I’m not really feeling angry enough, after almost three years of snarking at people, to post about this in the pit, but after enduring a shopping trip in which three separate people felt like they should be allowed to pet my son’s head, I really feel the need to complain a little.
Seriously, despite the fact that my son has red hair (gorgeous red hair, I might add) and a sweet, friendly, adorable smile, the general public does not have access rights to his head. I’m tired of telling old ladies and weirdos to keep their paws off of my boy. What makes people think this is ok?
And, for the record, I do NOT dye my not-quite-three year old son’s hair.
Anyone else have ridiculous stories along the same vein?
Does his hind leg shake is you scratch the little guy behind the ears?
Ok, seriously, when my daughter was about a year old we went on a trip to San Francisco and rode on a crowded bus in the city. An Italian tourist just reached out and pinched her cheeks which made her cry. I did feel this tremendous protective urge to smack her in the face, but on the other hand, there are a lot of tourists in SF and decided it was probably a perfectly normal thing to do in Italy.
Nothing recent but when I was pregnant with my son I was literally backed into a corner of an elevator by a little old lady who insisted on rubbing my stomach despite my clear instructions not to. Iirc (and I probably don’t), what finally stopped her was me bursting into tears.
People who have such loose boundaries really confuse me. I have a hard time understanding how they think things like that are a good idea.
I empathize completely. Try being a grown man and having it happen on a regular basis. The combination of being in a wheelchair and having a shaved head translates into an open invitation for anyone near me to “tossle” my head in an “affectionate” manner. I’ve actually elbowed people in the ribs for doing this.
My mom recently just walked up and touched somebody’s baby! I was all, “WTF, Mom? Why on earth would you just walk up and touch somebody’s baby?” She had no idea what on earth the problem would be with that.
I have auburn hair with a lot of curls. Curls are like pregnancy of the hair. People think it’s fine to touch them.
I do not think people are a “weirdos” for doing it though. It’s slightly rude, but it’s does not make a person strange. They don’t have curls like my mine, so they are curious about how it feels. I don’t like being touched, but I try to remember that they aren’t purposely doing it to piss me off.
My parents shaved my pelt at 2 on account of that Indian giving your hair to the gods thingy, and they still crack up to this day at how obsessed people were at touching my bald head in India (but not my full head of newborn hair head, because that isn’t interesting over there) and contrast it to how astonished and touchy Canadians were over my infant sister’s full head o’ babypelt.
My mom’s favorite bald head story was how 1) someone tried to use me as a stool in a market and 2) how people would often put things on my head (on it!), like apparently a sack of veggies one time, like I was a human end table. Also, apparently a lot of people in Quebec would try to pull my sister’s hair “off” because they thought my parents had put a wig on a baby.
I have very long thick hair that mostly lives braided down my back. People seem to think nothing of giving it a tug and then grinning at me like they’ve just done something incredibly witty and original. The dead fish death stare they get in return usually wipes the grin off and elicits a mumble that I take as an apology, though, so I haven’t actually decked anyone yet. And FWIW, I’m a looooong way from being a kid.
Good grief, where do you people live so I can be sure not to visit there? I can’t imagine ever touching someone’s hair (or bald head, jamie ;)) or someone’s baby unless I was an extremely close friend or a relative. The very idea makes me shudder!
A rather appropriate hijack: I once took my chihuahua to a public festival. It was fall and chihuahuas dislike being chilled, so he rode in a scarf I had slung under my jacket with his head and front paws out through the front of my jacket as if he were leaning on a windowsill. For the entire day I could hardly walk a dozen steps without somebody chirping, “Oh look, how cute!” and rushing over to scritch him (and sometimes my chest, by accident or not). Some of them even asked me to take him out of my jacket so they could hold him. I was never so glad to leave a place.
It used to be, anyway. My youngest brother was 2 years old when we lived in Sicily for a year, and after the first hundred times he got used to it and didn’t cry anymore. That was about the time we got out of the airport on arrival.
I would never ever ever EVER touch a stranger without permission, but . . . a week or so ago I was on a bus sitting directly behind a dude who had the MOST abundant curly hair that looked so soft I practically had to sit on my hands not to reach for it.
I once knew a girl who was the classic freckled, red-headed Irish lass. Beauty salon, getting her hair done. The hairdresser, a classic Jersey Shore harpy, is dividing her hair into sections and shrieks, “Omygawd, you got freckles on ya SCALP!” Friend, who has just been scared out of a year’s growth, growls, “What the hell’s wrong wit dat?” Salon owner snaps at hairdresser, who calms down and continues.
People are weirdos if they walk up and touch you, pet your children, rub your tummy, or–I actually don’t even like for people to come up and pet my dog if they haven’t asked. Although he has these teeth, so people usually do ask.
But the worst ever was when I was having lunch with a friend who has really long eyelashes. She looks like she’s wearing fake lashes even before mascara. So we’re sitting there and our waitress asks if those are her real lashes (which I thought was an intrusive question to begin with) and then, when she said yes, the waitress said, “I don’t believe you!” and REACHED OUT AND GRABBED HER EYELASHES AND PULLED.
I would have charged her with assault. My friend kind of laughed it off, while readjusting her contact lens.
No tip, though. (I would have got that bitch FIRED.)
Seriously, what if my friend HAD been lying? Then she’d have had to put her fake lashes back on. She’d have been sitting there with no lashes on one eye. What if she’d paid a bundle to have fake lashes permanently glued to her lashes and this bozo pulled them off?
I think I was miserable enough when I was pregnant that it showed on the outside and no one tried to touch my belly during that time who didn’t already have express permission. (I was high risk and had a condition that made me horribly uncomfortable.)
Sometimes I wish I could just hang a sign on him that says “I don’t bite, but my mommy does!” or “Caution, Mommy packs heat!”
I should have t-shirts made!
I’m really glad other people have similar problems.
I do think people who touch strangers are weird, at least where I’m from. Add to that a whole lot of professional paranoia, and I get a whole lot of freakish when people get touchy with my baby.
A person coming up to me and saying " Oh I love your hair! touches hair softly It’s so soft. Is it natural? Really? Wow! It’d take me ages to curl my hair like that." Is a totally different situation to what you described.