Monday, April 16, 2012

The Question

All infertiles are familiar with The Question, but it doesn't make it any easier to deal with it. My husband and I went to a concert this weekend. As we joined the line in the lobby a middle aged couple stepped in behind us. Immediately, it was 20 Questions. My husband is tall so we're used to the comments - Did you play basketball in high school? It's not hard to pick you out in a crowd, is it? *Insert annoying chuckle.*

Soon after the "What do you do?" question the wife launched into, "So, do you have kids?" I should be used to this question by now but I'm always caught off guard. Perhaps because it's such a deep-seeded issue for me and my lack of children gnaws away at me every day. I glanced at my husband and we exchanged a 10 second glance of "Are you freakin' kidding me?" before he answered, "No", perhaps a little too brightly. Annoying wife picked up on our hesitation and asked, "Not yet, huh?". Was she digging for our dark secret so she could pick it apart and draw some pleasure from our pain? Or maybe she was trying to be empathetic. Or perhaps she was familiar with infertility herself (although, I highly doubt it, because any self-respecting infertile would not ask that question), and she wanted to offer us some sage advice. I didn't know and I didn't care. My hackles were up and I wanted to get away from this nosy woman.

Then the next logical comment came that totally pierced a whole through my heart. "Your kids will probably be really tall." *Insert hearty guffaw from her husband.* Yeah, I know they'll probably be tall. I also think they'll have dark hair and I wonder if they'll have my darker hazel eyes, or my husband's light-greenish hazel eyes. Or will they have my dad's blue eyes? Maybe they'll inherit my grandma's unruly hair, or maybe they'll have my mother-in-law's straight hair. I wonder if they'll be musical like me or if they'll love the outdoors like their dad. The list of possibilities goes on and on and I didn't need her to remind me of my fantasies, thankyouverymuch.

Fortunately, the line started to move and we were soon admitted into the theater. We quickly darted into the rest of the crowd so we wouldn't be stuck sitting next to them. I breathed a sigh of relief and sympathetically watched as I saw her grilling a new couple who were unlucky enough to choose seats next to them.

Why can't nosy people keep their questions to themselves? I enjoy making small-talk with strangers, but I don't need to grill them about their college careers, occupations and family life to do so. Get a clue, nosy lady!

7 comments:

  1. Exactly! Even before I experienced infertility I would never ask about someones personal life stuff. I always wait for people to share that kind of thing. If you meet people in line at a theatre, why not ask if they like the playwright particularly, the actors, the comedian? have they seen any other shows here? etc. It is not so hard to think of something more relevant, less invasive and just a bit less rude than have you procreated yet.

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    1. So true. Maybe I should have asked her how long it took to get knocked up with their kids and did they find a certain sexual position to be most productive? Perhaps that would have shut her up.

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  2. So annoying ... there are so many more interesting things to talk about, especially when first meeting somebody! And to add, "Not yet, huh?" How presumptious and prying.

    And on behalf of my sisters, who like your husband are frequently asked if they're basketball players, I have to also comment on my distaste for inane comments on physical appearance. If I am irritated to hear "Wow, your sisters are so tall!" I can't imagine how annoyed they must be to hear it directly.

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    1. She not only commented on my husband's height, she also pinpointed exactly how tall I am just so she could illustrate her point that we will have tall children. It was weird. The lady has some sort of height complex.

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  3. Where do these people come from? I can't imagine getting so personal with someone in a line-up. How annoying. I've started answering the "Do you have kids?" question with, "No, I'm infertile. I can't have kids, actually." I know this is only *partly* true, b/c we are on the road to making a baby through IVF, but this response really makes these people feel obviously uncomfortable. Which makes me feel a little bit vindicated in my own discomfort.

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    1. Ahhh I would love to see their faces after hearing that!

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    2. Hahaha! I just may have to try that next time. It would be totally worth it to see a busy-body rendered speechless.

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