Friday, January 19, 2007

Parent's Privilege

It's funny how people treat other people differently sometimes, based on totally irrelevant things. I did a couple of days' babysitting at the start of the week for my nephew Tom (9 months), and while taking him out on a walk in his pram (or 'buggy', as modern day parents seem intent on calling them) I noticed a distinct difference in attitude towards me from strangers. People look at you differently if you're pushing a pram, and tend to narrow their eyes more as you pass them on the pavement, especially women. It's very strange. People even rush to hold doors open for you, or stop their cars in the middle of the road under no obligation and give a wave to let you cross. It's as if the world is a much better place and full of far nicer people when you're a parent. In fact the only real downside to it all is you often have to walk much further just to get about, such as an extra 20 yards to use the lowered pavement ramp things and cross the road.

At first I thought all the niceness was probably a case of the child worship syndrome that's so prevalent in society. But as it went on, it seemed to be more and more a case of parent worship syndrome. I suppose they're all making the obvious leap of judgement that I'm the father - which amuses me no end. They're probably surprised that such a fine, strapping young chap has given his life away at such a tender age and devoted himself to parenthood. And then they probably think how different I look to your average Dad in his early-20s. I had both hands on the 'handlebars'. No fag in my mouth or Adidas poppers swamping my legs. (I hope I'm purveying enough stereotypes here). It's as if they're somehow rewarding me for my good deed of bringing another person into the world by generally being nicer than they normally would. Mind you, there is something in it for them in return too; many of the women who held doors open for me seemed to see it as a qualification for them to sneak a peek into the pram for a quick glimpse of the special child. Piss off! Get your own kid.

I think it's sad that it takes becoming a father to recieve basic good manners from strangers in the street. What difference does it make? All of their little smiles as you pass them are like silent congratulatory cries of "yes! you're capable of impregnation!" "Whoo, you're not impotent!" I'm glad I turned their twisted manners systems on their head by keeping up the lie of being a parent for two whole days. I hope it'd really mess them up mentally if they were to ever somehow find out I was only the uncle. These people need teaching a lesson. Be consistent, make your mind up - you're either nice to everyone without prejudice, or you're just not nice atall.

NB: Except other people's parents, who you always have to be a little bit nicer to than you would be to anyone else. It just seems to be the rule.

6 Comments:

Anonymous Fertile said...

Are yoy feeling broody? I'm offering you my eggs. For a small fee.My sister is looking for sperm. Can we broker a deal?

February 04, 2007 9:13 pm  
Anonymous Fertile said...

Are you feeling broody? I'm offering you my eggs. For a small fee.My sister is looking for sperm. Can we broker a deal?

February 04, 2007 9:13 pm  
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