Saturday, January 28, 2017

Being offended

I had such a weird conversation yesterday. I was invited with 10 coworkers to attend a special course, we learnt some new skills. 

There was our teacher for the day from another company, a guy in his late twenties, early thirties.

Before the course started we chatted a bit. Everybody started to ask me about Nina (=my coworker), if she did fly to New Zealand. I started to explain that I was so happy for Nina - since it was her first travelling outside Europe.

Obviously the young specialist did not know who Nina was, he wanted to be nice and to be part of the conversation so he asked me: "Who is Nina? Your daughter?"

I remained speechless for a second, but then I said the very first thing that came on my mind. I said to him: "Now you offended me."

He looked puzzled and said: "I don't understand."

I replied: "Yes, you are very young, so you don't understand."

Needless to say that my reply created a really awkward atmosphere. Silly me, why couldn't I just reply "No, she is my coworker"?

The reality is that even if I am 43, I still mourn the babies I never had. I still imagine myself with toddlers. And it is very cruel to be reminded that I don't look young any more.

When I told this to friends my age one of them replied that I really could have a daughter who would be travelling the world already. If I had her when I was 20, she would be 23 now.

But my calculation was different: the average age of woman in my country when she has a firstborn is 29. When the child  can afford to go travelling to the other part of the world, he/she needs a regular income, which is after the graduation from university, which is like 24. So whoever tells me that I look 10 years older then I am, offends me.


New Zealand has been on my top favourite travelling wish list, especially since I met Mali. This is such a lovely way to travel - when travelling includes meeting people that are close to your heart.


  1. It's okay that your comment created some awkwardness. Try not to beat yourself up over it. I get tired of taking in everyone's comments and questions and replying politely instead of honestly just so that everyone else (not me) is comfortable. He would have been just fine asking, "Who is Nina?" without asking if she was your daughter. That is on him.

    1. dear Phoenix, exactly, Who is Nina would be the only correct question.
      I felt actually good at the end of the day. Somebody asked me something silly. And I replied something silly back. Exactly, why do we always have to be polite?

  2. I would have been offended too! I've learned to enjoy the awkwardness, and I hope you do too! :)

    Oh, and I don't think you look ten years older than you are!

  3. You know, I also think it's okay that your comment created some awkwardness. Awkwardness maybe makes people think about what they said, and why it might have offended you.

    Oh, and I've met you in person, and you certainly don't look ten years older than you are! (That would be my age!! lol)

    I hope if Nina does come to NZ she enjoys it, and convinces you to come too. Though she's come in the middle of one of the worst summers I can ever remember!

    1. thank you :)
      I am already convinced to come to NZ one day, even without the coworker. Can't wait!
      (it won't be in the next three years, but I can start looking forward already now).

  4. I feel like our feelings can be so tough sometimes, and yet so fragile with the perfect kryptonite. You shouldn't explain, nor should you apologize. We cannot control our feelings :(