um, you must be thinking of someone else
So I run into the supermarket today on a mad rush to find a homeopathic teething remedy — who knew babies could start teething so early? — and have a typical infertile experience. Though this time with a baby.
First I am literally surrounded by pregnant women, but that goes without saying. I am at a supermarket in the middle of the day, after all. Then I am forced to listen to someone talk about another woman’s 36th week of pregnancy. Whatever.
I’ve got Baby J in her carseat, which is in the cart, and I am racing to get out of there before she wakes up and remembers that her gums hurt like hell. I grab dinner while I’m there, then realize they don’t have what I’m looking for and I’ll have to make another stop. Great.
So I’m in line at the express lane and finally make my way to the register (in front of a basketball belly about to drop, of course). And then this:
Checkout lady: Oh, look [squealing]! Last time I saw you, you were pregnant!
Me: Um, no…
Checkout lady: Yes, I remember you! You were about to give birth! Congratulations!
Me: Nope, er, that wasn’t me, but thanks.
Checkout lady: Are you sure? Didn’t you come to my lane before, when you were so pregnant?
Me: Um, no. You must be thinking of someone else [really wishing she’d just finish checking me out by now].
Checkout lady: I don’t know… I usually remember faces pretty well!
Me: Well, not this time I guess [finally entering my pin so I can stop talking to her].
Checkout lady: I could have sworn that was you. Are you sure?
Me: Yep, I’m sure [relieved to be done].
I did not use this as an opportunity to share Baby J’s adoption story. It wasn’t the time or the place. If I had, it would have been just to make the woman feel like an ass.
I did that once before and it felt a little odd afterwards. That time, I was out having lunch with my mom. A server I hadn’t seen in a while (but who M and I used to know from semi-regular visits) said, “she looks just like her father!” and I said, “that’s funny because we’ve never met him.” She looked at me quizzically, and I explained, “we adopted her at birth” and she said “oh, how neat.”
With that exchange I realized I needed to apply the fine art of discretion. I knew it, but it is much harder when I am in a situation requiring an immediate response. I’ve thought of other responses that would be less, well, crude. And I’ve thought about when a response is not necessary at all.
Today was one of those times, I think.