Sunday, July 08, 2007

The Great Neutralizer

How's Larissa... How are you... How's the baby...?


There... I feel better.
At work, and at church, the 3 questions you see above are what i get asked on a continual basis... almost as if the people I go to church with and work with are on some sort of question-shift where there must always be someone asking me those questions.

Don;t get me wrong, they are sweet and lovely people for being concerned no doubt. But the funny thing is that one lady at work sees me every day, and will ask me those questions each time she sees me... sometimes (no lie) she will see me, ask the questions, then see me a few hours later and ask again!
My answer is ussually a smile, and "Fine, thank you for asking."

Tonight at church, I dropped the "thank you for asking" and just said "Fine." Sometimes with a smile.. Eventually, someone that asked me earlier heard me say "Fine" to someone else. She said "Thats's all he keeps saying about it!" To which I replied "There are 500 people at this church, if I stopped to give them all a run down on my days I would be here all day." Okay, they know that "That's just Jamison" but some found me to be quite rude. I dont think people are used to hearing people tell them what they think without censorship.

The funny thing, is that I know how alot of these people are. If I said "Oh, he is a dream baby! He never cries, sleeps 6 hours at night, eats like a charm without fussing, doesn't kick like a black-belt in karate when I try to change his diaper..." they would say "Just wait till he is 3 weeks old" or 4 weeks, etc...
If I said "Oh my, he is terrible, he poops all day long, it stinks, it gets on me, he cries like a ring wraith when he feeds, and I only get 59 minutes of sleep a day" They would all say "It will get better."

So, in a way, the "How are things?" people really just want to nuetralize you. If things are going good, then wanna bring you down a notch. If you are doing poorly, they want to lift you up. I give them no such satisfaction so I just say "Fine."

A side note, a gal at church who has a 6 month old never asked me how things were going though mom and I sat next to them. But after church she asked if she could call us or come by this week. To which I responded "That would be wonderful."

FYI, the photo on this blog was not staged or planned. My wife took it unbenounced to me. We let Ty sleep with us for a few hours each night. Either first thing as we go to bed or after his last feeding of the night (4am-ish).

Oh, and by the way... things are fine.


mullinz8 said...

Jamison, how are you doing? I’m sure mom and Ty are fine and will continue to be the same way for a long while.

I hope you’re doing alright. It’s a good picture of you and the kid sleeping.

You could always leave the questioners with something like, “well the sixth toe fell off last night” or maybe real quiet like you could lean in and ask the person if the bottom of his feet are supposed to be yellow.

Jamison said...

I had thought about just making all the "thrill seeking" women (those who thrive on hearing how horrible your newborn is.. same reason people watch Jerry Springer) upset by telling them what a perfect angel he is about everything. Then when he comes to church and they hold him and he screams or pees on them, I can say gleefully (He has NEVER done that with ANYONE! I am so sorry! I don;t know what happened!"

Then, to press it even further if need be (like if they say it is okay and don't seem fazed by it) I can say "I let 53 homeless people, 3 athiests, and an IRS agent hold him last week and he just smiled and cooed! Again, so sorry..."

Anonymous said...

I like what Buddy R. at church said about having children: "It is what it is..."

There are good things and bad things about having kids. Although having children is mostly good, in my opinion, some people seem to resent it and want you to resent it, too. I think that's pretty dang selfish, personally.

I actually feel people out very slowly and carefully in respect to how much I can talk about my boys. Sadly enough, there are VERY few people who will not be negative, try to one-up you, or just ignore you when you talk about your kids. So, I mostly say nothing at all. But, to those who love others and love to hear about the beauty of children, I commend you and hope more people will be like you.


Mat Brewster said...

You look like you are either trying to make out with your baby or squish him.

I think you are just going to have to get used to it and answer these things with some enthusiasm.

In high school there was a guy in geometry class who would ask me everyday, 'how's it going?'

After awhile I realized that no matter what I said, from "fine" to "I'm having the worst day of my life" to "giant aquatic toads are slowly sucking out my colon" his response was absolutely the same - as in he would say nothing.

Sometimes I would get tired of the ordeal and say nothing to which he would get upset and call me rude for not responding to his question.

Lots of people are like this. There is a certain feined politeness in our society and if you don't respond you are rude.

lilsip said...

"giant aquatic toads are slowly sucking out my colon"

Wasn't that an eighties cover band?

Mat Brewster said...

If I may, please do remember what it was like being single or without children hearing people with childen talk about them.


Kids might be super exciting wonderful things, but I honestly couldn't care less about hearing stories about them. Mostly. I mean some friends and what not (you guys) can tell some stories, but really I don't care what most peoples kids do and I hate it when they tell me.

Jamison said...

honestly, so do I.
I am never interested in seeing ultra sounds, in fact I was hardly interested in seeing Tylers ultra sound. Though, when I had him, i did feel like showing pictures of him to everyone.. mostly women though; i dont think most men care... i dont.

However, I do hope my post was an amusing by-product of having a new baby, rather than a boring "look how wonderful my baby is!" post.

He is wonderful, but i think I could wirte just as much about how I cant wait for him to grow up and not be a newborn anymore as I could about how wonderful he is.

I will say, that I talk to God a WHOLE lot more now...

Mat Brewster said...

Your post was fine. My comment came from Sippers comment. And I'll add that it is great for sipper to way peoples reaction.

To me I realize that having a kid is a life changing event and sucks up so much of your time that it is hard to talk about anything else. So I try to be kind, but really I'd rather talk about movies.

Anonymous said...

You don't go around telling your cat story to people, do you, Brew?


Diana said...

Amen, Jamison!!! I was so glad when I had him because I got to stop answering questions about pregnancy. Now I have a whole new set of questions to answer.

One of my personal pet peeves is when people think they're so high and mighty when they're infants are advanced because it means absoulutley NOTHING about their future development.