- Mother / Old Man / parenting / potato salad / stereotype / Supermarket
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If you've ever made potato salad, then you know that it's not as simple as spreading butter on toast. While it's hardly a dish requiring expert cooking skills, it takes time to wash, then peel, then boil the potatoes, make sure they aren't watery, mix in just the right ingredients, which, depending on your recipe, can also take time to prepare, refrigerate, and so on and so forth.
Whether or not a good understanding of the time and effort involved in making potato salad would have made a difference, but one old man recently observed in a Japanese supermarket had a very strong opinion about it, one which arguably highlights the generation gap and perhaps even lingering stereotypes and insensitivity towards mothers and modern parenting in Japan.
His comments and the reaction of Twitter user Mistsubachi (@mitsu_bachi_bee) who witnessed it have gone viral since it was posted yesterday morning, garnering over 245,000 likes and 85,000 retweets at the time of writing.
"I was startled and turned around when I heard a voice say:
'If you're a mother, surely you can make such a trifling thing as potato salad by yourself?'
It was at the deli corner and I saw an old man and a mother with a baby in tow. The man made a quick exit, leaving the mother, head drooped down, holding the potato salad tray in her hand. I quickly took my daughter along and bought some potato salad right in front of her. "This is OK," I said silently while buying two trays."
Mitsubachi followed up that initial Tweet with a second one:
"I'm surprised at the response I'm getting... Thank you very much! It actually takes time to make potato salad. But even if it were something easy to make, I think he had no right to complain to a complete stranger like that."
Here are some of the more popular comments which the Tweet elicited:
A nice heaping bowl of supermarket-bought potato salad sounds good just about now. Who's with me?