I abhor baby showers. I know that sounds melodramatic, a little myopic, and even bordering on socially unacceptable. Scout’s honor, I really do want to enjoy them. I like to believe I’m a supportive friend and celebrating a momentous and joyful occasion in the life of someone I care about is a big deal. However, when I find little frilly, pink and blue envelopes in my mailbox, inviting me to yet another dreaded evening in the line of friendship and familial duty, I get the sudden desire to stab myself with a fork. Repeatedly.
This conversation I had last week demonstrates the reason:
Great Aunite: Do you have any children, dearie?
Me: <trying not to sigh> No. Actually I don’t.
Great Auntie: <very concerned> Well don’t worry hon there’s still time, women are having children into their 40’s these days. Granted, not that much time I suppose…
My (internal) repartee:
- Projecting the expectation that the desire to procreate is the societal norm is narrow-minded at best.
- Thanks for reminding me that forty is coming… comments about my “biological clock” will be squashed. Brutally.
- Yes, I understand that children have given your life meaning. I happen to find it in other venues. Same destination, different road.
- I recognize that I may be a ward of the state as an octogenarian. But perhaps I’ll be non compos mentis and it really won’t matter much. Besides, how outrageously selfish would it be to have kids I didn’t really want, simply so there’s someone to pay for a state-of-the-art care facility? Give me a cardboard box and a cat. I’ll be ok.
- And no, I really don’t have copious amounts of free time. No children doesn’t equate to zero responsibilities, activities, or social and familial obligations.
No I’m not lonely, or unfulfilled. I’m not going through a phase. I’m not going to change my mind. I haven’t regretted the decision yet; I’m unlikely to. For the record I’m not a horrible children-hating-monster, but why does a baby shower blur the lines of social nicety, freeing people to comment unchecked on (read: judge) my personal choices. Bottom line, is it really anyone’s business?