To Assume, Or Not To Assume; It’s Never A Question

30 Jun

Back in the day when I was fighting my way through the crazy corporate jungle which was full of bigger -than-their -BMW’s-business egos (compensating for their insecurities and other “shortcomings), I had many an idiot of a boss.  One in particular.

But, ironically, this is the idiot that left one piece of advice that has always stayed with me:

“Never assume.”

This man doesn’t deserve any more of a mention but the other day those words struck a chord.

Waiting in line for my much-needed coffee, a lady tapped me on the shoulder and while pointing to the twinlets said, “Oh, please do tell me some of your nanny friends so I can refer either you or them to my daughter.  She’s looking for someone at the moment…and you seem to be doing a fabulous job with those twins…”

“Haha, I should think so.  After all, I am their mother…” I replied, trying to contain my urge to whack the tactless lady in the head.

Arriving at playgroup, I told the other mums about my run-in.  One mum knew exactly where I was coming from.  She is Hungarian; Her husband is of Filipino background; Their little boy is his dad’s mini-me.

Another mum made an interesting point.

“She just should’ve just asked straight up if they were yours.  At least she could’ve saved herself the embarrassment.”

And although I almost despise being asked that question too (It’s up there with “Are they IVF ?”), I think my mum friend is right.

I started thinking about assumptions and tried to recall a time where they have every played a positive role.

Being an Indonesian born Australian, I’ve been dumped with a few in my life.

There was the time a QANTAS flight attendant was frustrated with all the Indonesian passengers who couldn’t speak (shock !  horror !) English on a flight from Jakarta to Sydney.  Getting peeved at having to repeatedly explain that the dinner choices were either fish or chicken, by the time he came around to me, he spoke so slowly and yet in an impatient and rude manner.

I turned on my thickest of Aussie accents and twang:  “Um, dunno.  Maybe the chicken, but what’s in the fish ?”

I’ll never forget his look of shame and his lame attempt to explain his bad behaviour.

Then there was the awful time when my dad had a seizure in the middle of a road trip and we had to race him to the nearest hospital.  While waiting for his CT scan results in the emergency room, a nurse started speaking candidly to his colleague about my dad’s condition, thinking he and his family who were in the room didn’t speak English.

There will always be morons in this world.  There’s no denying that.

But I think assumptions can be prevented.  (And likewise, I definitely need some hard-up lessons of my own).

Perhaps, we could argue that they aren’t as severe as unsolicited judgements or criticisms.  One could even see them as harmless.

Yet, my life experiences tell me differently.  I think assumptions can be the root and the stem of the yuckiness and negativity of close-mindedness and prejudice.

Feel free to correct me, if I’m wrong.

Anywhoooo…ending on a lighter note.

Here is the latest photo of me and the twinlets:

Please, please, pretty please tell me that  you can see a teeny tiny resemblence of me in them.

The flat nose ?  The squidgy lips ? Anything ?

Lies and far-stretched truths will be happily accepted 🙂

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10 Responses to “To Assume, Or Not To Assume; It’s Never A Question”

  1. Jen June 30, 2011 at 2:21 pm #

    So true! How many times have I been asked if I adopted Meg & Joe? Just because their Dad is Japanese and I’m not. I know sometimes they dress like orphans… but really. It’s kind of hard to have strangers come up and ask. “Are they yours? Where did you get them?” I feel like giving them a lecture on the birds & bees. Or saying I got a great deal on eBay. They’re not a pair of shoes or a handbag. They are my very own adorable children that I gave birth to and can’t you see that such gorgeous children really did honestly come from this mother? Once Meg was stuck at the top of a big slide and I was trying to encourage her to be brave and slide down. A man standing by me at the bottom said, “Someone should find that girl’s mother” and wouldn’t believe that it was me! On a positive note – both kids are looking more like me as they get older. The shape of their faces, in winter if their tans are not so good. It’s there if you look closely! And my eyes are getting a bit squinty with age, so we’re getting more like each other. I’m sure the boys will start to show a bit more of Mum in them too. It’s there already – I can see it! You just need to ignore the sunsafe warnings and get them a better tan.

    • mamagrace71 June 30, 2011 at 8:08 pm #

      Oh, Jen…you totally crack me up !
      I love all your “Yes, I am their mum” stories.
      Keep squinting, my dear ! Won’t be long now 🙂

      Yeah, I will totally make sure that I roast my little munchkins silly on the beach so they will have that “coconut” look like me…;-)

  2. Natalie June 30, 2011 at 2:27 pm #

    OMG, the boys are like mini mum! lol, well they definitely have your flawless skin 🙂 Gorgeous photo btw x

    • mamagrace71 June 30, 2011 at 8:09 pm #

      Awwww, bless you, Nat !
      You are totally on my Christmas Card list this year 🙂

  3. MummyK June 30, 2011 at 3:55 pm #

    I didn’t know you were their nanny 😉

    At least you got attitude so you can kick their ass if you need to! Grow your hair long so you can do the hair flip too hehehe

    • mamagrace71 June 30, 2011 at 8:10 pm #

      Yuhuh…Those Target trackie pants must’ve given me away 🙂
      I knew there was a reason why I shouldn’t have cut my hair…haha !

  4. Nay June 30, 2011 at 5:07 pm #

    I can totally relate – I got asked so many times when I was back in Australia where I got Leilah from… assuming I had adopted her. She is looking more and more non Japanese the older she gets but when she was a newborn you couldn’t tell her apart from the other Japanese babies. I still don’t think she looks like me at all.

    I remember when I took Leilah next door (to a small Mazda dealers) to show her off as the reception lady kept asking about her the first thing she said to me was “thank god she has black hair. Imagine growing up in Japanese looking like a half…” I was absolutely shocked!!!
    Most of the half Japanese/half Australian, American etc baby boys I know particularly look more like their mother than their father. I’m sure your boys will grow to look like you 🙂

    • mamagrace71 June 30, 2011 at 8:14 pm #

      OMG ! I can’t believe the reception lady said that !!! Even worse – people thinking Leilah was adopted !
      There are so many tactless stupid people out there !

      As always, thanks for dropping by !
      🙂

  5. Twinisms June 30, 2011 at 11:30 pm #

    I think I would have punched that woman. And the flight attendant. And the doctor for sure. You are a much stronger woman than me!

    The twinlets totally look like you! Lucky kids:)

  6. Jen July 1, 2011 at 12:46 am #

    Nay, you reminded me! When my boy Joe was a baby he looked much more “Asian” but everybody thought he was part Tongan or Samoan because he had dark skin, black hair and he was so chubby. I told people his Dad was an ex-Sumo wrestler! Now he is 9 his hair is much lighter brown. They change so much as they grow. Who knows how your twinnies will turn out once they start to stretch Grace! It will be so much fun to see the photos as they grow up.

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