One of the parents at Judah's preschool likes to greet me in a very strange way. She says "You look tiiiired". I always find it kind of strange when people say that to someone who isn't really a close friend. If a close friend told me that, I'd probably say "Yeah, no shit Sherlock, I've got an infant at home and a preschooler who wakes up crying at 2am every night." But because this is someone I barely know, I have to be civilized and show some restraint by saying something far less biting. Something like "oh well, ya know, the baby" and shrug it off. But yeah, I don't like the idea of looking like a worn-out shell of my former, more vibrant and energetic self.
The more I think about it, the more I can't really understand why someone would even venture to say "you look tired". It's akin to saying "you're looking old these days", or maybe "you're really looking like you're getting out of shape." Years ago, a co-worker once told me "You look tired", when it wasn't the day after one of my partying binges or a night after frolicking in my bachelorhood, so I thought I should be looking fairly bright-eyed. I took offense to the remark, so I said "thanks!" The co-worker was caught of guard and said "oh sorry, I didn't mean it like that." Which brings me back to the point. Why would anyone, unless you're good friends, make a remark that you look tired?
Lily told me that this parent at the preschool told her she looked tired too, and it started to become clear: That's this parent's way of connecting, of making conversation. Well the next morning, I ran into her and she said "you look tiiiired", and I did the same old "well... ho hum" routine. And she actually came back and told me that her daughter had been waking up in the middle of the night crying every night. And she said "See? I have the bags under my eyes now." I wasn't gonna say anything about the bags, but next time I see her I'll have to say "You look tiiiired" and see what she does. I'll probably get slapped.