“When are y’all gonna have kids?”
The age old question. Now that I’ve been with someone for an extended period of time, this question pops up more often than I’d like. Although usually harmless, it falls under the pretense that I actually want kids.
This time, it was asked by the owner of the friendly neighborhood restaurant I go to 2-6 times a month. He has become a good friend, mostly because I’ve never put anything on “my tab” like many of the other miscreants that frequent his business and pay in full every visit. He’s in an on again, off again divorce, and someone recently stole his Prius and drove it to Columbus, Ohio. He also has two kids of his own that the Mrs. and I have watched while he cooked others food.
“I don’t think we’re going to have kids, Matt.”
“Good because it makes it a lot fucking easier to not hate each other.”
Since we’ve become close, Matt has talked pretty openly about his troubles. I feel for the guy; he’s trying to run his small business, which makes delicious food, provide for his family and make it through the day. Some days he’s cool, calm and collected, and other days he’s an inch from mental destitution. The common denominator? Having kids.
I don’t mind answering questions. I’ll answer just about anything fully and with the truth if I’m asked. Transparency is a valued trait, but when people start with “So, when are you guys thinking about kids?” it is hard not to go full agro mode and shut it down quickly. I used to give the half-truth, “I can barely take care of myself, let alone a living, breathing person,” but people are always quick to point out, “Oh, you’ll be fine. You’ll learn.” I then get grilled like I’m standing trial for murder, so answering, “Because I hate children” (which is a full-truth) is my new go-to.
If it isn’t acquaintances and friends, it is family. Mrs. Madoff’s mom is always giving us the full court press. I’m not sure why. I would never trust a living, breathing human in her care, especially since she can’t even remember to water her tomatoes. When we got engaged, her entire family barely acknowledged it, yet when her unwed ex-janitor half-sister cranked out her second drain on the economy, you’d have thought she birthed Jesus Christ.
When you tell people, “I am never having kids”, you usually get the “you’ll change your mind” or “I thought that too when I was your age.” When I wrote about not being ready for kids two years ago, it was dismissed due to our young relationship. After being together for over four years, people are starting to pry more. Some people are astounded that someone doesn’t want a rug rat of their very own. I am lucky my own mother hasn’t bugged me at all, but my grandmothers have asked, which leads to awkward conversation.
In the end, I don’t really care, I just wish that people stopped putting so much emphasis on having kids. People treat those that don’t want kids like there is something wrong with them, and like everyone should want a kid of their very own. Even if I wanted one, the constant questions regarding the hypothetical little bastard(s) are unneeded. It is like small talk; why bother? I’ve made sure to let people know that the minute I change my mind, they’ll be the first to know, even though they’re going to be waiting quite some time because Mirena is good for five years, and by that time, I’ll be old enough for a good old fashioned vasectomy..
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