Part of my vacation last weekend/this week was going to a surprise retirement party for a former neighbor. The family that lived across the street from me moved about four hours north, on the outskirts of Seattle. The daughter of the family was throwing the party for her dad. My parents had flow up to visit me, and then we went up for the party.
I've know this family since I was four, and while their daughter is a few years older, we played a lot as kids and had dinners/bbqs/pool parties as neighbors. While their daughter moved out and eventually away to Seattle, and I moved to Oregon for school, we've kept in touch via email and social media. So we've kept up on the big things in each others lives.
So it was a bit odd that I was asked buy both the mom and daughter if I was still doing "that horse thing". Um, yeah, still doing it. 95% of what I post on social media is pony related. The daughter asked if it was my job, and while I do work with animals, it's not horses. I had to explain that nope, not my job, I just spend all my free time and money on it. The mom, who is very OCD about dirt and germs, asked about it in a tone of voice that made you think I was an alcoholic or drug user. And she followed up with a "Oh, I'd have thought being an adult would change that."
I know everyone reading this has had some form this directed at them at some point. I wish I had the balls to flat out say that I never plan to marry and never, ever want to have kids and that I will always be the crazy horse girl doing that horse thing. I know it wasn't said mean spirited or intended to hurt my feelings but it ruined what was otherwise a pretty nice day with old friends. Like I'm not an adult, or on the fringes of society because I'm not married with 2.5 kids. It's been a long time since someone made my choices seem wrong or dirty and it threw me big time. But at the end of the day screw them, I'm going to ride my pony then go home curl up on the couch with my cats, a book, and a bottle of cider.