Friday, May 8, 2009

Niceness can put you on the spot

Yesterday, Joseph and I were peacefully shopping at Winco (I let Joseph eat his way through the store- animal crackers? Chex mix? Fruit snack? Yes, yes, and yes!) when I was accosted by a Catholic woman.

How do I know she was Catholic?

Well, partly because, by the time I could pull myself from her grasp, I knew her entire life story (Five kids, one 15 years behind everyone else, her husband’s job is on the rocks, and- by the way- she has a bad cold), but mostly because she cornered me to extend an invitation to a Catholic Mother’s conference this weekend.

Well, here are the problems with that:

1) My sister and her family are in Boise this weekend (woot!woot!)

2) I am not Catholic.

I offered my excuses weakly, but she plowed ahead with her life-story-telling, and promises of the sunshine, rainbows, and TREATS that awaited me at the conference.

At this point, I probably should have taken my (now whining) baby and said, “No thanks!” and walked away.

Or maybe, she should have taken the hint from my crying Protestant child and let me go on my merry way.

But no, I smiled, said, "Well, we'll have to see..." and took a flier.

It didn't end there.

She started talking about the play group that she was involved in, and how they had so much fun, ate lots of food while the children played, etc.

Always a sucker for food, I perked up.

And gave her my number to call me with play group information.

What the heck, Caitlin?!

What were you thinking?

And yet, there I stood with a dopey smile on my face, thinking "Wow! Treats and maybe a few new friends? Sign me up."


Then she left, saying "How interesting to have a non-Catholic woman come to our playgroup! I bet that we will both learn a lot."

Wait. What does that mean?

You and I both know - CONVERSION.

So, my enthusiasm for snacks was dampened, and I continued my shopping with a sick feeling in my stomach.

Why can't I ever say no? (It's a quality that Brian loves about me)

Right as I was about to leave, the lady found me, stopped me again and said,

"I just want to tell you- Bless you for doing the right thing and staying home with your children."

And she walked away.

Again, I say what the heck?

First of all, she didn't even know that I stay home with Joseph! Despite the fact that I know her life story, she knows nothing about me because I didn't have a chance to speak. Were the sweatpants a giveaway?

Secondly, the "right thing?" The right thing for ME, sure, but I don't think that being a working mom is the WRONG thing.

If you can't swing it on one income- then you are going to need two.

If you don't want to stay home with your kiddos- then by all means, don't!

The self-righteousness of it all just rubs me the wrong way.

So, now I am in a pickle.

Poor, Lori is going to call me, and I am going to have to lie and say that Brian won't let me go.

And that I have to respect his wishes since he is the head of the household.

At least I know that she'll approve.

Goodbye, snacks.

(UPDATE: If you are a Catholic reader, know that I love you. I have no problems with the Catholic faith at. all. Just this particular lady. I have encountered this pushiness from MANY other religions as well, it all depends on the individual. In fact I would go so far as to say that Catholics + Me = best friends. So, no hating on my part. Thank you.)


Ter said...

aw caitlin, i would give you snacks if you came to my house, and you don't even need to be religious!

(but i might make you clean my bathroom....) ;)

Maureen said...

It is a curse to be "nice" and have issues saying no... but you'll get better at it as you get aged and calloused :) LOVE YA!

T Rex Mom said...

You're just one of those nice people who listens and tries to relate. Take is as a compliment.

That lady was pretty pushy for any religion. My nephew goes to Catholic school and none of the folks they hang out with sound remotely like that! Usually a laid back group.

I did recently have someone comment to me about my change in work status - "Isn't it great to be home with you little one - it's as God intended it." Wow! I was quite offended. So was I an abomination to God when I was working?!? Geesh!

septembermom said...

I have trouble saying "no" also. My husband thinks that I am too easygoing and listen to everyone. That woman was very pushy and opinionated. You handled the situation well. She should be careful with the remark about staying at home vs. working moms. Who knows how the next mom may react?

Jen said...

I can't believe that you gave her your number. You take her number and call if you want to. Not the other way around. Good luck with this one.

Nina said...

She sounded like one pushy lady. I do a horrible job telling people no also so don't feel bad.

Good luck with that phone call and hopefully she takes the hint the first time.

Mrs4444 said...

This is really funny. (Sorry.) I'm Catholic, but no offense taken :)