Thursday, 6 October 2011

A Rant About Unsolicited Advice

I must have one of those faces, you know, one that says, “I have no clue what I am doing, so please tell me how to do it properly”. It seems this expression is particularly clear to those who do not know me very well, if at all. When this happens I am usually able to manage being polite long enough to smile and nod until I can make my exit. The problem today was that I was trapped, for 2 hours, covered in hair foils and in desperate need of some reshaping of the ‘boof’. I had to sit, and smile, and nod through clenched teeth as the helpful advice was bestowed upon me.

Since we already have a child, it comes as no surprise that people will ask us when we will be having another baby. Now that Skye is almost 2 it is a question we get weekly. I don’t have any drama with this, mostly I think people just ask to make conversation. It’s an innocent enough question that I know is not asked with any expectation of a detailed response, but I feel very differently when someone tells me that we should already be trying to expand our family. The fact that the advice is coming from my young, single, childless hairdresser makes me get a little bit stabby. I don’t recall seeing a sign out front stating their services include cuts, colour, waxing and family planning advice!

I am generally asked when I will be 'having another one as soon as the towel is placed around my neck and usually I just respond with a vague soonish type answer but today, she, in her infinite wisdom, pushed further by saying that really 18 months to 2 years is the ideal time and I have to remember that I may not fall pregnant straight away so I really don’t want to leave it too late. Well thank you, I didn’t realise your diploma included a minor in obstetrics. As if this information wasn’t profound enough, she then proceeded to inform me that since Skye is such an easy going child and is quite good at amusing herself, having a newborn in the house wouldn’t be that difficult. Right. And you observed this in the 2 hour period you spend with her every 6-8 weeks? (if I manage to book on a day Skye is not a day care, that is). Sorry sweetheart but I, unlike yourself have experienced the overwhelming and exhausting challenges of a newborn and just in case I had glossed over some of those details, I was reminded quite starkly after seeing my friends learning about motherhood in the last few weeks. ‘Not difficult’ is not exactly the first phrase that comes to mind.

Now I do appreciate that someone who spends their day inhaling perming solution and hairspray may be a little intellectually challenged, but seriously? I don’t recall ever asking for your input. Let’s be clear, if I was requesting that you set me up with some nice afro-like extensions then by all means tell me your thoughts, or better yet, tell me what a horrific idea that is. But don’t assume that you know enough about me to weigh in on topics outside of your field of expertise and think I give a rats about your opinions. Is it too much to ask that I spend my coveted pamper time in peace?

Am I being over-sensitive here or do you have similar experiences with know-it-all service professionals?

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