Monday, October 4, 2010

Pizza Hut Outing

October 4, 2010

So the other night we went to Pizza Hut and were met with several of the clichés that I have mentioned before. It went like this.

We walk in and the waitress (Okay, everyone in Irvine knows us. First of all, there aren't many British guys that live here, there are none that look like Pete, and Sam alone stands out.) anyway, the waitress looked at me and patted her stomach with a questioning look. Great, I thought, she doesn't know. She then asked where the baby was. When I told her she looked shocked, which is a pretty normal reaction when you just blurt out that your child died, but then from one it went into one cliché after another.

First, there was the: "Well, you know what happened, right? God just needed another angel."

We let that one go.

Then, when we told her that Pete's mom had passed away two weeks later she said, "Well, it's because she needed to be there to take care of the baby."

Of course, this is the comment that made me hostile. I don't know why, but that comment works me up the most. Maybe it's because I hear it the most. We even heard it when Alison was alive. Sure, make Pete feel better by letting him think that someone else he loves is going to die. Or there is always the fact that my dead friends and relatives don't count. Anyway, I don't think it works that way.

With these helpful remarks out of the way, she started giving up helpful tips on how he could have survived SIDS. "Did you have a fan in the room?" "Did you use a pacifier?" etc. etc.

When she saw that she wasn't getting anywhere with that she started asking us if blood came out of his nose and mouth. We said no. (Actually, a little came out of his mouth but that was hours later and attributed to the tube that they had put down his throat.) When she found out that there hadn't been any blood she said, "Oh, then he didn't suffocate."

People might find this hard to believe, but we actually followed all of the rules. No soft blankets in the crib with him, no bumper pad, a fan going, well ventilated room, slept with a pacifier…I think people want to believe that we must have done something wrong because they just can't fathom the fact that a baby can die even if you are doing all the right things.

Oh well.

The first night that Sam and Mom went to Pizza Hut Sam looked at the waiter and proclaimed, "My baby brother died." What else is there to say?


Sarah Wright said...

Who the hell strikes up a conversation like that from behind a pizza counter? What's wrong with, "I'm so sorry for your loss. May I take your order?"

Cathy Illman said...

no kidding, Sarah. That is disrespectful, tacky and just plain wrong. Where do people learn their manners these days? What happened to empathy? What happened to sympathy? Why must we sit there and analyze the situation as if there are no emotions here? what is wrong with people?

Rebecca said...

I think religion actually had a lot to do with that one. She probably honestly felt like she was making us feel better by saying those things. I've learned to smile and nod and to try not to say too much because it would kind of be like kicking a puppy. But yeah, it's weird that I have to be careful what I say because it can open up a whole can of worms and start an argument.