In or Out, Part Deux (Children and Idiots Mentioned)
An anonymous comment stated how sometimes things come right when you need them–the coincidences that jump out at you as if three angels just descended onto your breakfast table and started harmonizing personal hallelujahs. And I kid you not–I posted those thoughts yesterday morning, jumped into the car with my friend and kids, and this is what happened.
We’re innocently enjoying an early morning ice cream cone outside of Ben and Jerry’s and an elderly woman swoops down on us and starts gushing about my adorable children. And my twins are adorable but this woman literally hit the trifecta in offending me. Beyond asking me where I’m from (which is a thinly-veiled way of asking “what is your ethnicity” oh-somewhat-dark-skinned-girl-that-I-can’t-quite-place-is-just-Eastern-European-Jewish) and TRYING TO TOUCH MY CHILDREN (I am currently training them to lash out like a police dog and chomp off hands if one more stranger tries to rub their dirty little fingers through my childrens’ hair. Either that or I will begin fondling breasts of every woman who makes a move towards my children since these women seem to find it acceptable to affectionately touch strangers), this woman who I have never seen before launched into a one-woman monologue about her inconsiderate children who are not making her a grandmother.
Woman: Your children are so adorable! And I want to be a grandmother so badly. But will
my children give me a grandchild? No. And I will be dead–DEAD–before my
grandchildren are born. I tell them, you’re not getting younger. But they need to fly
here and there for their careers. They can’t put their careers on hold for one minute
to give me a grandchild.
Me: Maybe they don’t want children.
Woman: They say, “give me a few years.” But I will be dead before they finally get around to
having children. Dead!
Yes…you will be dead if you don’t stop telling me about your inconsiderate children. And I tried to broach the idea that they may be trying and not telling her, but she went back into telling me–a stranger–about their careers and how they’re too busy to have children. And what do you say to this because in my head I’m thinking: you are the reason why people stay in.
And this is not even a post about whether or not you have a right to expect grandparenthood (because that is a whole different messy topic to cover at a later time–parental pressure compounding your personal pressure towards parenthood. Say that ten times fast). It’s just commentary on the interesting things people posted yesterday about my initial thoughts on being in or out.
And the points I want to return to in later posts (and please comment more on this)…
1. No one posted their own outing story and I know they’re…out…there. Am I truly the only one who has had a family member announce it to the world?
2. Zee’s thoughts on how after a certain age, people stop asking and assume that you can’t possibly be trying to have children. She referred to it as being dead in the water. And the rudeness that not being asked brings as well.
3. Flmgodog talking about how she wishes she could be out. And the stigma that IF still holds. Because someone once commented ages ago on a different post that IF holds the same stigmas as mental illness and bariatric surgery. And this comment made me think about Julia Roberts and she refuses to answer how her twins were conceived. And is that just indicative of the stigma? How many people knew that Nicole Kidman had miscarriages? Other than Brooke Shields and Courtney Cox (along with others that I can’t think of at this time), it seems like most people in the public eye are in, in, in. And how is this a commentary on the trends of society?
4. I loved Mandolyn’s comment: “we can’t ignore it, so it sucks when people close to us can.” And the people that you do tell, but who won’t talk about it with you. We have that as well and the lack of questions/comforting hurts more sometimes than the insensitive comments of those who don’t know. Because you opened up to someone and their lack of connection can either signal discomfort or a true lack of interest in your life. And you don’t know.
5. The reasons why we’re out: to gain sympathy, to stop others from asking about whether you’re TTC (as Piccinigirl says: “I unlit the flame before they struck the match”), to get it out of your head and lighten your own burden of thought.” And the reasons we’re in: “I’d like to be a stronger person and be able to educate more people about it- emotionally I just don’t think I can right now” and “In part we keep quiet because we think that if people knew they would be more likely to think that our adopted children were second best”. Amongst many others.
6. Royalyne’s comment about her husband: “He’s pretty much in the doorway and leans to whichever side the people he talks to expect him to be on.” And thoughts on how we organically engage in “coding” when speaking about infertility.
7. Dee’s story about the lies we tell. And how they can bite you in the ass years later. And when white lies to protect emotions become huge knives later on that can cut deep.
And this is just the tip of the iceberg since I have a feeling that more stories will roll in during the weekend and when I explore these 7 ideas deeper in future posts. And I still have blogs to talk about! What a busy morning… Excuse any typo-s because I had to write this faster than a speeding bullet.