Tuesday, October 17, 2006

So, are you trying?

How many times have you been asked that question?

Really? That's all?

Because, think about it. I bet you've been asked that question without even knowing you've been asked that question.

Last week, I brought my daughter to the local pizza joint for the wrap-up meeting for our town's street festival. My daughter has attended every meeting I've been to because it's the only way I can go. So, the volunteers all know her. One of the women there was having a conversation with my kid while I was involved in another discussion.

(Let me preface all of this by saying, this woman, over the last seven months, has told me several times "You should have another one." Meaning baby, I assume, not miscarriage, because of course, SHE DOESN'T KNOW ABOUT THE MISCARRIAGES. She thinks my daughter is a trip, and presumably feels entitled to tell me whatever she wants about child bearing because she only has one daughter who is now a teenager and turning on her.

But I digress.)

This woman, at the meeting, looked across the table at me and said (in reference to my three-year-old's ramblings that I hadn't heard, but knew well enough) "Is she telling tales? Or does she know something?"

And there was that look on the woman's face...bemused...smug...I'm not sure. The "Oh-my-goodness-you-took-my-advice-and-are-knocked-up-and-I-wheedled-it-out-of-your-three-year-old" look.

Lately, it is my daughter's wildest dream that she become the proud owner of a baby sister named Mike. It's a long story involving good friends of ours who just had baby number three (the oldest is not yet three) and the husband's name is...you guessed it. Somehow all of these facts got jumbled in my daughter's head like numbered balls in a bingo cage, and now she wants a sister Mike. I think it's rather funny.

I had to disappoint the woman at the meeting by rolling my eyes and assuring her, "No, she's telling tales."

But in the meantime, another woman, who comports herself as God's gift to etiquette, asked in a sickly-sweet tone, "Oh, are you thinking of adding to your family?" Saying it as if the deceptive phrasing made an erstwhile "So, are you trying?" perfectly acceptable to ask.

I was so shocked by the question, I couldn't even think to answer, "Well, not here, but if you're that interested, why don't you come over tonight and watch while my husband bangs me?!"

Instead I stammered (and I do mean stammered), "Well, I guess so, I mean eventually."

Unless I have my pants at my ankles and am going at it on the checkered oilcloth at the pizza joint, my new response to these questions will be: WHO THE FUCK'S BUSINESS IS IT IF I AM TRYING TO HAVE ANOTHER BABY?

Because "So, are you trying?" is disguised in: "You should have another." and "Are you thinking of adding to your family?" and "Do you want more?" and "How old are you?" and "How's your husband's sperm count?" (okay, that last one hasn't been an issue...yet.) It is really everywhere, and so insidious that I find myself answering the question when really I don't know the answer and certainly don't want to share the answers I do have. Not when I have the answers shaken out of me. In my heart I want another baby, but what if I couldn't afford it, or couldn't biologically have another, or my husband decided he doesn't want anymore, or...

My procreative habits are not up for discussion or vote or comment. Except, of course, between me and my husband. And my RE. Oh, and of course, my daughter, who demands to help us go to the store and pick up her baby sister.

I have to remember that when I feel my life is no one else's business, I have the right to say so.

Wish me luck!


At 12:56 AM, Blogger Hetty Fauxvert said...

People can be quite astoundingly nosey, can't they? But it seems to be from a variety of motives. Some, like the mother of the teen, seem to want to get information out of you as some sort of "handle" on you -- as if they gain power by learning your secrets. Others seem to regard nosey questions as just some sort of bonding ritual, and really mean no harm. (But that doesn't help much when it's a question you'd really rather not answer.) I have found that a smile and a "Well, we'll have to wait and see," covers a multitude of occasions. Then before they recover, ask a nosey question of *them.* Most Nosey-Pokes love nothing better than to gab about themselves, and will forget all about you!

I love "sister Mike." Too cute. I suppose if you should ever end up having another daughter, you will have NO peace unless you name her Michelle. :)

At 10:59 AM, Blogger DD said...

We have finally started telling people, NO! We are not trying and we will NOT be trying.

Most haven't asked again.

At 1:18 PM, Blogger theoneliner said...

people are the worst!!

if we started responding with things like, "well, honey we would add to the family...but my husband just can't it up...." or "my husband is going through a sex change next month and so he and i errrr...i mean she and I aren't going to be making anymore babies" they'd quit asking.

At 1:19 PM, Blogger theoneliner said...

um, i mean, "husband just can't GET it up...." but i'm sure you gathered as much. ; )

At 2:16 PM, Blogger Kath said...

Dear Casey, I'm so sorry for being away for so long. I'm fully caught up with you now, and wishing you wonderful success for this cycle.

I must say, people's insensitivity is astounding. I know they're usually just trying to be friendly, but what ever happened to letting people keep certain things private? There are times when I want to share that I would dearly love a child -- but I want the sharing to me my choice. I hate being asked point-blank and being forced to lie, evade, or confide something against my will.


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