27 August 2007

The stupid twin questions people ask. OR A trip to the grocery store.

For some reason, twins or higher-order multiples cause people to lose IQ points. I don't know what it is about twins that cause people to lose all sense of reason, intelligence, and common sense. Allow me to set the scene.

I'm in the grocery store. I have a VERY limited amount of time. I have 2-1/2 hours to fill a cart full of groceries and get home before the twins get over the whole trip and before J-man has to be fed again. I've just spent 45 minutes of that time changing diapers, packing the diaper bag, putting on shoes, loading three kids into their car seats, and repeatedly telling Bubba to calm down because he has no patience and wants to leave YESTERDAY!

So we're at the grocery store. I'm cruising the cart returns for a double-seater grocery cart so that I can grab it instead of shutting off the car and running up to the store entrance to retrieve a cart, all before someone calls the cops because they've seen my kids in the still-cool car all because of the heat wave. Another 20 minutes later, twins are in the cart and J-man is in the sling. I'm down to one hour and 25 minutes.

First stop is produce. Mid-40s lady asks, "Aw, they're sweet! Are they twins?" Rather mild question. I answer yes.

Moving along. Next stop is deli. Man, this time, asks, "Are they twins?" Yes, I answer. "Are they identical?" Now the fun begins. Miss-Miss is dressed all in pink (even her sandals) with a barrette and Bubba is in blue shorts and t-shirt. I answer no, they're a boy and a girl, but what I really want to say is, "Yes, they were born identical, but her circumcision was botched, so we're raising him as a her!" People!!!! Basic biology 101! Come on!

Moving on to frozen foods. A gentleman asks if they're twins and proceeds to tell me about his twin daughters, now in their 30s. He pulls out his wallet and shows me their picture. The picture is over 20 years old. Now, I'm wondering if this guy even talks to his twin daughters anymore because the only picture he carries is of them as 10-year-olds or if he's just a lazy bum.

Off to dairy. A young woman begins the inevitable questioning, adding on to the conversation with, "Which one is older and by how many minutes?" Do singleton moms get asked at what time of the day their babies were born? I know multiples are fascinating but, come on, I'm frazzled. I LOOK frazzled. My hair is up in a bun, still wet after six hours from my morning shower, tendrils frizzing around the ends, no makeup, sweat sheen on my forehead, spit-up stains on my shirt, with two shell-shocked kids holding bottles of mustard and ketchup (they insist on holding groceries). I'm on a mission and that mission does not include teaching the general population of my suburban town basic twin biology! Watch the Discovery channel, for Pete's sake! After I answer her, she begins to talk about how Bubba and Miss-Miss are so lucky to have one another because she's an only child whose mother was controlling and smothering and made her take up the violin as a child when that wasn't her choice. Ah, OK, I see. It's life story time here at the Kroger. I finally extricate myself after ten minutes (Whew! TMI!) and move along.

On to the cereal aisle and it's here that my favorite question of the day hits me square in the face. "Were they natural or artificial?" OK, what the hell is an artificial twin? An android? A robot? Are we in Isaac Asimov territory, here? Oh, wait. She's asking if I had to go through fertility treatments. Yeah, like I'm going to tell you my whole fertility story in the middle of the cereal aisle with three fussy kids! Get real! What an inappropriate question! I usually can't even answer this one. I just ignore it with some inane, "They're a lot of fun!" comment.

Finally, the checkout. I've got 15 minutes left to checkout, load kids and groceries into the car, drive home, unload kids and groceries from the car, put away the perishables, and feed J-man. Checkout girl, "Wow! Are those all of yours? You must have your hands full!"


Anyway, hope you enjoyed the sweet kid picture!


JB said...

Oh! Their twins! I thought they were brother and sister! DOH!

Unknown said...

Be careful. I've heard that artificial twins contain aspartame, which can cause cancer. :-)

Vonda said...

Heather, congratulations on loading 3 kids up, finding a shopping cart, shopping, answering all the questions and getting back in time to feed J-Man. ;) -V

anthonyandbeth said...

this is absolutely hilarious! i was laughing so hard i was crying and i even had to read it to anthony. i'm always amazed at what comes out of peoples mouths! if they could only hear what they are saying and how it sounds to other people! love the pic of the kids together. i know your hands are full but i'm sure you are enjoying every minute of raising those precious children!!! :)

Linda Williams said...

In my young days when I did not have a lot of maturity, I saw a set of twins one day and I commented to the Mom about how precious they were and ended up the conversation with "Double Trouble". That was a mistake! Even my then young husband new better and scolded me for that!

The pix were wonderful!
Linda Williams

Anonymous said...

Found your blog while reading Avitable's comments. Your blog kills me. I started back-reading and hitting your top 100 and we have a number of things in common.

I live in GA, my wife works at home whilst caring for our three heathens / children, I fear death often and quite a few other things.

I'm glad I found your site and look forward to plowing thru the archives.

Oh, as for people asking folks with twins stupid questions, I have a little story for you.

I have a friend with twins and we (wife, me, pam, the twins, sis in law and her two kids) went to the atlanta zoo. To give pam a break, my wife and I took turns pushing the twins, who were about a year old at the time.

I also took it upon myself to answer all questions as though I were the father. I won't share all of them here, but the fact that people walking towards you will just stop in your path and force you to stop is hilarious / irritating as shit.

Anyway, the best question I got (I think) was the lady that looked at me (ignoring my wife standing right beside me) and asked "So...did you deliver them vaginally?"

Seriously lady. You don't know me from a shrub in the parking lot, and you're asking about my old lady's hoo ha? WTF?