Yesterday, I read Jon Acuff's post about the pressure to get married. If you are married now, do you remember your single days? If you are single, how often are you being asked the dreaded "Well, when are you getting married?" Oh, the numerous instances when I wished I could pull a baseball bat out of thin air the way cartoon characters do! You know what the worst thing is? You can't tell the truth. You can't say, "Probably never, since the guy I've been dating for 3 years doesn't know if I'm good enough to be his wife" or "Actually, my boyfriend dumped me for another woman last week" or even "I have not been asked out once in the last year." You can't say those things unless you want a lecture - or a pity party.
One would think that after the marriage finally happens, the curious well-wishers will move on to something else. Heck, no. The question changes, however. It's "So, when are you going to start having babies?"
People! Do you not realize that we can't answer you honestly? A number of my friends who are my age want kids, but don't have any. The reasons vary: a drawn-out adoption process not going as planned, a year of fertility treatments not doing what they are supposed to do, a recent miscarriage, an outrageous amount of school loans, a spouse who refuses to hear the mere mentioning of babies, let along have them. If you know us, but don't know why we don't have kids, it means we can't tell you. It may be too painful, too humiliating, too much. We don't want you to pity us or give us a talk on how "if you wait until you're ready, you'll never have kids" or "you should take your time." We heard it all already, thank you very much. Don't pour salt on our wounds. Ask us about the book we're reading, the movie we saw recently, the politician who's getting our vote. Darn it, ask us about our pets, our jobs, or the color scheme of our master bedroom, but leave the babies out of it. Please. Pretty pretty please.