From time to time I look back over my blog posts and try to view them from an outsider’s perspective. It is difficult to do. I personally find my blog to be clever and funny (ha, ha) and to represent what it is like to be an American living in Poland. However, my posts may give the impression that I am a sensitive person, or let’s say oversensitive to some issues. I assure you, I am not. I’m pretty laid back, lately even blasé.
But you probably wouldn’t read a blog about an American lady who got up, went to work, came home, went to work and didn’t get riled up about anything, ever. Right?
Our story starts out pretty mundane. I picked up my kids from school on foot as usual. We don’t drive to school because it is close, I have to perform a few left turns against massive traffic to get in there and the school is located on a dead-end. If you manage to drive in there somehow, good luck getting back out. So yesterday with the sun shining, we strolled back home and decided to stop at our local greengrocer on the way.
I was hoping that the owner was working and not the lady who works there. I know that she means no harm, but she says something offensive just about every time we go in there. Once she informed me that she preferred Polish to English. I know, I know - that is not offensive. My girls prefer Polish to English too. I prefer English to Polish. No problem. But she prefers Polish to English not because it is her mother tongue but because English sounds awful. Cool.
On another visit after learning that we are American and not British, she shared with us that it is not worth vacationing in America because it is a “garbage” country. Cool.
And yesterday. Hello. Hello. Some compliments of my Polish. Some compliments of my English. Super. Great. Some compliments of my daughter. Nice. Some compliments of my son.
I have 2 daughters. My eldest is often mistaken for a boy. Spiderman hat, Spiderman backpack, camouflage pants, a big hole where her front tooth used to be. I understand. I never get angry. Lizzie isn’t upset. All is cool. And that’s what I told the lady, but she apologized profusely anyway. So much so, that I was afraid she was going to take my hand and kiss it and beg for forgiveness. Still as was cool.
Greengrocer Lady: Umm, you know, Pani, maybe I shouldn’t say anything.
Mama Bear: You are right. You shouldn’t.
Greengrocer lady who obviously cannot take a hint: But umm, you know Pani, don’t get me wrong, umm, not everyone is so tolerant and aren’t you worried…
Mama Bear: I’m not worried.
Greengrocer Lady who obviously has a death wish: But umm, you know, don’t get me wrong, aren’t you afraid that she’ll grow up to be some kind of freak (dziwoląg!)–you know not a boy but not a girl.
Mama Bear who understands that violence cannot cure stupidity: I’m not worried. Good bye.
Luckily Lizzie was too busy goofing off with Rosie to take any notice, so I didn’t have to explain away the lady’s comments. It’s bad enough I had to explain Passover this week. I’m spent.
I know this lady is not malicious. She’s probably just bored and is lacking in some social finesse. And it just goes to show that I am not oversensitive. I know which battles to fight and I know when to bite my tongue. Some other people however do not…
A little Lech Walesa in English:
Or if you prefer, in Polish. It’s better in Polish.
And you can judge for yourself about my beautiful children.
PS Don’t forget that Friday is Women’s Day. I plan to buy something nice for the 2 little ladies in my life.
Catch you later.