Friday, May 16, 2014

Open mouth, insert foot

Yesterday at the gym after Zumba class, a woman I've started getting friendly with asked me if I had children. 
Me: "Ummmm..... sort of....."

Her: confused face

Me: "Uh..." stalling, still trying to figure out what to say

Her: .....

Me: "Well, I did, but he died."
Her: look of horror

Me: Complete verbal diarrhea while starting to cry talking about how that's why I started coming here to do something positive for myself and try not to think about it, and it's so hard to have all this extra baby weight, and blah blah sadness blah.

Her: looking like she wants to run away: "Oh my god I'm so sorry. I shouldn't have asked."

Me: "No, no, it's okay I have to learn how to deal with stuff like this."
And then I think I mumbled something incoherent about Mother's Day which made sense in my mind but probably just confused her and made her feel worse.  Then I ran away.

Win!  Great convo, Chickin. Way to scare off a potential new friend and probably make her feel really really bad.  Normally I'd see her again tomorrow morning and we'd chat but my guess is that she will probably try to hide from me on the other side of the room. And I really wouldn't blame her.

Me thinks I should make a plan for how I'll answer this question the next time it comes up so I don't scare away every single new person.


  1. Maybe you will be surprised and she may come to you! Granted I am sure that wasn't the answer she was expecting, maybe after she has time to think about it she will want to be a support for you :) You were just being honest and there is nothing wrong with that I say. I didn't have near the experience as you, as I had an early miscarriage, but it is still difficult to talk about sometimes.

    1. That would be interesting if she actually came over... I was thinking of going over to her to apologize for laying all of that on her and making her feel bad. I don't want to make her feel worse though OR put myself in a position to act like a crazy psycho again so we'll see how it goes. ::facepalm::

    2. I agree that she might approach you again. Or if she chickens out, I bet if you approached her (and maybe kept it to small talk) that she'd probably appreciate it. I'm sorry it was awkward. Probably equally on both ends. But don't let it discourage you! Maybe you'll see her and break the ice and still become friends. Or maybe she'll flee. And if she does, then forget her! But either way, I'm proud of you for recognizing Petey in the situation. Even if it fumbled out, at least you said it. I could imagine it would've made you feel worse to say, "No, I don't have any children." Because that is not true!

  2. I hate that question. Since I lost my second child and my first is usually with me I get the "How many children do you have" question. I don't know how to answer it. It stresses me out when I am around new people thinking that they might ask me. So usually I am a loner and avoid new people.

  3. Oh that would be so hard to answer. ((Hugs)) sweetie.

  4. Oh Chickin, I'm sorry you were blindsided by that question. I hope that your new friend doesn't avoid you tomorrow and in the future is sensitive to your situation. ((HUGE HUGS))

  5. ((HUGS)). I understand what it is like to try to respond to that question. You don't want to pretend like your baby doesn't exist, but you don't want to have to explain what happened to a complete stranger. I wish I had some sort of great insight or any kind of answers for you regarding how to answer this question, but I'm completely lacking in that department. I hope that this doesn't scare her off, but my guess is that if she does avoid you it will only be because she doesn't want to make you feel uncomfortable. It's such a hard road. I'm so sorry you're on it.

  6. Aw. BIG ((hugs)), Chickin. I wish I lived close enough to come Zumba with you! <3

  7. Chickie I am so sorry you had to face that. What a tough question that must be and how it must have hit you hard.

    I was trying to think of ways you could communicate it to people if they ask (and please forgive me if this doesn't sound right to you, I am just trying to be helpful) but I was thinking of "I have one baby up in heaven" or something like that. Maybe you could quickly change the subject after that if you don't want to go into it with the person.

    I hope the woman chats with you at the next Zumba class, but feel free to go up to her too - it is so hard trying to make new friends as an adult, I wish we were all closer so we could hang out!

    1. RR - yes, it think that is exactly what I should do next time. I really wish I had thought of that earlier or at least at the time when I was fumbling to figure out how to phrase it.

      I did go up to her this morning and apologized for laying that on her and then running away and probably leaving her feeling bad. She said she did feel bad but that she totally understands and is just so sorry. So that was good.

      Thanks everyone!

  8. I'm glad the follow-up went well. Who knows, maybe she'll go on to become a good friend. I love RR's answer (not that I would have been able to think of something that well said in the moment), but it seems like a perfect way to tell people about Petey if/when they ask in the future. <3