I just picked up my kids from school and we went to the local library. They wanted to use the computers to play math games. I needed to work for a bit anyway, so I got them situated across from each other. I squatted down beside my daughter and was talking to her about the game she was playing – she was purposely trying to lose because it would pop the balloons.
I hear a woman from behind the counter say in a perturbed voice, “That’s my niece!” I ignored her at first because in my mind I knew she couldn’t be talking to me because I have no sisters or sister-in-laws in this backward town – or state for that matter. Again, she says – this time louder and with more indignation – “THAT’S MY NIECE!” I look up, and she’s giving a look that tells me she’s very displeased with me. She repeats, “THAT’S MY NIECE!” Without thinking, I say, “Her? That’s my daughter!”
“No, THAT’S MY NIECE!” she says. I ask – slightly confused at this point, “what are you talking about?” She motions for me to move away, as she repeats, “THAT’S MY NIECE!” By this time, everyone in the library is looking at me like I’m some horrible person – shaking their heads and giving me dirty looks, and a few people stand up in my direction.
I’m thinking shit – this is going to get ugly. I say “no…” and pause to quickly look at my daughter – thinking, maybe I made a mistake? Little ones move without telling you (she’s nine), maybe they changed places? But no, it’s definitely my daughter.
“.. this is MY daughter, what are you talking about?” I ask?
Her “niece” calls from the other side of the library, “I’m over here.” I look over there. She’s wearing a red top, has brown hair, and is wearing jeans. My daughter has blonde hair, is wearing a purple T-shirt, and black skirt. Not even close.
The woman behind the desk looks over at her niece, and then back to me. “Well, my niece was there,” she barks at me. “Did you take the computer from her?” Her niece tells her, “I was done so I went to read.”
I understand that people make mistakes, but she publically humiliated me and put me in a situation where I felt my life was in danger (because of the people who were ready to kick my ass). She accused me of being a pervert basically. And then, she accused me and my daughter of stealing the computer to try to recover from her previous accusations.
Twenty minutes later, she’s still giving me a dirty look, watching me. I’m angry inside, but I’m holding my tongue because this is my kid’s library. I don’t want to ruin it for them. But, I’ve still been publically humiliated and accused – she could apologize, but she doesn’t.
Oh, and to top it off? That’s not even her niece!
I’m tired of people assuming. Whether it’s some busybody at the park asking, “which one is yours?” when she doesn’t have a child there herself, people asking, “is this your daughter” when I comb my daughter’s hair in public, or people at my children’s school giving me the run-around or asking “is that OK with her mom?” I shouldn’t have to explain myself to nosey strangers who interrupt me and my daughter. If she was screaming “I don’t know you,” that would be one thing. But, when I’m spending time with my daughter – it’s not your right to ruin it.