I don’t understand what it is about babies that makes people lose their freaking sense of boundaries. American society is so politically correct now you can’t tell a decent joke without people getting offended. That’s how you end up with Amy Schumer in movies.
Americans don’t want to talk about sex in open society, but it’s ok to tell people to have more sex and procreate. You don’t want to see a goddamn nipple in cold weather but it is fine to ask pregnant women if they plan on breastfeeding. You think it’s fine to touch a pregnant woman’s stomach but don’t go grab a father-to-be by the balls and comment “Whoa! There’s a lot of strong swimmers in there!!”
I understand people are generally rude and have a limited sense of societal boundaries (not just talking about my coworkers here.) But for some reason this is escalated when it comes to the subject of babies. I crossed paths with a nice woman the other day who is of a different religious persuasion than I am. That is to say, she is very religious and I’m watching YouTube videos on how to do voodoo at home on a budget on a regular basis. But she made a comment asking about whether my kids were in school. For a minute I thought of the viral story that was going around Facebook a while back about the woman who got tired of her coworker bragging about her kids, so the writer invented a kid who joined the Navy and CIA. But this woman was very nice, and I could tell she genuinely was coming from a religious background, and didn’t quite comprehend a woman of my years being single by choice, and childless by choice. I tried to make a joke of it and said, “I’m 45. That ship sailed with Captain Steubing.” But she wouldn’t just do an Elsa and let it go. “Oh, never say never. My sister-in-law got pregnant at 50.” I wanted to say, “Look lady. I had 4 eggs left 6 years ago. They’re in there just withering up like raisins and being eaten by the spiders. I know it’s not going to happen.” But I just laughed uncomfortably and walked away.
Then I came home, drank wine, and went on an expletive-filled Facebook rant. My childless friends commented in support. Some others who respect personal boundaries did as well. Most of my friends who have children stayed awkwardly silent. And that’s ok. I’d rather have silence than people asking me if I felt like less of a human because I haven’t procreated. But I started thinking that instead of laughing off something which I find so incredibly insensitive and impolite, I should write a list of comebacks to educate the misinformed as to why they should mind their own damn business and not ask these questions.
I make light of the subject because for me it is a choice. And I thank God/Buddha/Ganesh/Bacchus every day I didn’t have a child with my ex-husband because that annoying whiny fucker would still be making my life hell now if we had that connection. So WHEW. Or in the words of the cinematic genius Madea, “HALLELUJER!”
I know for too many women who have miscarried that it is a raw, painful, hurtful subject and too many insensitive idiots make these women feel inadequate, or “less than” because they can’t have the children they desperately want. I don’t want children. Never did. I think back to the great Canadian show “The Kids in the Hall” and my favorite bit was always the dad who would tell his kids “I can murder you in your sleep.” I’m just not warm and fuzzy about babies. They spit up a lot. You can’t make them go outside to poop and lock them in a cage when you want to go to the movies. And they certainly would cut into my travel plans and budget. And I won’t apologize for that, because I DON’T OWE ANYONE A REASON. So, for anyone who doesn’t have children and wants to share in my fun of making overreaching strangers and family as uncomfortable as they’ve made us for years, here are a few suggestions. Feel free to add in the comments.
Why I don’t have kids:Because after I lost one in a poker game to a bunch of gypsies I thought it would be irresponsible to have any more.
Because I know my kids would be badass and it wouldn’t be fair to have your kid fighting mine over the last bottle of Aquafina when global warming makes people kill over water. I’m an altruist at heart.
Because I married a gay man who didn’t have sex with women.
I keep waiting for an angel to appear with an announcement, but at this point I would prefer the Publisher’s Clearinghouse Prize Patrol.
Because I prefer to be a disappointment to my mother.
Because my Sister Wife was way more fertile.
Because Satan’s child doesn’t like to share his personal space.
I did, but the faeries turned him into a changeling. (I’m just getting caught up on Outlander.)
I still owe 17 years on MY student loans. I can’t afford to pay for my kid’s too.
I’m sterile after the prison fight (stares blankly off into space).
There’s a non-disclosure agreement that prevents me from talking about my child.
Because I don’t like strangers invading my personal space, talking about my breasts and touching my stomach without permission.
What are you talking about? Little Gary is right here. You can’t see him?
I thought I was pregnant, but Jerry Springer told me I’m not the mother.
I don’t think it’s really fair to bring a child into the world until I get my heroin problem under control. Do you have $50 I can borrow?
I already have stretch marks, thanks. Wanna see?