Or…the origin of my SR.
When I replied to my Brilly-Poo’s (;p) comment yesterday, instead of quick email back, I ended up with a whole blog post.
Brill said that she used to be very outgoing but now she’s more of a homebody.
And guess what…I used to be that way, too! I used to HATE sitting at home. I worked retail and LOVED my job. My favorite part (besides the free or very cheap shoes) was interacting with people all day long.
As I moved from my “Party Girl/Single Girl/Hot Shoe Store Girl” persona to the “Mom/Office Worker/Wife” persona I’ve taken on, my need for that interaction faded. But it wasn’t until Bella that I began to dread meeting people so much that it actually prevented me from leaving the house.
Because any time I have a conversation with someone new, the subject of kids comes up. “Do you guys have any kids?” I usually explain that The Man has two kids who live with us. I used to "avoid" this situation by saying "we" have two kids. Then I wouldn’t have to explain the custody thing. But then, the subject can turn to, "So the kids with Grandma?" I could LIE (most of the time, sometimes they are with Grandma), or tell them that they are at their mom's. [Weird look] Then explain that they are The Man's kids and not “mine.”
Inevitably, the conversation always turns to me. Or, more accurately, my baby-making. It's either, "So do YOU have any kids?" or "Are you guys ever going to have kids together?"
And in that absolutely inevitable moment, I have to make the choice: Do I lie or tell them the truth? If I tell them the truth, the conversation - and the 'relationship' - go sour. Always. It goes a little something like this (these are actual things people have really said to me!):
"So do YOU have any kids?"
"Um. Yeah. We had a baby girl in 2005 who was stillborn."
"Oh. Huh. Well...you'll have more."
What happened? Are you going to try again? Why NOT? Oh, don’t worry about that! Being a mother is the greatest thing you can experience! Giving birth, that’s the most beautiful moment of a woman’s life. [Me: I HAVE given birth!] That’s not the same! It’s not the same, you see, that baby did not live. It’s just not the same. [Note: Conversation aborted, Prodder’s life depended on it.]
The Suicide Promoter
Oh, my God! Seriously? That must be TERRIBLE! How do you go ON? Oh, I just don't know how I would live if one of my kids died! No, really! I would just KILL myself! Oh. My. God!
The Weired Out Person:
"Oh, really? That's really...bad." [silence]
Those are the basic reactions. Somehow, the conversation always turns to this and ends with someone (or both) feeling uncomfortable. Or sometimes they really upset me and sometimes no matter how hard I try I can’t hide my newfound hatred for them and their giant thoughtless mouths.
But as painful as it is to drudge it up every time I meet someone, it’s a thousand times more painful not to. Because as easy as a “No.” would be to throw out, in my mind and in my heart saying that is denying Her. It’s lying about almost a whole year of my life. Pretending that a child never existed. A child that grew from a microscopic seed into a six pound baby girl in my womb. Who I spent twenty minutes pushing to see. Who I held on to as long as I possibly could. Who I’ve cried over for two and a half years.
As easy as it would be, I just can’t do it. Rather, I choose to stay home – away from new people who want to know how my ovaries are working.
But, like I said in the last post, I’m working on it. I’m trying new things with my “Conversating Skillz.”
Saturday night while we were out, an old friend whom I haven’t seen in years, asked The Question: “So do you have any kids?” I smiled and said, “The Man has two kids who live with us.” And she smiled and ended the conversation. So, thank you, J, for knowing your personal conversational limits. Thank you for not needing a status on my uterus. Thank you for letting me enjoy my evening and thus, allowing yourself to enjoy yours.
Click HERE for a Public Service Announcement (aka “a rant”) from The Butrfly Garden (well placed in the Complain Room).