Friday, January 09, 2009

Say What?

This is the dreaded follow up post, the one after you bare your inner most secrets.

It's been a week.

I have several ideas for posts but for some reason none have come to fruition. But something happened today that got me irked. This I have to do a post about or I will lie awake at night writing the post in my head. They are always so much better in my head but never make it here.

Today, while I was watching the boys at swimming lessons, the lady I often chat with there, who I know only from there, asked me a question. Out of the blue.

It's the question I dread most.

Because the answer, it comes from deep within. It's been a very long journey that Jay and I have taken together.

A personal and therefore private journey. One that I have only shared with those closest to me until very recently.

"Are you going to have more children?"

Really? You, who I barely know, are asking me that?

There are many inappropriate questions in the world and I happen to think that this is one of them.

I'll admit, before I had kids and even after my first, I asked this very question of people I barely knew. What a fool I was. I had no idea. None.

It ranks right up there with have you gained weight? and when are you due? (dude, don't ask unless you are 100% sure).

It's actually a bit like asking, do you plan on winning the lottery? Why yes, on January 27, 2008, I will become a millionaire, how did you know?

Many people would love to have more children but can't. Or prematurely menopausal, have fertility issues etc. Personal things. Things that we are probably not going to tell you, random lady at the pool. Who, by the way, has two children the same ages as mine.

Here's the rest of the conversation, more or less, because I think it's kind of funny:

Lady: Are you going to have more any more children?
Me: *shocked look* No, we are done.
Lady: Yes, they are expensive and take a lot of time
Me: (in my head - Yes, that's exactly why. I mean, who has time for a baby with all the shopping, lunches with girlfriends and spa treatments to do!) Mmmm.


Me: That and I am menopausal.
Lady: Oh!

End conversation.

I like to throw that in for shock value. Hee hee. She asked!

One of my favourite Texans, Elaine twittered me a much better response.

"Well, only if my boyfriend knocks me up, my husband's water works don't work anymore."

Why don't I think of these things?

PS. I mean no offense to anyone who may have asked this of anyone because I am pretty sure that not all people would be offended by such a question. I am overly sensitive about it, given what we have gone through. This is just my take on it all.



Leslie said...

I have nothing really to say, except I heart
you ;) and your husband's rusty pipes of course....hehe.

I washed my hair with "fruition", that's not right, that's fructis....

What the "fruition" did you just call me??? nope, almost...

Lori said...

I hate that question too... or are you going to try for a girl? and then they look shocked when I say no... I'm glad you threw in the shock factor... it was so worth it

Stacie said...

awe sweetie I am so sorry.

I am sure I have done this before and regretted it the minute it came out of my mouth.

I am sure she didn't mean any harm and was merely trying to make conversation. I am sorry that your answer is hurtful and I wish more than anything that people who want babies are able to have them.

Angella said...

Matthew has been fixed, so when people ask me if I am going to get pregnant again I tell them that if I did, that would mean there was trouble ;)

I have a friend who has two, and wanted more, but there are medical reasons they cannot. I always cringe when people ask her if she's going to have any more.

People mean well, but just don't think sometimes...

mamatucci said...

you now I completely understand that question as I got it alot in the 8 years of infertility between children. After going through the "was she a mistake". For years when I was young. She was an early oops but my child is never a mistake thank you!
Now the new thing Joe and I seem to be getting is. "oh thats a big gap do they have the same father". who asks that. Sometimes I really believe people have verbal diarrhea....

Anonymous said...

I hope I am that boyfriend you are referring to. You can climb my ladder and I will take you to new heights

The carpenter

Anonymous said...

Forget the carpenter. Stick with me and my life preserver. That way you can always be on top of things.

The pool Boy

Threeboys1mommy said...

So... when are you due? (I'm such a booger! I know. Sorry)

AWKWARD!! conversation.

But you're right it is inappropriate and I wouldn't even expect someone to be offended, but now that you mention it there are many reasons why it would be offensive or inappropriate. I've learned my lesson. Thanks Kami!

Tracey said...

The menopause line is perfect to have on hand...

Natalie said...

when i get my t-shirt made that says "anything you say can and will be held against you on my blog". I will send you one! seriously... why don't people ask about things like the kids that are in front of you!!!

oh and good come back elaine! i guess i am going to have to get on twitter with you guys.

Anonymous said...

Interesting conversation to say the least. What one person is itching to talk about with everyone, another doesn't want to discuss with anyone! For pool side conversation it's probably better to stick to the weather... it sure is cold these days, isn't it?

As a single person in my 30's I hear them all the time. Are you ever going to get married, why aren't you married, do you (or even better 'don't you') want children, when are you going to settle down...

But, what can you do? :-)

Hannah said...

I agree with you, I think that question is offensive. It's also NONE OF THEIR BUSINESS! Geez! I love your answer though - classic! And Elaine's one is great, I will have to remember that for future reference when somebody asks me that very very personal question!

That question absolutely rates up there with "When are you due?" ... which, for safety's sake, should not be asked unless you can actually SEE the baby's head coming out. Period.

teeni said...

I've also found the question to newlyweds of "When are you going to have kids?" or "Are you planning on having kids?" to be quite distasteful. That makes an assumption that everyone wants children or can have them. You might be okay discussing these things with close friends or family but it really isn't anyone's business. Funny how you and I both took offense to some common questions and phrases in posts we put up on the same day. Must be that menopausal link we have. ;)
Anyway, hugs to you, my friend. You've been dealing with a lot of sensitive and personal issues lately. I wish you happiness and am sending you good energy. :)

Kristin said...

You have some great commenters and I'm proud of you for standing up to miss nosy. After 6 years of trying, finally twins - with obvious help, I can relate to random comments, like are they natural? For a while my husband would answer the, "when are you having kids?" with, "we are saving for a boat."

It's too bad it doesn't happen a friend is next to you in those situations to pipe up on your behalf. Just know you have a lot of blogging fans ready and willing!

Anonymous said...

I have been guilty of asking that same question, but not anymore. Your comment was too funny, good for you :-)

Anonymous said...

Oustanding reply... always that thing that will make the questioner feel like "i'm a complete idiot"... hahahaha... well done...

we're not having any more because... *snip*snip*

BeachMama said...

Yes, that was a great reply. I too am disgusted when someone asks me that question, that ranks right up there as one of the worst ones. If I am not in the mood I like to shock them too. Usually asking them for money to pay for it shuts them up quickly.

Alex Elliot said...

I get the "are you going to try for a girl" question a lot. I still haven't come up with a good witty response.

Chris said...

I get asked that question ALLLL the time. I'm gonna have to steal yours & Elaine's answers.