Nosy Women Used To Bug Me

"When are you going to start having kids?"

It's a question I've been asked different variations of since I was a high school senior. It started with "You'll be wanting to get married soon and start a family!" to "You're not getting any younger, and you're going to want to have energy to keep up with your kids! You'd better get married soon!" which progressed to "When are you getting married? You won't find one better than him!" (I did) to simply "When are you going to start having kids?"

I do get this one less and less frequently now that I'm getting older, so perhaps, after months of nobody asking, I was finally prepared with an answer this morning when a woman I barely know essentially told me I'd better start having children because I was going to be too old soon and I'd regret it.

My response? (After the initial internal "...Wow." I mean?)

"I'm not planning on having children because I'm afraid my enemies would try to use them as leverage."

That one, ladies, is a keeper. Take note of it. I've never seen a nosy woman back off so quickly and silently!


Shannon said...

I KNEW I married the right woman! This is exactly the sort of thing I think about. Of course, in your case you can equally say "I'm afraid my husband will use them against me as leverage" because I certainly would. Any advantage I can get...

But this is easily the most brilliant reply to "When are you having kids?" I've heard. Much better than, "I'm waiting for the market in organs to rebound so as to make children more profitable"

Butternugget said...

Well done.

I am right there with you (both). I just can't understand why other people feel the need to project their wants/needs/goals/obsessions on to others.

I agree with you about how the questions have started to change (as we all get older)and find it funny that they are now shifting to warnings of "you will regret it". I have never contemplated being pregnant or birthing and do not think I will regret it. In fact I know I wont regret it.

So many people can not believe that a woman doesn't have a burning need (womb) from the age of 13 that is calling, no urging her to spawn.

My womb doesn't speak.

That said I think adopting (especially of older children) is a wonderful thing and more people who want children should really consider it.

Orange Girl said...

Oooo I *have* to remember this response - it's a good one - hopefully it will shut up those that question me too. Although indeed I haven't been questionned so much in the last couple of years - being very close to 40 seems to have stopped even my parents asking although I know they are so very disappointed ... errr why? Because they want the kid? Because they think my life has been WASTED because I'm not going to have the experience of child rearing ... why about what life I AM having? (sorry, bit ranty this morning!) I think people now just assume I have them when they meet me for the first time including the stupid bat in the lingerie department of our one and only department store in Wellington when assisting me with a bra said "are you still feeding dear?" - W.T.F?? No this is all me lady and don't make me feel any more self-conscious about it than I already do!

OrangeMoJoJo said...

No need to apologize! I'm ranty almost EVERY morning. I can't believe that saleswoman. It's too bad you don't have more places to shop!

It really does irritate me that there's so much weight put on young women to have kids. (I don't consider myself old, but I know that the reason I'm not getting asked the question "when are you having kids?" quite so often as when I was in my 20s is because I'm definitely entering the "risky" age, and people are more likely to leave me alone or assume I've already got a brood.)

When I was younger and didn't really care whether or not I had kids, I thought there was something wrong with me, because my having kids was important to EVERYBODY ELSE. Not so much my own family as coworkers, regular customers, salespeople, people in line at supermarkets - people who should most be keeping their mouths shut because they don't know the first damned thing about me other than the fact that I'm obviously a female. My dad was concerned for a while that I'd regret it and feel I was missing out, but that's because he LOVES being a dad. Now that he sees how happy I am that's really all he cares about.

Having kids is something I rarely think about, much less agonize over. I love the life I've chosen. And apparently I'm not alone because very few of my friends have children. One of the wonderful things about aging is that I care less and less what people think of me - especially people like that dingbat who probably doesn't even know my last name.

OrangeMoJoJo said...

This surprised me - there were 4,317,119 babies born in the US in 2007 - which is higher than the baby boom of the late 50s.


Holy bejeebus. I thought the birth rate was going down, not up!! No wonder my womb is so quiet. There are PLENTY of babies out there, thank you very much! The world doesn't need one outta me.

Rev Transit said...

Uh oh, I sense a Shannon rant coming on, all about the difference between raw totals and rates.

Kelly Horwitz said...

My friend, Julie, who was peeved at getting this question just one too many times once answered, "Because I was born without a womb." That really shut up the nosy person who didn't even know her.

OrangeMoJoJo said...

That's a fabulous response! And you bring up another thing I find so offensive about the question "when are you having kids?" asked by people who don't know me: How do these people know that I am even able to have children? It's just so rude on so many levels.