Assumptions

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Assumptions

I am constantly surprised and irritated by the instant assumptions made about a person based purely on their appearance, circumstance, or beliefs. I have recently read two really good posts that serve to highlight this, by Nate and Claudette, and it reminded me of a few of those moments that I have had to deal with in my life.

I will happily admit that I have always bucked against the constraints of *normal* preferring instead to relish my individuality, and celebrate that of others. How dull and colourless would this world be if we all followed the same path. I have actively encouraged my children to do the same, and delight in the amazing, vibrant people they have become. None of them a carbon copy of me, each has developed their own sense of style and thought. My own actions have never been as a result of malice, however, I have no time for bigotry or spite. But I thought I would share some of the assumptions made about me.

I left school at fifteen. Not because I wasn’t academic, as would appear. In fact I was three years above my peer group because I was blessed with a fierce brain. I simply wanted to follow a non-academic path.

....... and after!!!

Beware it may bite!!!!!

I was a hairdresser. Therefore, in some people’s eyes, I was stupid, because intelligence is not a prerequisite for that career. In fact, success in that world requires not just a natural artistic flair, but also an innate ability to assess and understand individual personalities in a very short space of time. To be able to converse easily on any subject, and to listen, because people treat their hairdresser as a confidant and counsellor. And to be constantly smiley and positive, even if your world is collapsing around you. My flamboyant make-up and hair quite often meant that I was ignored in shops, and refused entry to bars. Small children were steered away from me, because I was obviously dangerous to be around!!

tattoo

Three blue hearts for my boys, one red heart for my daughter.

I have tattoos. I love my tattoos.They were not as a result of a drunken bet, but very carefully thought out, designed by me, and each has a huge significance. They obviously make me a thuggish individual, with totally unsavoury character traits!! My Darling Daughter hates them, the boys love them!! My Fragrant Mother’s reaction was priceless, when I sent her a photo of my first, rather large one on my back. “Well done , darling, you look like an ageing lesbian!” Made me giggle for days!!

pregnancy-

None of these have bothered me particularly, just made me smile. But it was my experience as a single mother that left me stunned by other people’s preconceptions. I had been in a relationship with my son’s father for three years.He was only my second boyfriend. He had left me for another woman when I was five months pregnant, and I was forced to go home to Mother. All of which was distressing enough, but then I discovered that I was, apparently, a woman of loose morals, who had a voracious appetite for men, and had got my come-uppance. Oh, and that I had deliberately become pregnant in order to gain housing/benefits. Absolutely amazing!! It has to be said that I have met a few women like this, but the majority of single parents are such purely because of a series of unfortunate events. It did afford me the opportunity to have one of my more glorious moments however.

A short while after returning home, I went for lunch with Fragrant Mother and her partner at their local pub. I was introduced, for the first time, to the landlady of the establishment, a large, loud, blowsy woman by the name of Audra. She knew nothing of my background, but jumped in feet first to the whole slutty single mum scenario!! Her opening line to me, in her very loud voice, was, “So, do you know who the father is?”

An instant hush ensued, as all eyes turned to me. I took a deep breath, smiled sweetly, and in my very best cockney accent, accompanied by obvious chewing of gum, I answered.

” I’ve narrowed it down to twelve. And if it turns out to be black, then it’s one of three!”

Wonderful!!!

Just a bit of an update. I thought you might also like to read this wonderful post by NS on inkriched, concerning the same subject. Well worth a read.

About Thewitch

Nikki is a half centenarian, an eternal teenager, and mother of four geniuses. In her previous incarnation, she was a famous Parisian courtesan, and witch, thus explaining her habit of talking to the moon in french. Due to her inability to control her thought/speech processes, she writes about life, love, laughter and anything else that happens to spill out. Those of a strong constitution can read more on her About page.

45 responses »

  1. Ahhh, your endings never let me down. I wouldn’t be able to think that fast. Loving the tattoo, I’ve been thinking about one ever since Andrew died, but haven’t done it yet, worried about sagging and such. Think I nearly have convinced myself to get a tiny design (have something highly specific in mind) on either my ankle or in the space below my collarbone but above my heart.

