People say the dumbest things. I mean, really, the dumbest things. And they're so often unnecessary. And unprovoked.
The girls and I were at the gym today, trying to get some energy burned off on a frigid, below zero wind-chill day by donning swimsuits and splashing around. Thank God the pool is indoors. There were quite a few other kids and their moms there. One woman had a little girl who, it turned out, is just a week older than Helen. They didn't exactly play together, but they acknowledged each other's presence in a "that's-my-mommy-keep-a-reasonable-distance-or-I-may- bite-you" kind of way. The mom and I exchanged pleasantries and the usual "Oh, how old is she?" exchange took place, which prompted the realization that our girls were only a week apart. We retreated to the locker room to change...always an ordeal when Helen is around. Once everyone was dressed, I proceeded to wrangle up the girls to dry their hair somewhat. I called their names, which I will reveal ONLY for the purpose of this post. Do not attempt to refer to them by name in any other capacity, unless you know them in real life. I mean it. Anyway, Ruthie, whose name is really Amelia, and Helen, whose name is really Anya, were in need of a corralling, so I called out "Amelia and Anya, come let me dry your hair." To which this other mom, who is now in the locker room as well, immediately (like as if she had diarrhea of the mouth), responds "Oh, why did you do that yourself?" My stunned silence must have egged her on. "Amelia and Anya? Is that what you said?" "Yes," I replied. "Wow, I get Stacey and Emma mixed up. That must be tough." I responded with one of those half-assed grunty laughs that is more of a "Who the hell asked your opinion?" or better yet "Who the hell gets Stacey and Emma mixed up, you moron." I know my girls' names don't sound dissimilar, but they're not that alike that a complete stranger should feel the need to comment. I didn't name them Shelly and Kelly. Or Casey and Tracey. She must have realized at that point that she had made a comment for which I did not care because then she said "They're beautiful names, though." I thanked her and turned the hair dryer on, drowning out anymore of her senseless, unsolicited commentary. Next time I see her I think I'll call the girls Annie and Fannie.