Sunday, January 14, 2007

Dealing with assholes never gets easier

J and I spent the weekend up at a ski lodge in New Mexico for a department retreat. Mostly, it was a blast. All of our friends were there, we went to a couple of workshops, and then spent a LOT of time relaxing. With the exception of the Mexican food they served for dinner last night, I couldn't have asked for a better weekend. Well, maybe except for one other thing.

See, at breakfast this morning we ended up sitting next to one of THOSE people. You know, the type who feels it's perfectly appropriate to ask you probing, personal questions 5 minutes after you've been introduced. First we chatted (well, he did most of the talking, I just smiled and nodded) about skiing, then he asked about our families, and then he asked the one question every woman who has experienced infertility dreads more than anything else: "So, when are YOU planning to have children?"

I confess, I told him that we were currently 10 weeks pregnant in hopes that it would shut him up on the subject. Did it? Oh no. Instead, he started talking about how he and his wife had two "oops" babies, and assumed that ours was the same. I was halfway tempted to tell him that it had taken the collective wisdom and skill of a half dozen doctors, surgery, and nearly two years to get to this point, but in the end I decided against sharing our story with him because I really didn't want to talk about infertility with an oblivious asshole over my hash browns. At that point, he turned his attention to a friend of mine and asked her if she and her husband were going to give their 2 year old daughter a brother or sister anytime soon. That was when I decided that cutting and running was probably the best possible strategy, so I made up some excuse about needing to get something from my room and dragged my friend out of the room.

For the record (just in case any of you were wondering) it is NEVER okay to ask someone about their family building plans. NEVER. You can ask if they have children (though after going through infertility I've started saying "Tell me about your family" instead, since being reminded of the fact that I was childless every time I met someone new wasn't a pleasant experience) but not if or when they plan to have any. My reproductive organs have nothing to do with you. Period. End of story.

In any case, we're home now, my first appointment is in three days, and now that I've gotten all this out I feel much better.


Bea said...

"Tell me about your family" - that's a good approach.


Kathleen said...

Ugh. UGH. I hate that question, and we've never even TTC-ed. It's just so nosy, so presumptuous, so over the line.

And isn't it surprising [shocking] how many people actually ask this? I mean, geez, I have had this question at least 4 or 5 times lately.

It's so frustrating. I'm glad you were able to just leave. Sounds like the best choice.

The Town Criers said...

I also like the "tell me about your family" question. So smart.

You know how they say never to bring up religion or politics with strangers in pleasant conversation? Maybe family building should be on that list too...