09 May 2011

A Mother's Day lesson in stereotypes and assumptions

Yesterday was Mother's Day. I am not a mother, but each year on that day I find many strangers wishing me a happy Mother's Day. They see this middle-aged woman and assume I must be a mother, even though I have remained child-free by choice.

Yesterday was no different. I had stopped into a convenience store, and the young man behind the counter wished me a happy Mother's Day. I decided to have some fun with it. So I replied, "Happy Mother's Day to you, too!"

He got a confused look on his face. So I smiled warmly, looked him in the eye, winked, and said, "I'm not a mother either."

Then he got a look of pity on his face and said, "I'm so sorry."

I replied, "No need. It was my decision."

Then I sensed a light bulb suddenly flashing inside his head. And I think a lesson was learned.

As I was leaving, I heard him greet the women who had been in line behind me.

He said to her, "It's mother's Day. Are you a mom?"

She said, "Yes."

He said, "Then happy Mother's Day!"

I hope the lesson sticks.


  1. We can all be Mothers & Fathers whether or not we have children of our own; every time we explain something to a child or set an example for one; we are partaking in the growth of that child.

    I hope this lesson sticks........

  2. @dragonaught77: But some of us want no part of it. (See above re: child-free by choice.) I've never had any desire to "partake in the growth of a child". So please stop trying to twist words in order to turn me into a mother figure. It's not my thing.

    I hope this lesson sticks.... ;-)