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October 14, 2004

Comments

patricia

Oh man. I could write a thesis on this topic.

geoff

Recently I was on a plane, and during the conversation with the gentleman seated next to me, I mentioned my three boys and what they were doing in school. He turned and said to me, "3 kids, huh? And as he looked down I heard him mumble, "What I would do to have three kids." He looked so sad, so defeated. So, I said to him, really searching for the awkward words, "Umm, so you and your wife (having seen his wedding ring) don't have children?" His gaze rose and he said, "No, we have 6 kids."

iliana

sing it sister!

Chez

This is such a gripe of mine.

This past weekend I was at a wedding, and the pastor went on and on about how special the bride was because of her fondness for children and her ability to make them feel special. blah blah blah...By the time his child diatribe was over, I was a guilty, evil woman for not wanting children.

Nikki

I have a really good friend who has been married now for 8 years or so and him and his wife have chosen not to have any kids. He says they have way too much fun just the two of them. Talking with her though, she has told me that when she's meeting someone new she'd rather blame some biological problem for her choosing to remain childless than give the truth and encounter someone that presumptuously questions her womanhood.

Chana

Some people! I hate conversations like that. It seems that if you don't conform to other peoples views that there is something wrong with you! :(

Tom

Why can't people accept us as we are in all avenuse of life? Being the wise ass that I am, I am sure i would have had a comment or two for that sweety old lady.

Oh well

kimbofo

This is a generational thing, don't you think?

The Elderly Lady is from a generation where it was EXPECTED for women to have children - and if she didn't have children there must be something wrong with her.

The Younger Woman is from a different generation, where it's quite okay (amongst your peers) to not have children if you choose not to have them.

cleolove

The most important job that a woman can do is to live her life fully and authentically, and not restrict her love to those that were born of her loins.

Wendy

It rather works the same way with 'singlehood' at times ... I have been grilled by so many relatives about why I never married. They seem to think being married - at any cost - to anyone - is better than not marrying. They don't seem to understand there are many reasons for not marrying - many valid ones.

patricia

One good valid reason for not marrying: One day, after nearly ten years of marriage, your husband forgets your name, and instead will calls you the name of your cat.

Rachel Ann

Just smile at people like that and walk away.

As far as understanding goes; I think women who can't have children but wish to get sympathy, and unfortunately in many cases tons of unwanted advice. I'm not sure what understanding there would be of a decision not to have children but "Oh, okay."

I do discuss things other than my children but they are more important to me than anything or anyone else. And that is just a factor of parenthood. I realize it could bore/hurt someone who doesn't have children (depending on the circumstances) to talk of children frequently, but stories about boyfriends,one's job, sports or in fact any topic can be boring/hurtful to the listener.

I am not good at extracting myself from unwelcome conversation.

Amy De Ferrari

You're so witty! You could give Judith Martin a run for her money.

On the flip side of this experience, a friend of mine knew this outspoken environmentalist in the 70's - she was an old woman and also always let you know about her opinion.

She was visiting Russia and came across this young woman smoking a cigarette, surrounded by her substantial brood.

Gertie walked up to her, took the cigarette out of her mouth, threw it on the ground, smashed it under her foot and said "You *shouldn't smoke*.
...
and STOP HAVING BABIES!"
(!!)

Pink Poppy

I couldn't have said it any better. All of you are SOOOO right! People often confuse "good manners" with "whatever feels right at the time". WRONG!

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