Thursday, November 29, 2007

woman in mirror is bigger than she appears

It was 19 degrees when we piled into two cars and headed to church with my in-laws last December. There was some quiet grousing, but we all humored my mother-in-law - she wanted to introduce us to her friends.

After the services, a woman stopped us and wanted to know if we were visitors. My MIL did the honors, giving the nod to my SIL and her daughter, and me.

[Now it's important to note, at this point, that I am two years younger than Greg's sister and her daughter is in college.]

The woman grinned and announced - why, God only knows - that she had thought I was the mother of this enormous family. Me. Freshly 36. The matriarch of what, 7 kids between 5 and 38.

I stood stunned and a little hurt, waiting for her to say something to soften the blow. To say she was teasing. To pass me the crack pipe.

Instead, she said it three more times, adding something about my height.

There's no denying I married the tallest person in Greg's family; I am 5'9". I've been tempted to swing my MIL around, give her a airplane ride, but I keep my dark amazon warrior thoughts to myself. I've often felt awkward and clumsy around his petite family; I've been careful to protect my lanky girl from thoughtless comments about her size.

(It is not easy when Lexi could most likely share clothes with her Grandma at age 9.)

I saw Lexi standing there, in the foyer, overhearing this exchange. I made some crack about Yetis and excused myself, my eyes stinging.

My MIL tried to smooth things over, said something about how the Miltons have always been small people, and her friend probably just wasn't used to seeing such big Miltons.

Which is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard.

Glorious women come in all shapes and sizes. Her friend was just rude.

I boo-hooed on Greg's shoulder that afternoon; my feelings were hurt. He had me laughing in no time. This woman had implied I was 80+ years old because I was tall. How could I take that seriously? He sweet talked me until I felt better again, until I remembered I am big in all the ways that matter: generous and vast and full.


Irene said...

Oh, you had me bustin' up laughing out loud- pass the crack pipe- really. You are good!
And yes, you *are* big in the ways that matter most.

CamiKaos said...


Crazy lady, wonderful post.

brandy101 said...

You gotta love the senior citizens...

I work w. seniors as a volunteer and have learned to just chuckle at some of the things they say - sometimes its kooky, sometime obnoxious, but always makes for a good story afterward!

I think that famous old hymn needs to be revised now:

"Praise the Lord and pass the crack pipe..."

Adventures in Baby Fat said...

I'm guessing that lady was old. Good gracious. I'm guessing she just old and blind and assumed seeing as how much we Mormons just love to procreate. =D

With my in-laws, I am the shortest by a long shot. Prior to having children, I always felt so strange being so much shorter than all these adults. I felt like a little kid sitting at the grown-ups table.

(I'm 5'3", my MIL is 5'9". My husband is 6'1" and the shortest of his brother and cousins, who are as tall as 6'7" and 6'9"!)

lapoflux said...

So how old would that make me at 5'6"??? Is it any younger than I feel? And how tall was she? 32 years tall? Does she think we're like TREES?
Thanks for the giggle. You're pretty funny for such an "old" chick ;-)

Mrs. G. said...

I love me a sweet talker. What a b*tch. At least she didn't ask you when you were due...I don't like her one bit.

Mrs. Chicken said...

Until my brother turned 16, I was the tallest person in my family at five-seven.

I know from big.

stephanie said...

Oh Dark Amazon Warrior best friend, I've never suspected you to be the mother of anyone over 9.

And you can give me an airplane ride anytime the mood strikes you. (This weekend is going to be FUN!)

katydidnot said...

that woman? she's dumb and ridiculous in all the ways that matter.

Professor J said...

Hey, we all know that church ladies are a little nuts. Could it be. . . Satan?

Melanie said...

Oh, CHURCH LADIES. Every Sunday after service, my husband and I trade our favorite Church Lady moment of the morning.

My all-time fave comes courtesy of the very bird-like, wig-wearing, passive-aggressive Grand Dame of Church Ladies. She said this to me when I was eight months pregnant and completely miserable:

"My, my Melinda, you're certainly getting wide with this one, aren't you?"

Bonus points: my name is Melanie.

flutter said...

You are big in all the ways that matter.

And crack kills, yo.

Bad Dad said...

taller = older, that is a hoot. You don't hunch nearly enough to be 80.

Passin' the pipe at church. Classic.

You are the nicest Yeti I have ever met ;)


PS: Make sure Jen gets a picue of you giving Stephanie an airplane ride.

Kimberly said...

Bless him...what a perceptive man.

My mum once ran into the mother of her ex-fiance. My dad and I were standing next to her when the woman said, "And this must be your daughter and her husband..."

She didn't know whether to laugh or cry.

My sum up? The world is full of idiots.

Scribbit said...

People don't think.

I wonder what she'd think of my family--I'm six feet and right in the middle of things height-wise. Andrew is 5 9 and is the tallest in his family, so he's kind of shrimpy and sad in our family portraits among all the amazons.

tz said...

People come up with the most amazing things! My two boys are the tallest in their classes and people are always surprised at their young ages...when they bother to ask, normally i get weird looks because people think my kids are 'slow' or 'behavior' problems when they're acting five but look 8...

now of course i've never heard of using height to judge an adult's age...

Lisa Milton said...

My sister's boys are really tall - poor things are regarded as sorta slow at times. No one guesses their ages right either.

Maybe I should hang out with them.

Nora Bee said...

You made me laugh and cringe too, I'm also a tall one. Maybe I'll work through some of my shame and post about it, inspired by you of course!

K. said...

What? You're old enough to have children? I had no idea. From your picture I was thinking a very mature and intuitive 13 year old. 14 tops. :P

Everyone else has already said what I was thinking - church ladies are crazy and your husband is a sweetheart. I feel your pain - I'm 5'11" so I know from Amazon. And it looks like you've taken the right attitude - what doesn't kill you makes a good blog entry. :P That's my motto.

JCK said...

Wonderful post! Yes, CHEERS for GENEROUS, VAST & FULL. Oh, and for crack pipes! You are FUNNY!