Playing The Generation Shame

, , , , , | Friendly | April 26, 2019

(My cousin is cursed and blessed with a very young-looking face. Despite the fact she is 35, she sometimes still gets asked for ID. I am 21 and have also inherited the family baby-face. We’re walking round a well-known mother-and-baby store chain. She is pushing her oldest child — still a toddler — in a pushchair, whilst I have her younger baby in a papoose on my back, to make things easier for her whilst she shops. We get everything she wants and join the line for the tills. Behind us are a pair of older women who start to make snippy comments about us.)

Old Lady #1: “Look at those two. Can’t keep their legs shut!”

Old Lady #2: “Ridiculous. Our generation didn’t fight in the war so that ungrateful girls like them could sponge off our war pensions.”

Old Lady #1: “I hope their mothers are ashamed.”

Old Lady #2: “I bet they’re not married. Probably no father in sight!”

Old Lady #1: “Probably a [racial slur] who slept with them for drug money.”

Old Lady #2: “Disgusting.”

(Finally, my cousin has had enough of this and turns around to speak to them.)

Cousin: “Excuse me, were you talking about me and my cousin?”

Old Lady #2: “Your ears work as well as your ovaries, then, love?”

Old Lady #1: *sniggering* “As if they know what ovaries even means!”

Cousin: “Not that it’s any of your business to judge who would and who wouldn’t make a good parent, but I’m 35, I’m married, I have a biology-based PhD, and I’m the head of Science at [Local Large Secondary School]. [My Name] here is my cousin and is just carrying my youngest daughter for me so I don’t have to use the bulky double pram on what I’d only planned as a very quick shopping trip. You’ve done nothing but make hateful assumptions, which, whilst we’re on the subject, reminds me, if – unlike me, obviously – you look your own age, then there’s no way you’re from the WWII generation. This would make you baby boomers, who’d be relying on my and [My Name]’s generation to foot your whopping NHS bills. I suggest you think before you open your mouths next time.”

Old Lady #1: *massively backpedalling* “Well, I didn’t mean my generation; my father…”

Old Lady #2: “We didn’t mean you, dear, we meant…” *looks around hoping to see a legitimate teenage mother in the store* “I… uh…”

Cousin: “Come off it! I don’t want to hear it. But I seriously hope you think before spouting any of your nonsense to your children or grandchildren without being sure of your facts!”

(They didn’t quite have the good grace to apologise, but did at least look a bit ashamed of themselves.)

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