Miss Fairchild’s Faux Pas

Please Note: Our internet is sort of working…it takes about 10 minutes to load a page, but on my phone it seems to work a little better so I wrote out this post on my computer, transferred it to my phone and am posting it that way – which is a pain. But it also means no links and no photos and I have no idea how it will be formatted. Hopefully you can forgive me. 

#1 The One Where I Start Talking Politics at a Kids Birthday Party
I honestly can’t believe I fell into this one. I have been
really trying hard lately to avoid politics and religion as discussion topics (which
I find incredibly hard as they both fascinate me) as I am
terribly opinionated and often put my foot in my mouth. It
started innocently enough, though incredibly thoughtless of me,
with asking one of the mums who had just returned from the states about
what election day was like in the states. I was especially
interested as voting is compulsory in Australia (it is a
fine able offence to not show up to vote) and it’s not in the States. We also don’t have those huge political rallies you see the pictures for and no one really seems that passionate about it. I was interested in
what the differences might be. It was thoughtless because it
was the last thing on her mind as she was there to bury her
mother. What was suppose to be her first visit home with her two
little ones to see her family. Unfortunately her
mum passed away unexpectedly just before they were due to go and they couldn’t afford to change their flights meaning they couldn’t even be there for the funeral.
So not only did I bring up one of the worst topics I could, I
also managed to be completely insensitive. The whole trip was sad for her and here I was asking what the mood was like on election day. Unfortunately it went even further
downhill from there as I started to bad mouth a certain
misogynistic politician. I started listing all the anti women
things he had tried while in his various positions including
wanting to ban the cervical cancer vaccine. Up until now we had
all been on the same page….but then the vaccine debate
started. The “alternative” parents vs. the science geeks. Sure
enough that was enough to end the party. Everyone went home and I felt like a complete idiot.

The problem I have with this particular faux pas is that I find
these things facinating and hubby and I have alwas enjoyed a
good debate. I am an atheist and he was a christian when we got
married and yet our world views are quite similar. But he
enjoyed a good debate and quite liked explaining his
perspective and I could ask him all the questions in the world. While I am terribly opinionated, I also LOVE to hear other peoples thoughts on things. I am terribly curious. But I also feel like
I am terribly insecure when it comes to “grown up”
conversation. I didn’t finish high school, was married young
and had four kids by the time I was 21. I did take some university courses but I had 4 kids at home including newborn twins and I was starting my own business so it fell by the wayside. I also married someone
incredibly confident and intelligent.  I constantly felt
inadequate. I just finished reading “My Story” by Marilyn
Monroe and I found I was relating a bit too much for comfort.
Mainly at the parts where she felt so incredibly dumb around people who were brilliant. My mum
hated the news and politics of any kind. My dad has some how
managed to evade the voter registration all his life so he
doesn’t have to vote. Then I married someone who also hated the
news and politics. Once I got hooked on evening news (he worked night
shifts) I had to know as much as I could about the world and then I wanted to talk to people about it. Some of the best conversations have been where someone has pointed out how uneducated a comment of mine has been and told me why. I like learning. I want to know everything. I
desperately want to talk about all this stuff with people…but
how to do it when it seems to be so polarising?

The other problem I have is while I definitely want to become a
better person. One who knows when to say what I also don’t want
to become so tied to etiquette rules of the past that I can’t
ever speak my mind. But at the end of the day kids
birthday party was definitely NOT the place to do it.

#2 The One Where I Am  A Complete Insensitive Jerk to Someone Who Means the World to Me
When I complain to hubby about any number of things he
instantly has a bunch of solutions for me. First of all I find
this terribly annoying as I usually have already thought of
those things (and then I feel like he thinks I am incredibly
daft) but more infuriating…often I haven’t even finished when
he cuts in assuming he knows what I am going to say next. When
really all I want is a sympatheitc ear.

