Welcome to ‘Ask Rosie’, the space on Mamamia where you can contact me with your etiquette/relationship/general life problems (including but not limited to eyebrow crabs) and ask me, in my infinite wisdom, how I would handle them. Consider it my selfless Oprah-esque gift to all of humanity. Cliche cliche etc etc sassy advice cliche. You’re welcome.
Let’s get into it:
I was at lunch the other day with a friend, and I found myself getting increasingly annoyed as the conversation was hijacked by photos of her baby. She has about 3000 of them on her phone, and they’re all identical and I’m just not interested enough to sit through something like that. It’s not really about the baby – I would be just as bored having to sit through a bunch of photos of somebody’s holiday – but my question is, what do I do in this situation? How do move things along without being rude?
Is there a polite way to say “Please stop forcing me to look at photos of your kid?”
Well, Over It (or more accurately, as I’m sure will be the theme of the comments on Facebook, HEARTLESS WENCH), I think you and I need to have a little chat about something called ’empathy’.
Empathy is what happens when you put someone else’s brain on your brain, like a poncho. A brain poncho. Some people would call it ‘walking in someone else’s shoes’, but those people are not brilliant creative writers like me.
Now, being 28, I’m at that weird stage of life where half my friends are married with kids and the other half are still waking up naked and hungover with kebabs stuck to their faces. I am in the latter group, so I get where you’re coming from. If you don’t have babies, it’s hard to feign interest in babies.
But that’s where the empathetic brain poncho comes in. This friend of yours is kind of doing something major right now. I don’t know if you noticed, but she has created LIFE. You were basically having lunch with Jesus. Your friend pooping out and/or raising a spawn in her likeness may not be a big deal to you, but to her it’s probably the most important thing she’s ever done. Unless she managed to finish the original Super Mario Bros, in which case, the second most important.