Monday, November 28, 2011

I need to apologise to someone.
She is unlikely to see this, but I want to put it out into the world anyway.
So, lady in the playground, with the pretty little pixie of a two and a half year old. Who we have seen in passing a few times and finally spoke to today. I'm really sorry. I choked. I really hope I didn't hurt your feelings.

As we were leaving the playground we talked about Teddy's balance bike. I asked how old your pixie is. We agreed that two and a half is fun-but-exhausting.
I asked if you lived around here.
And you were brave. You said yes, temporarily. You were staying at R- House. And I said "huh?"
And you explained that R- House is the Woman's Shelter over-that-way.
And that's when I choked. Not literally, but conversationally.
I said "Oh I didn't know it was there. And OH HEY, do they accept donations of baby clothes?"
And you were polite, and said perhaps, that there was a room of donated clothes. And you went to catch up with someone you knew and I wanted to kick myself in the ass.
I wish that I had said pretty much anything else instead of what I did; which was, to all intents and purposes, "OH hey, I'm a lucky, privileged do-gooder and you're a charity case".
Walking home I had that horrible mix of mortified and angry-with-myself, the kind that sticks in your throat and makes your eyeballs smart.
So. There we have it.

You know, today's post was going to be where I outed myself as a personal style blogger and waxed lyrical about the job of parenting and clothes and body image and yadda yadda yadda, I've been thinking about those things a lot recently. Perhaps tomorrow I will feel like words are my friends instead of chunky rocks to throw.

1 comment:

  1. You know, Erin, I feel for you--I get where you're coming from with this story, and I get why it felt icky to you. But there's another way to see this, I think, which is that when she told you where she was staying, you neither shrunk back in horror, nor suddenly got all sad and weepy with pity. Your first impulse was to ask a practical question (that she might well have known the answer to), and while I can see why that question felt clumsy to you, I can absolutely also see that it might not have been as dire a first response as you might think. Or as dire as some other responses would surely have been.

    So I guess I'm just campaigning for you to show yourself a bit of compassion and forgiveness here. Hugs to you, and I look forward to reading your personal style blogging post whenever your words are feeling friendly again. xo


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