Who Are You Calling Grandma?

On October 22, 2012, in Biracial, by Honeysmoke

grandma

Simone, Nadia and I were minding our own business at the local discount store when a well-meaning woman asked, “Are they yours?”

“Yep!” I said.

I was so proud of myself for about five seconds.

“But are they yours or are you the grandma?”

“These are my babies.”

With that, we had passed out of sight and earshot of each other. Simone and Nadia didn’t say a word, but I was still having the conversation in my mind.

Grandma? Who is she calling grandma? Do I look like a grandma? 

A few days later, I gave it some more thought. I suppose she probably sees more and more people of different races having children together. My guess is she sees this happening more among young people. I know a few women who are younger than I am and they are grandparents. In this young woman’s mind, people who look like me, who grew up during a different time, are more likely to be grandparents of mixed children.

That’s all well and good, but I’ve made an executive decision about questions from strangers. They can ask one question. (They shouldn’t ask at all, but I certainly understand how curiosity works.) My life, though, isn’t some kind of news conference. I will not answer follow-up questions. Folks who can’t abide by this arbitrary rule will, as my mother used to say, risk having their feelings hurt. Fair warning.

 
  • Kara Coe

    Where I live, many women my age (late 30′s) are the grandma’s! But your post proves that I’m right to not ask!

  • Melissa

    Unfortunately, some people just don’t seem to have that “filter” in their brains that catches intrusive comments like this woman’s before they pop out.  When I was pregnant with my first child, I was visiting my mother at the women’s dress shop where she worked part-time.  As I browsed through the racks a woman tsk-tsked to my mother that I looked like I was about 12 (I was almost 19) and what a “shame” it was that I was pregnant.  My mother set her straight but that careless comment really stuck with me.

  • j hobbs

    I soooooo agree. I had someone once ask me if my son was mine with5-6 follow up questions. His point was that he thought my son was adopted. I ended up telling him “he is my biological son” and even then he looked doubtful. I left feeling like my privacy was invaded and some boundaries crossed.

  • Laura Majersky

    Awesome executive decision. :D

    I say ask them intrusive questions right back….
    Stranger: “Are they yours?”
    Person who has a right to their privacy: “Yep, all mine.”
    Stranger: “But are you their mom or their grandma?”
    Person: “Mom. When was your last pap smear?”
    Stranger: “What?”
    Person: “What form of birth control do you use? Also, how much do you make per year?”
    Stranger: backing away
    Person: “Come back! :) I’m just curious if you’ve ever seriously considered organ donation as a way to make extra money!?”

    • Honeysmoke

      You are so on point. Thanks for the pithy questions.