03 April 2009

Mind Your Manners, Mommies

I always enjoy attending my children's activities with them because I get to see how they do, I get to celebrate their little "victories" and be around for them when they need a little moral support, but also, I enjoy meeting other parents.

So far in the playgroups and children's activities/classes that I've attended, the bunch of mommies (and daddies) that I've met have been really great --very supportive to all the kids in the group (their own and others'), pleasant, and at the very least, courteous. So imagine my surprise today when I had not one, but two "rude" awakenings.

Rude awakening #1: I got to the door of the gym first and after I passed through, I held the door open for Mum A, who was right behind me. Nothing, not even a nod. Maybe she hadn't had her coffee yet. Maybe she thought I was born to hold open the door for her.

Rude awakening #2: We moved to the playroom after the class. We were on our way in when I saw Mum B's little tot wanting to go in, but Mum B was just taking off her shoes. I held open the heavy glass door to the playroom because I couldn't close it without it banging the boy on the face. When Mum B was finally done taking off her shoes and got to the door, she never even glanced my way, let alone said thank you to me for not letting the door slam into her boy's face. Later on, when I was chatting with Dad C whose kid was in the same class we just finished, Mum B sauntered over and started talking to Dad C, totally ignoring me, even though she interrupted our conversation. Even when Dad C would look at me occasionally during the ensuing conversation to include me (because he has manners, thank you), she continued to ignore my presence.

With Mum A, initially, I thought it was because she could not speak English. Then I heard her talk to her little one in perfect English. Maybe she thought
I could not speak English, with my Asian looks. With Mum B, well, I don't know what her problem was; it definitely was not because she thought I could not speak her language, because she definitely heard me chatting with Dad C.

(Note: This was only the second class that we've attended and I haven't met Mum A, Mum B, Dad C or even any of the other parents in the class prior to signing up two classes ago. Maybe I need a new deodorant *sniff, sniff*...?)

So I am naive in thinking that the parents that I meet at my children's activities/classes are all nice people. The lot of them certainly are; a few of them have even become good friends, outside of our shared class/activity. I shouldn't fret over a couple who must have left their manners back home this morning, though I seriously wonder how these mommies can teach their kids basic manners when they don't model it themselves. Seriously.


Joanne Choi said...

First of all, the behavior of those women is obnoxious - and having lived in HK, I know that a lot of those moments have to do with racial stereotyping - you're Asian, young and perfectly bilingual. It just doesn't happen in HK - it can happen right in the US, where you'd expect such incidents to not happen in such a diverse culture - WRONG...I've experienced those very things right in the city I'm living now... you're better than they are clearly and their behavior is appalling. Be ever more gracious and know that you are not to blame.

Jacqueline Renee said...

On a different note...
I go to a music class every Friday with both kids... some days by the time I get them there I am soooo frazzled (getting them dressed, out the door, in a taxi with seat belts, and actually up the stairs and into the classroom can be quite the challenge), that people do often help me by holding doors or other things...
Your post made me wonder, do I always say thank you?? I hope I do, but maybe some days I am just so darn distracted I forget... but I am ever so grateful for any kind help I receive.
So for Mum A, I would give her another chance.
For Mum B, hey, see what happens next week, maybe she is just a total snob and not worthy of your amazing friendship anyway :)

Post a Comment

Blog Widget by LinkWithin