Monday, May 4, 2009

How to make enemies and depress people.

Last week while I was in Utah for Women's Conference, I attended a play group with my sister Jennifer and some of her ward friends at their neighborhood park.

Bear in mind, my sister just moved to this ward 6 weeks ago. She is still getting to know everyone and likewise they are getting to know her.

When we first got there, she introduced me to the other 3 moms. We did the usual chit chatting and where are you from game.

A bit later another mom joined the group. She had 10 month old twins, a boy about 3, and a 5 year old daughter. Things were a bit crazy and there was never a good moment for me to be formally introduced to her.

The moms continued sharing and discussing things about kids, schools, teachers, and birth weights and delivery experiences. You know the usual playgroup discussion topics. I don't know why I am telling you this, because it has nothing to do with the story, but I do tend to babble on a bit.

At one point my sister went to retrieve her two year old daughter who was being pulled in a wagon, but had been abandoned a distance away. I made a comment about something.

This new mom, let's call her Jill, because that's her name. This Jill speaks to me with a look of who the helk are you and why are you talking with us. And she has the audacity to ask me:

Are you Jennifer's MOTHER?

What the what the what? Did she really just ask that? I know this past year has been hard on me and has aged me twenty years and I am due to color my grey, but seriously, she thinks I look old enough to be my sister's mother?

Now to be fair, I am twelve years older than my sister. She was born on the last day of my sixth grade. I remember it well. And although it might be within the realm of possibility, I. Don't. Think. So.

To be fair to Jill, I am sure she is completely sleep deprived and over worked. Her powers of observation might be stunted. But if you are in a position where you can see a familial resemblance, don't good manners dictate that you error on the side of caution and guess someone is a sister instead of a mother. What would Miss Manners say? Seriously.
So even if Miss Manners doesn't say that, just a word of advice for any of you faced with a smiliarish situation, be kind and generous. Make some one's day. Could it really make that much difference to you? But think how much happier you would make a mother when you guess she is the sister. Just sayin'.
And just so you can judge for your self here are a few pictures of us through the years. You tell me, am I right to feel well rather depressed.


Here we are on Jen's blessing day.
This was taken at Girls Camp, on a day the families come up and visit.
Here we are at Disneyland. This is Jen's graduation from Utah State.

And here we are last week at Women's Conference. I wanted a shot of us for this post, but I was not very happy that I am so crinkled. Maybe I really do look like her mother.

And finally we tried one more time, right as I was leaving. Of course we both look like we just rolled out of bed, because we did.
Truth be told, I wasn't the least bit offended and actually thought it was a pretty funny story. And of course the first thought that came to mind was: I am so blogging this.
So go ahead and make my day by lying to me in the comments as to how young I look and that I really couldn't possibly be this girl's mother. And yes this is one of those times if you can't say something nice don't say anything at all.

14 comments:

Kristina P. said...

Well, I have to say, working in social work for as long as I have, you could actually be her mother. Sad as it may seem. But you totally look young enough to be her daughter, of course.

Anjeny said...

You know Pat, you should take it as a compliment that said lady mistook you for your sister's mom...your sister would definitely make a stunning daughter seeing how stunning you are, despite all the stress you've gone through this year.

I really love the last photo..you two look very lovely even if you just rolled out of bed..your natural beauty is sooo showing. Oh yeah, she looks too old to be your daughter...how's that?

T said...

My sister is 16 years younger than I am... so... been there, done that - wanted to scream...

that said, of COURSE you look far too young to have a grown daughter with children! (and no, I'm not just saying that to stay on your good side)

Nutty Hamster Chick said...

Kristina, I know but really. And thanks for saying I could be her daughter.

Anjeny, you are too sweet. I put my bangs back for that last shot because I really think that makes a difference.

T, well of course when you are sixteen years apart, but still so aggravating. I do have two brothers that I could be their mother, one is 16 years younger and the other is 19.

Nutty Hamster Chick said...

Oh and T, I have been married almost 25 years so I COULD have grown children with children, it is just that it took us 7 years to get started on the kid thing. So weierd to think that I could possibly have a 23 year old. Yikes!

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

Okay... so you don't look like Mother Daughter at all... I don't see it, you look like her sister, or good friend! I'm so jealous about Women's Conference...looks like so much fun!

Sue Q said...

At the risk of playing, "let's top that", I have a sister who is eleven years older than I am, and I was mistaken the older sister -- (although I know the lady wanted to say 'mother', she took the easy way out and said 'sister')! What is that supposed to mean? She has kept her girlish figure, despite 7 pregnancies, and I've only had four! The unfairness of it all!

The Crash Test Dummy said...

Miss Manners would have kung fu panda kicked that snotty girls little booty.

You guys look so much alike. Sisters, for sure.

But your mother is beautiful so take that as a compliment.

Kris said...

I'm with Crash, to be mistaken for mom is a compliment!

You look like twins to me, but as someone who has said something dumb and offensive, I'm glad you laughed.

Eliza said...

Sleep depervation psha. She should have known better. You girls are totally twins!

val of the south said...

Twins and darn cute ones too!!

April said...

I have been mistaken for Robin's mom...I didn't take it as a compliment. To this day, I still joke about how snotty someone's family member was to me about it. We laugh now, but I was ticked!
I don't think you look like her mom, I think you similar. You are both cute!

Smart Helm said...

I remember a time when I kinda wanted people to think I was my sister's mother... I was all of 14 and feeling very grown up carting that baby around!

I'm glad u had fun with ur sister regardless of what others said. And happy u are back!

Emily Nice said...

I wonder why people ask that question when its easier to just ask "how are you related?" Its like asking someone if they are fat or pregnant. just don't go there!

I know it was hard on my mom when people thought she was my little sister's grandma instead of mom. Although feasible it was hard for her to laugh it off. I think someone once asked Smart if she was my mom and there are only 3 years difference.

You both look beautiful. Aren't sisters great!