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I spent last week in Florida with my child and my grandmother. Feel free to stop reading and hate me now on account of my briefly escaping the polar vortex while Toronto and other places were so very cold and miserable. In between removing sand from my preschooler’s butt and treating sunburns, there was ample time for family drama — so not all misery was lost.

Generally I would have snark tweeted my way through this, but I had limited Internet. At some point however I noticed I was being glared at by some tourists on a beach, and managed sneak in a gem or two.

So in the grand tradition of turning tweets into posts, here are some possible reasons you are being stared at.

Why are those strangers staring at you?

1. Because your kid and her new friend are playing with a condom they found in the sand.

TMZglassesgirlWhy are those strangers staring at you?

2. Because your kid and her new friend have run dangerously far while you were playing with your phone/reading/basically asleep.

Why are those strangers staring at you?

3. Because your little kid and her new friend took their big kid’s toys and buried and hid them, and they are expecting you to say something.

Why are those strangers staring at you?

4. Because your kid is yelling “boys can have long hair and girls can have penises” repetitively at your unflinching deaf grandmother and you don’t notice because gender justice is regular to you, and this has been going on for days.

Why are those strangers staring at you?

5. Because your kid has developed these weird discolourations on her face that look like she has two black eyes, and while this is really, really not funny at all, it’s kind of a funny not-funny problem to consider given that, thankfully, your child has not been punched in both eyes.

Why are those strangers staring at you?

6. Because you have tattoos while Jewish and although you are sure the whole no-tattoos-in-Jewish-cemeteries thing is either passé or urban myth, the population of the snowbird retirement building you are staying in does not concur.

Why are those strangers staring at you?

7. Because when your grandmother asked if you had ‘suntan lotion’ they knew she actually meant suntan lotion and not the SPF 60 sunscreen you have been religiously applying, and reapplying, to yourself and your daughter.

Why are those strangers staring at you?

8. Because like you, they too are wondering when the words to Mr. Sun were changed from “please shine down on” to “please stay clear of” me.

strangers staring

ALL PHOTOS: TARA-MICHELLE ZINIUK

Why are those strangers staring at you?

9. Because while your grandmother pulls out offerings of Starburst and Nibs, your child has been patiently asking for hummus and crackers, quinoa and boiled eggs and now you are an actual caricature of yourself.

Tara-Michelle is a writer, editor and mama known to give a dirty look or unexplained glare. Follow her already.

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