DOWN button. I have danced this dance before. Plus, it was clearly glowing. Nonetheless, when a woman got to the elevator bank, she gave an impatient look at the doors and proceeded to press the already glowing button repeatedly for about 10 second, clearly establishing to both me and the elevator that she had better things to do.

I should also note here that I am a big fan of people double-checking my work. It was the first time I have had my button-pushing edited, and I saw it as a real teaching moment for my skill set. Remember, kids, Life is Study!

When the elevator did finally arrive, no doubt accelerated by her insistent pressing, she hit the button for the Ground Floor. I approached the buttons myself, pretended to contemplate my choices for a moment, then ALSO pressed the Ground Floor button. Mostly to show her that her lessons did not fall on deaf ears.

At the next stop, a cute gal got on board. I note this because, anxious weirdo that I am, I naturally stood up straighter and was suddenly on my best behavior at this point. You know, because when cute girls aren’t around, there’s no telling if I am going to be on NOT my best behavior (loudly farting and wafting it about, drinking too much, sleeping in late, inventing words that sound like they could be curse words, hanging out with the wrong crowd, etc.).

Next stop is a gentleman with a baby he is swinging rather wildly about in a baby seat handle jobby thingy. As he got on board, he said the following: “Hope for the best! No telling when the need to cry is going to strike ’em.”

I spelled out ” ’em” because what I heard was a clear “”him.” But I heard incorrectly. Here’s how I know:

Obviously in an attempt to show this cute girl what a fine, considerate person I am, a lover of babies and fathers too!, (and to a certain extent, genuinely interested in the tiny little cutie)[by which I mean the baby, not the gal] I ask the father, “He’s adorable! How old is he?”

“Oh,” the father replies, “It’s a she!”

Here’s what next should have happened: I would have replied,” Oh, I am sorry, I misheard you. How old is she?”

Here’s what happened in actual real life: Father begins “Oh she’s …”

Button-Pressing Woman chimes in: “HAHA! You know, as a parent myself, this happens all the time! I mean, look at the blanket there. Look! LOOK!”

She points to a blanket wrapped around the baby’s feet. It is white. I look at everything on the baby: white socks, green sweater, blue pants, yellow hat. I look to the woman again. She looks at me with some mix of condescension and pity, pointing again to the blanket.

I literally zoom my face closer. I am mere inches from this baby’s feet (also from the father’s crotch) when I notice it. Eureka! What I had originally dismissed as a stain, perhaps yogurt, was in fact a single, tiny pink dot in a desert of white.

Button-Pressing Woman: “Pink means its a girl. It’s so obvious to people with children! Blue means boy, pink means girl! HAHAHA!”

At this point, everyone in the elevator begins to laugh. Everyone but me. I end up looking kinda like this.

Fall asleep during MY SONG?!

All I can think of are a bunch of really poorly chosen responses. Thank Jebus for the wherewithal to NOT say any of the following:

  • Hey, the 1950’s called. It wants gender colors back. Also minority rights.
  • Are you effing kidding me? That’s a GD penicillin stain, not a “clear demarcation” of gender!
  • Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t realize FUCK YOU.

Instead, I rather calmly replied, “Hahahaha yeah. Or maybe I just misheard him. Jeeze, tough crowd.”

And yes, I did the “wring the collar” bit to accentuate the line.

In the end, Button-Presser got off the elevator and bee-lined it directly to the cupcake truck parked outside. And some generalizing stereotyping part of me was not in the slightest bit surprised by that. Perhaps I should send her some Cathy comics to hang on her cubicle wall …

And I never did see that baby again.

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11 thoughts on “Irritability Day

  1. If I may hijack your very well-written and amusing anecdote’s thread…

    In a recent Ask Metafilter thread, a poster brought up a point that I really agree with, which is the annoyance when people say shit like, “oh, you wouldn’t think that if you had kids.” His point was that his opinions are based on his beliefs, which while informed by his experiences are not necessarily superseded by them, and so he maintains that he would think that same thing even if he had kids because having kids wouldn’t change his belief system. (Analogue: changing one’s opinion about taxes when one winds up with money.) I mostly agree, though certainly some experiences can lead one to realize that a previously-held belief was faulty (like when you say you’ll never want to become a pod person, but then your body does get snatched you realize how great it is to be part of a collective mind).

    Anyway, I hate it when people say shit like, “It’s so obvious to people with children!”

    • Its an interesting idea, and I completely concur with hating people who say shit like that. By way of analogy, my former father-in-law and my current actual father both say a similar thing, along the lines of “once you have money of your own and a family, you’ll start hating taxes.” I believe, in both cases, the unspoken sentiment there is “… and also equal rights for anyone not white and male.”

      My father says this thing sometimes – a conservative is just a liberal who’s been mugged. Given my schooling in the laws, I would say that you could sub in any felonious crime there, and the result is exactly the same:

      1) Dad wants me to be conservative
      2) Conservatives are people who used to believe in the goodness of others, until they were victimized by force or the threat of force and then they gave up believing in others
      3) ergo: Dad wants me to get raped?!

      Really, though, that’s just my douchy deconstruction of a trite saying that doesn’t actually fairly represent complex beliefs. But it’s a deconstruction I established because I hate being told that if I had “X” I would know better, just like the person speaking who clearly has “X.”

      Its like everyone wants you to know how cool their effing team is in order to validate their own choice to be on that team.

      Personally, I like my own team just fine: Team Wings n Beer. You’d be eternally happy too if you actually ate wings and drank beer.

  2. As “a parent,” I totally asked a couple if their baby was a boy or a girl the other day because it was none of my business but I really just couldn’t tell. As “the mother of a boy with a girl on the way,” unless we win the lottery, baby girl is going to be wearing lots of blue and brown. People can go suck an egg. Or eat a cupcake and be fat forever.

    • I think I decided after this humiliation that whatever. I don’t care. I am going to refer to all babies as Shims or possibly Izzits or simply its. Cause I would understand if kid was wearing all blue and had tattoos and a shirt that said “Wang on Board” but in this situation I’m not sure I was fairly scoffed at.

      Also, I sincerely would not have assumed if dude hadn’t used the word ’em instead of “her.”

      “As a godfather,” I feel its my responsibility to be contrary to all parents everywhere always. Someday you’ll understand when you’re a godfather, Erin.

  3. 1. As a parent, we dress our girl in whites, yellows, greens. Not much in the way of pinks or blues. And most people, including those around babies all the time, assume she is a boy because girls wear pink while apparently boys get all the other colors. Few will ask the gender first. You were good to ignore colors and focus on his clue. Sadly, he did a poor job of helping you.
    2. It is BS that girls wear pink. Rumor has it that before the 1940s girls wore blue and boys wore pink.
    3. I once knew an elevator where one could push the button in such a way that the light would come on but the elevator would not know it was called. So I push buttons a lot.

    • I stopped correcting people very quickly. Once the guy who came to fix our dryer called our daughter “Little Man”. In fairness at the time she was wearing an argyle sweater and jeans.

      • Its okay for you not to correct someone about your own child. However, if you are ever witness to a situation involving a bunch of strangers and the misidentification of someone else’s child’s gender, there is a moral imperative to butt-the-hell in in a terribly condescending fashion.

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