By The Wiz
I was on a plane yesterday, and started chatting with the college student next to me. And so:
Her: “And what do you do?”
Me: “I stay home with my kids.”
Her: “I’m never having kids. EVER.”
I never know what to say when people say stuff like this to me. I feel like Meg Ryan in Joe vs. the Volcano: “I have no response to that.”
Was she expecting me to get defensive? (Having kids was the best thing I ever did!) I don’t have the emotional energy to waste on defending my choices to strangers on airplanes. Did she expect me to talk her into it? (Oh, but they’re so cute, and fun, and perfect…which, actually, my kids are.) Was she expecting a “Good for you!” type of deal? (Yeah, overpopulation is a problem.) I really wanted to ask her (and probably should have) what other people say when she tells them this, because apparently she has no problem telling people. Instead I just shrugged and said something like “huh” or “that’s fine” or something equally brilliant. Honestly, I had no response to that.
Then she got defensive, and started talking about how she couldn’t handle the responsibility, but maybe when she was older, but probably not. Her sister didn’t want kids either. Plus, her mom doesn’t want grandkids. (Yeah, cause everyone knows how much grandkids suck.) But hey, maybe her mom doesn’t want them - I don’t know. I’ve never met the woman. My brain whirred. “You are used to defending this, and I don’t think your mind is as made up as you think it is. You’re clearly trying to convince yourself because frankly, I don’t care that much whether or not you have kids. You’re 19 or 20. You have time.” I didn’t say that out loud. I did say “I’m looking forward to grandchildren.” It was a riveting conversation, really. Aren’t you glad I told you about it?
Is there an appropriate response to statements like hers? Maybe I should have just said “Why not?” and then just listened. But discussing something as personal as the reasons to have/not have kids seems like something you would do with a close friend or family member, not a random stranger, and I didn’t need to get to know her THAT well. Fortunately, the conversation turned to her dog, and then she pulled out her phone and showed me pictures, and all uterus talk was finished. Whew.
WordPress database error: [Can't open file: 'wp_comments.MYI' (errno: 144)]
SELECT * FROM wp_comments WHERE comment_post_ID = '2161' AND comment_approved = '1' ORDER BY comment_date