June 23, 2006

Seeking the pure, uncontaminated truth? Just Ask Amy.

I love Amy. Amy Dickinson, that is. She is the wise and witty woman who pens the Ask Amy advice column each day for millions to ponder over their coffee and Grape Nuts (in my case the latter). If you've read some of her work, then you know this woman doesn't fool around. She sure knows a thing or two about common sense, and she'll point it out (in her own beautifully forward way) if you don't. I enjoy most of Amy's responses, and I imagine she has a lot of fun with her answers (in between eye rolls) as she often has a way of jabbing those who should know better. A prime example is her recent response to this overly germophobic grandmother*:

Dear Amy:

What is wrong with people? Don't they know anything about spreading germs?

We were in a restaurant with my son, his wife and my 6-month-old granddaughter, and this old man walks by and comments on how cute the baby is and then touches her on the face!

Then yesterday we were in another restaurant and the waitress touched the baby again and again on the face, on her bare head and on her hands every time she came to the table.

And then you know how the baby sticks her hands in her mouth, right? I know the waitress did not wash her hands and am sure she handled dirty dishes.

Okay. So I am germ-phobic, but I know that touching with the hands is a major source of spreading germs.

This is a little baby and is very susceptible to picking up colds and who knows what else from human-to-human contact! Please inform the general public to keep their hands off of my grandchild!

What do I have to do, put a sign on her?

-Hands Off Please


Dear Hands Off,

I share your concern. I am very worried for your granddaughter because, instead of being kept at home in her safety bubble where she belongs, she is evidently being taken to restaurants and out in public, where there are germs smeared on every surface and anyone can touch her at will.

I'm further worried because I'm not sure if you remembered to wash your hands after you touched the doorknob on your way out of the ladies room and again after you grasped your chair as you seated yourself at the table.

It is not polite for strangers to touch babies, not because they might spread germs but because even babies have a right to their autonomy and shouldn't be stroked without permission.

But really -- you do have a problem. You are both wrong and very unpleasant about this. I hope that your son and his wife can prevail upon you to lighten up and back off. Soon enough, your granddaughter will be crawling. If you think her current world is germy, then just wait until she decides to cut her teeth on her daddy's cellphone or on the dog's chew toy.

- Amy

*I’m taking this opportunity to ward of my husbands imminent claim that I’m a hand washing nazi. It’s true, I can’t stand having dirty hands, but I take comfort in knowing I’m not THIS bad.


Marc said...

Right... you just keep telling yourself you're not that bad.

vermonter said...

Personally, I'm more afraid of what our baby touches than what/who touches her. We caught her just before she stuck a handful of Malcolm's fur in her mouth the other day... this after he had spent the past week outside! The funny part is she seemed a little disgusted by the texture, yet not disgusted enough to stop.

Mrs. McDreamy said...

Yeah, I am sorry but I side with the Grandma. I am a selective germaphobe. I am freaked out about dirty hands and think they should keep them off my baby and me. But yet I will pick up her paci off the floor, lick it and give it back to her. I don't care that in reality a stranger touching her is cleaner than my dog sticking his nose to her face - I still don't like it and want to yell "Back off"