It's a funny thing when you travel around with multiples; you tend to become a magnet for the well meaning, yet socially challenged members of society. You know her,she's the one who will go up to a complete stranger and ask if she breastfed as an opening line. Or will smilingly ask a lady she doesn't know just when she might be due.
Yes. Her. She's the one I run into quite often as I'm out and about, living my daily life. She takes on many forms, of course. That's why it's exceedingly hard to spot her ahead of time and steer myself away, thus avoiding 5 very awkward minutes of pseudo-conversation. I know she's out there somewhere, lurking perhaps just around the next aisle. Sometimes I just don't recognize her. She could be young or she may be older. She may be well-kept and unassuming, or perhaps look as tired and bedraggled as I tend to feel. You just never know.
Today she appeared out of nowhere in Target. She had on her Mother Of 30 Year Old Twins disguise.
"I never dressed my twins alike," she said as she blocked my path.
A statement made as a pointed fact. I've seen this one before and always find it perhaps the most boring of all opening lines.
I gave her my standard, "Oh". Picture it with a closed mouth smile and raised eyebrows. (It's great with the raised eyebrows, and a slightly tilted head). I've found this is usually just enough to show I have heard the spoken words, so as not too appear snotty; and yet just aloof enough so as to imply I'm moving on my way now.
"Never." My path was blocked. Okay, apparently this lady was feeling a bit needy today. I'll play.
"Isn't that interesting? (Not really.) These two really enjoy picking out their clothes and today they chose to dress alike. And I'm okay with that." (Please allow me to pass.)
"How much did they weigh?" Her eyes were squinted at me, as if my answer were going to truly count for something.
We're still doing this? Okay. "Umm", I stalled as I mentally pulled out the Facts I Don't Use Often But Need To Use From Time To Time file, "Five-fifteen and six pounds."
"Seven-twelve and seven fifteen," was her reply. As she said it, she tipped her head back, actually raising her chin in a defiant act of pure one-up-man-ship in a competition I wasn't aware I was a part of. (And was apparently losing.)
This sort of interlude is, thankfully, rare for me. Usually She doesn't show up with war guns, but today She did. So I pulled on my 'Well bless your heart, you're half crazy, aren't you darlin'?' smile that tends to also imply a readiness to move away.
But she stood her ground, still blocking my path.
"How far did you go with them?" Squinty eyes again and looking down her nose at me. This lady was in it to win.
"Full. Term." She turned the compound word in two words. Both spoken with clarity. With an underlying growl of sheer will. Full. Term. I pictured a poker player laying down his winning hand with a Read 'Em and Weep air.
"Imagine that?" I said as I delicately moved passed her, ready to end this insanity before she started asking my about bra sizes or something odd.
Out of her line of vision, I hastened the girls and wove around, trying to put some distance between us and this strange competitive gal.
She found us in a household aisle. And stared me down with that intense glare of hers.
"Where. Do. They. Go. To. School." Each word punctuated and precise.
I scanned around for some hidden camera crew or perhaps someone else who may be able to claim this lady and say that she didn't have her medication today, thus explaining this ridiculous situation. Honestly, I just came in here for pencils. Please let me leave.
"Actually, they're schooling at home." Somehow (though I couldn't tell you how) I figured this would get her. Take that!
She loudly "Hmmmpphhhed" me and marched away.
I was dismissed, it seems.
I sighed and looked down at the girls. They were looking at me with silent and stricken looks on their faces. Eyes wide. Equally perplexed at what had just occurred.
I found the pencils and scooted right on out of there, thankfully avoiding any more interaction with her.
They say it takes all kinds to make the world go round. I guess I'm lucky to be meeting so very many of them.