How much rudeness can you explain away as the result of someone who is not a native English speaker not being able to communicate in a tactful or nuanced fashion?
When I was pregnant with Cily, I had an encounter with someone at work who is on pretty much everyone’s Must Avoid List. I ran into her in the bathroom and she said, gesturing at my swelling belly, “Lisa, are you pregnant?”
“Yeah,” I said. “I’m six months along.”
“Boy or girl?” she said.
“It’s a little girl,” I said.
“ANOTHER GIRL? Well, better luck next time,” she said, and went into the stall.
So anyway, yesterday I ran into her, again in the bathroom. I mainly try to avoid her (see above re: Must Avoid List), but you know, there is that whole inconvenient “must void bladder” issue as well. So there I was, and she said: “Lisa, who watches your kid now?”
“She is in day care, just down the street,” I said. She gasped. No, really, she did, and then she said in a horrified tone:
“Yes, all day. I work full-time,” I said. And then I did something I hardly ever do, because despite what you might think I’m generally pretty polite. I gave her The Look. The “what the hell are you trying to pull here, lady?” Look. The “I can’t believe you’re asking me that” Look. The “if I were male you wouldn’t be asking me that” Look. And she shut up and put her head down and scuttled out of the bathroom.
She really chaps me. Is that not rude?