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    • That one is just below the nape of my neck. Things to keep in mind when choosing place. Will it sag? Will it look awful in my normal clothes? Will I have to sit for an hour in a state of undress in front of overly muscled men having tribal designs applied to their left buttock? Go for it, girl!! Beware!! They are addictive!! 😀

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  2. This is wonderful and your ending is spectacular. Your mother’s comment is priceless…aging lesbian!! My mother would have acted exactly the same way. A friend of mine once called her eyebrow ring her “snob magnet.” I love the message here and you have really conveyed it perfectly in this post!

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    • Thank you!! My Fragrant Mother taught me well, she is the queen of the pithy retort!! My favourite of hers was when an obnoxious drunken youth tried to intimidate her by grabbing his bits and asking, “Do you wanna see my big dick?” Her answer? “Horses have big dicks, darling, it doesn’t make them men!” His friends roared with laughter, he slunk off!

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  3. Love this post. I also left school at fifteen. I graduated early. I was a very young mother (19) and got a lot of looks / comments. Especially when breastfeeding ? We were both in retail management when we chose to get pregnant (gasp we planned children that early) Hubby lost his job when I was pregnant with number 2 so we were using social service benefits and we got comments about being breeders and don’t we know how people get pregnant …etc. gotta love judgement. I love your response to that question. I would never be able to say that but omg it had me laughing. I can only imagine her face :p

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    • I confess, I DO make snap judgement based on looks (as my most recent post testifies), but I find it sad when people judge circumstances under the assumption that it’s the person’s fault that they are in them.

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    • Don’t even get me started on the breastfeeding aspect!! Actually, do!! Think I might do a post on that!! And yes, her face was a picture!! Although I suspect she still believes it was true!! Thing that horrified me was the fact that as far as housing is concerned, single mothers come under the heading of *social problems*, and are allocated accommodation in areas with other *social problems* such as ex-cons and sex offenders! Awful!!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Didn’t you just want to smack that woman?! I have always felt strongly about this issue and I wrote something similar about how people judge and assume all the time. Great post! Makes me want to get tatoos

    Liked by 1 person

    • I really want a lipstick taser!! Would be so satisfying at times!! I did have to sit firmly on my hands that day! Tattoos are really addictive, I only ever intended to have one!! Fortunately my advanced age and saggy skin has limited suitable areas, or else I suspect I would be a painted lady by now!! Gonna take a look at your post now, will link it to this as well if that is ok?

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Fantastic response!

    (I think I just replied to someone’s comment instead of the post. Please pardon. My phone app doesn’t always cooperate. )

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  6. I admire you so much Nikki, for coming up with these instant one liners. I would have loved to have been sat at next table to you when this happened because, knowing me, I would have burst out laughing rather than pretend not to have heard you. I suppose that’s my wicked sense of mind, but I just can’t help it. Yet another great post with an ending that sent me into an uncontrollable bout of laughter and tears at the same time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I want you at the next table, always!! Always better when I have an appreciative audience, quite often all I can hear is the whooooosh as it flies over their heads!!

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  7. Can I pay you to just follow me around and snap one-liners at the people I have to interact with daily? I inevitably think of the best comeback about 3 days after the situation occurred. Terrific post, Nikki, and thanks for the hollah!

    Liked by 2 people

    • At last!! The perfect job!! I knew I would find it eventually!! Truth is, I don’t always have the comeback, and find myself reliving the conversation in front of a mirror hours later when it finally pops up!! And sometimes the words are out there before I can stop them, to the stunned horror of my friends!! Hollah well deserved, deliciously clever man!!

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  8. This made me laugh so hard! I’ve been a single parent twice- the first time at 21 when I got knocked up by a guy I barely knew and the second time three years ago, when I was divorced. It was amazing (appalling, really) to me how people could be so quick to judge. Even now, when I go out to dinner with just my three kids and myself, I am constantly asked “Is it just the four of you?” My routine answer has become, “unless you’d like to join us!”

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    • Same situation for me! I am a serial single mum!! Weirdest conversation I had was at the tax office here in Gib, when I pointed out that I was a single parent, not a single person, and the man behind the counter kept asking me about my husband!! In the end, I described myself as a loose woman, and he finally understood!! Love your answer, going to use that!!

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    • I can omly assume that their biology lessons were different from ours. As in, if you are married, it will only take one sperm from one man to conceive. If you are single, it will require a regiment’s worth!!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: The Kindness of Strangers | I Shit You Knot!

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