I tend to cherry pick which societal rules I follow because I find so many of them rather stupid. (Yes, I'm one of THOSE people) I don't mean that I chose not to recognize the law or the golden rule or whatever. I'm talking about those rules that force us to say or do things we don't mean. I refuse to be forced to do stuff simply because some stuffy Miss Manners type with a stick up her ass way back when decided it was more important to appear perfect than to actually be genuine in what you do and say.
I also tend to ignore those societal rules that require us to lie. Generally, I suck at lying. No, really, ask anyone I've tried lying to and they'll back me up on this one. Mom? Scott? They pretty much laugh in my face when I occasionally give it a good old college try because it is apparently most often a pathetic exercise in futility. Needless to say, that's plenty of motivation for me to avoid situations where I am required to tell lies, even those little polite ones. I prefer approaching things the Worth way: silence, suppression and complete avoidance. In other words, I'll do whatever's necessary to keep my yap shut although I have been known to throw caution (and good sense) out the window on occasion by blurting out the awful truth (most definitely NOT the Worth way). Again, needless to say, I try to keep that to a minimum since it rarely ends well.
So how is this an issue for me these days? Well now that I'm showing, I've noticed I'm a mommy magnet. Complete strangers with strollers (or snuggles or Baby Bjorns) seem to gravitate towards other strangers with pregnant bellies. (Let's just call it "Leigha's Law of Maternal Gravity") People who would have never even said boo to me before are now lulled into a relaxed and friendly state by my big belly so they often start "stranger chats" with me. Nice, right? I kind of like it for the most part but what I've realized during these exchanges is that I'm expected to use that opportunity to gush about how incredibly cute their little one is, whether he or she truly is or not.
In other words, I'm expected to say something which I may or may not mean. eep!
How difficult is this, really? Honestly, in most cases it isn't difficult at all because I find babies the most fantastically cute things in the entire world BUT there are exceptions to every rule. I've come across a few babies in my life that seriously looked like a cross between Danny Devito, Rodney Dangerfield, and Mr. Magoo and therein lies my dilemma. Oh don't go rolling your eyes and thinking what an awful person I am...you all know you've seen kids like that and don't try to tell me you didn't walk away muttering to yourself, "oh now, THAT'S just unfortunate!" See? Not so evil now am I...just unfashionably honest.
I also know there are at least some of you who are thinking, "well just don't say anything in those situations then, duh!" Ah, if only it was that easy, my friends. If you say that, then you obviously don't know about "The Code." Apparently, once you are or are about to become a mother, The Code begins to apply and SOCIETY BEGINS TO DEMAND THESE LIES, DAMMIT and god help you if you buck The Code.
I am now seriously conflicted about how to deal with this inevitable encounter with a mom / ugly baby duo. I can tell you right now that this will not be one of those situations where I bite the bullet and tell it like it is. No way. Nope. Never. NEVER EVER EVER. Who could seriously look any besotted mother in the eyes and tell her that her beloved child is the most unfortunate blending of genetic smegma that you've ever seen? Not this little black duck.
There are a million and one reasons not to tell the truth in this case and I, for one, am perfectly happy to push the truth waaaay down, never to emerge. But can I always keep my yap shut? Will I always be permitted to do so? Probably not, but if at all possible I will try because I don't want to lie or (even worse) tell a poorly executed one. In the meantime, I'm going to work on developing a sentimental blind spot in the hopes that when that duo do come along I'll be prepared. Hey, if I have to practically sell a piece of my soul to pull off a kindly fib like that so the mom walks away none the wiser, I would count it a price well paid.
You are all, of course, NOT expected to gush about my little Bug since I don't want to subject you to the crappy etiquette rules I spent most of my life trying to circumvent but since I know she's the most beautiful child in the entire history of the world, I'm not overly concerned about uncomfortable silences in our future.