Tuesday, January 13, 2009

"Is that a China doll you have there?"

We knew it would eventually happen, but darn, it did not make the experience any less excrutiating. We have yet to be out in public with Baby S without having someone approach us. When JJ was here he was rather amused, because he knows that I'd rather fall face down on my own vomit that attract attention. So for him, it was funny watching me squirm. BTW, 98% of the comments we get have been positive.

December 31, afternoon, and P reminds me that I have to pick up a few items at C0$tco. First, what kind of idiot goes into that madness to pick up a couple of items? You are reading her ramblings. But P rarely asks for something so I tend to accommodate him when he does ask.

As we entered the store I see a woman I'm pretty sure I have never seen before. She is smiling in our direction and waving. I thought Baby S was up to her switch and bait greeting thing, so I smiled back. I stopped for the first item and turn around to find the same smiling face. OK, no biggie as there were many others waiting to obtain the same item.

Baby S and I move on to look at some sweatshirts and when I look up, yeah, you got it, same smiling face looking at us. Now I'm starting to feel a bit uncomfortable and by now I'm certain that I do not know this woman. It's at this point that I noticed that she does not have a shopping cart nor is carrying any items. Weird shopper I guess.

I decided to get out of the store ASAP, as it was getting really crowded and to be honest did not think much about the smiling woman (SW). Just as I'm contemplating which line to take a chance on, I heard someone say something in my direction, but kept walking. Then I felt a hand on my shoulder (A BIG NO NO with me) and I turned around to once again find SW.

SW: "Is that a China doll you have there?"
Me: Wishing P was with me and returning as benign a smile as I could muster: "This is my daughter, her name is Baby S."
SW: "OMG she is absolutely beautiful."
Me: "Thank you."
SW: "But you know, is she one of them?"
Me: "One of them? Oh, if you are wondering where she was born, she was indeed born in China."
SW: Very happy with her deductive skills: "I knew it, those China dolls are beautiful."
Me: "Do you have children?"
SW:"No, but I have nieces and nephews."
Me: "Are they Caucasian?"
SW: "Of course."
Me: "How would you feel if someone referred to them as Caucasian dolls?" Still smiling and just hoping she got it.
SW: "Oh, they are not beautiful."
Me: Totally thinking, WTF? Did she just diss her nieces and nephews? At this point I realize that the perma-grin she was wearing was most likely the result of being dropped on her head more than the allowed limit, and she would never get it. Still, UGH!

This is one of the reasons why we are the only parents in our travel group who departed from China without purchasing a single silk (or like a favorite blogger dubs them, "silkester") outfit. We do not have a problem with those that do, but to us, it just perpetuates that freaking myth. And, if we ever change our minds, a quick trip to San Francisco will solve the problem.

I know people are curious and I know that Baby S is an engaging little creature. One who hides her less than desirable qualities for her Mama and Baba's private enjoyment. But come on! I must admit that I think I have spoken to more strangers in the past six months than in my entire life.

As Baby S grows and understands more, I know interactions like this are going to take a different meaning as we do not want her to be solely defined by her birth country or by how she became our forever child.

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