We all know one. The person who never fails to mention PETA's view of the beef industry as you are just about to bite into a juicy burger. The one who talks about children with fatal illnesses while watching the kids play at the park. The same one who will take any beautiful moment and crap all over it. Yes, I DO care about the poor cows and the sick children.
That being said.....
There is an appropriate time and place for things.
While at the community pool yesterday I encountered such a person. At my daughter's request, I was waiting poolside for her to jump off of the high dive and someone started a conversation with me. Since engaging in conversation with strangers is commonplace with me, I thought nothing of it when this person began talking about the weather. As my daughter approached the front of the line, I excused myself to focus and capture the moment by taking a picture of her jump.
That is when Debbie showed her ugly head. "Your daughter is beautiful" she said. "Thank you." I replied. Seems pretty normal, right? Think again.
"Which one is yours?" I asked. Cue the floodgates! "I am unable to have children." she says. As I apologize profusely to her because clearly her inability to conceive is my fault, she continues..."Just enjoy your children, because some of us will never know the joy of watching our own." My heart sank for a moment then I thought, well, thanks a lot because you have just robbed me of the very thing you are telling me to savor.
I was so busy tending to the broken dreams of this stranger that I did not notice that my daughter had emerged from her victorious jump and looked my way for a sign of pride or even a thumbs up. She swam all of the way to my feet and said "Did you see, Mom?!? Did you see?" "Of course I did, it was amazing!" And off she was again.
This time, I watched, smiled and made sure that I didn't miss a moment.
I am not an insensitive person. I just believe that walking up to a complete stranger and hijacking their moment like that is inappropriate. I do hope that woman finds the help she needs, and if it were a different time and place, I may have reacted differently.
As a public service, I hereby vow to never steal anyone's beautiful moments, even if a thought that could easily do so enters my head.
If you are a self recognized Debbie Downer, please take the same vow and save the beautiful moments.