Either that, or I met the Anti-Me; my living opposite. If we all have a twin walking around this earth, then it stands to reason that we must also have our exact opposite, and mine was facing me in an art class for 4 year-olds.
My daughter and I enrolled in this art class a couple of months ago. I didn't recognize the Anti-Me as such right away (how would you know you were meeting your extraterrestrial opposite at first glance?) but the first sentence out of her mouth was a key to her identity.
"Oh, look at that cute baby! Mommy had better bundle her up better or she'll catch a cold," she said to some unknown audience since she wasn't directly addressing me. The accusation confused me since it was 92 degrees here in Florida, Earth. And since I didn't understand one word of her second sentence: "I never say my child's artwork is 'beautiful' because that is a judgment," I surmised she must be from a space igloo on Jupiter speaking a regional dialect of Martian.
It was my guess that Anti-Me had just returned from a weekend retreat on new parenting techniques that included announcing every action and thought you have and then referring to yourself in the third person.
At one point she declared, "Mommy is not going to conduct negotiations with you at present, Lindsay." From her tone and vocabulary, I was not certain if Lindsay was her daughter or a 3 1/2-foot intern. The only time this woman stopped droning her daughter's ongoing itinerary was to ask me personal questions about my fertility and last year's tax return.
When she started, "My parenting philosophy has always been…" I found myself physically and emotionally exhausted from this alien encounter. I wondered why there are people who choose to make the world's most difficult job -- parenting -- so much harder in the few blessed moments it doesn't have to be. When the only decision you have to make is whether there needs to be more glitter on that piece of construction paper. And let me even make that a simple decision for you -- yes, you can never have enough glitter.
I then looked at the kids who were blowing bubbles in a bowl of paint with a straw "to artistically signify the wind," according to the teacher. For my daughter and Lindsay, blowing bubbles in a bowl of paint with straws simply signifies the funniest thing EVER, and they are laughing their 4 year-old heads off.
The alien Anti-Me is missing this beautiful moment as she orbited off into parenting philosophies in third person narrations. But back here on Earth, I was glad that the weather is mostly sunny with a chance of northeasterly pink bubble winds every Thursday morning.