Yesterday a friend confided in me some of her fears about her
child. She came to me as not only have I suffered from
crippling depression and anxiety over the years, but one of the
reasons we started homeschooling was my eldest daughters
anxiety and resulting eating disorder at 9. Instead of really
listening to her fears and offering my support I instantly
jumped on the “I think this is the problem…” bandwagon. The
second I hit send I regretted it. I haven’t slept since then
(about 36 hours at the time I write this). I know how
incredibly isolating it was for us, how scary it was. I knew
that even though everyone told me girls go through these
phases, that it was normal and that I was over reacting that
something was really wrong. I am horrified I did to her what
everyone did to us. I can’t believe what a douche I was. I want
to say it’s this time of year and I am so stressed I can’t
think straight. I want to say that it was a 37 degree day (I
get really, really sick in the heat). I want to say I was
tired. But none of those are a good excuse. With all of those
things I should have left the email til the next day.

The worst part about it all is this friend has been amazing to
us. Her and her husband have been a constant source of support
during our worst times. She knows how sick I get in the heat
and lends me her portable air conditioner. She shows up with
days worth of meals when we were in the middle of moving. She
has helped me pack up my house (while her husband took all four
of my kids to the park…brave man. I should note here that it was only in the last year their grandmother would take them all at once). They have picked up
furniture we have won on ebay for us (we don’t drive) and half
the furniture we have in the house is thanks to their
family. She also knows our girls. She brings them the most
thoughtful presents, which are (sadly) always more them than
anything their actual relations bring them (like barbie dolls
for my purple-haired-shops-only-in-the-boys-clothing-section-
hisses-at-you-if-say-something-nice-to-her-prefers-to–play-
with-lego-climb-trees-ride-skateboards-and-read-fantasy-
novels).

Actually the worst part is how nice she is being. Telling me
that she isn’t offended and that I gave her some interesting
things to think about. If only I could be more kind and generous
like her.

I plan on copying and pasting this into an email for her and I
hope she can forgive me for being a terrible jerk.

Miss Fairchild

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6 Responses to Miss Fairchild’s Faux Pas

  1. Bwahaha you said douche 😛
    I’m with you about feeling like I put my foot in it with my views on things, as you know my husband is the if-science-doesn’t-prove-it-it’s-quackery sort so when the anti-vaccine etc debates come up I think ohhhkay this can end badly 😉 I don’t have a problem with any of the things you mentioned, and would not have been offended/insulted at all 🙂 I suggest if you’re feeling down about it you get some op shopping therapy! 😀 Savers have 50% off clothing on Boxing Day!

    • LOL – glad you find it amusing. I just find it really hard to not want to have a conversation. I love to know why people believe the things they do, but so often I put my foot in my mouth!

  2. I totally feel your frustrations. I know that I offend people sometimes and I’m not entirely conscious of it – I enjoy a good debate (and am also an atheist). I think a lot of people don’t really take the time to consider their beliefs and don’t enjoy having them challenged. The fact that you always want to know more and improve yourself is, I think, a great quality. And it seems you’re treating yourself too harshly in regards to what you said to your friend – you apologized wholeheartedly and I’m sure she’s being honest with you that she’s not upset. I bet you’re too hard on yourself, but it’s because you care about other people and you don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. That’s a good quality to have, but you have to be kind and forgiving to yourself, too. 🙂

  3. Kim Campbell says:

    MOVE TO THE STATES AND LIVE NEXT DOOR TO US!!!! Gosh, we have a lot in common! I get so anxious when I make a mistake and obsess about it FOR.DAYS! They hate me. I’ll get fired. Are they mad, etc. Religion is my favorite topic and social issues (abortion, welfare, etc.) I always vote my husband never votes.

    • LOL! Religion and social issues are a bit of my passion too. Funny as I am not at all religious (just extremely curious!). As for living in the states, unfortunately as a socialist who believes in free health care and doesn’t like guns I don’t think the states is the place for me to live LOL. Feel free to come shack up next door here though. Australia is awesome! Well mostly awesome…some things have been disappointing me lately, but I guess we can’t have it all.

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