Sunday, 20 February 2011

Damn it! I should've said...

What is the best response to a fertile's stupid/insensitive/rude question? Last night, I went for dinner with a new group of women, who all have food allergies, like me. They were mostly older and all but me and 1 other had children. To be fair, it took more than an hour for one of them to ask me if I wanted children (btw, this woman had already managed to get into conversation that she was nearly 40 when they decided to try for children and 'of course' got pregnant 'just like that' - please accompany with a finger-snap for the full 'rub my nose in it' effect).  I responded with my usual 'No' uttered with a fairly positive tone, but not meeting the questionner's eyes so it should be clear that the conversation was over. That didn't do the trick and it was followed up with 'Do you want them?'. And (I'm still kicking myself) I muttered a half-incoherent 'Maybe.. sometime' and looked uncomfortable. The other non-parent at the table tried to back me up with a comment about how nice it is to give them back when they're other people's, but I didn't handle it well.

So, in retrospect AND for future instances which I'm sure there will be, what should I have said? If I've said 'Yes', again without meeting anyone's eyes, would that have ended the conversation? Or would it just have invited more questions? I'm thinking "Fuck No!" accompanied by a wince and shudder would've been a more conclusive way to end the topic. There's always the option of being honest and the satisfaction of seeing how uncomfortable people look once I launch into my infertility story, but there's just no coming back from that, is there?

All suggestions welcome!


  1. I've started just giving it to people when they ask.

    You want children? Yup, we're trying. Just because you want them, doesn't mean they come right away.

    That shuts them up EVERY SINGLE TIME. As long as you just smile pleasantly, no harm done and maybe they'll learn not to ask stupid questions.

  2. My husband and I have taken to saying "We've got a team of experts working on that." So far, it has worked...I think because people aren't sure if we are joking, being sarcastic, or are serious.

  3. Thanks for the comments ladies :)

    I like both suggestions.. I'm definitely looking for something that doesn't invite further conversation, but I think that might be in the tone and the look as much as what you say. Will have to keep working on it!

  4. Just stopping by for ICLW. I am lucky not to have this question asked of me often, but I think I would probably be painfully honest. Something like 'More than you could possibly imagine.' I think would be my reply. Meh - damn fertiles.

    Oh, and re nipple measuring...I swear infertility makes us certifiably insane. ;)

  5. Thanks for stopping by Jenny! Have to be quick though.. the men in white coats are on their way now with the strait jackets ;)

  6. ICWL

    sometimes people are just too nosy. I admit, I've been snotty when asked questions about baby-making - I just tell them I don't want to discuss my sex life.

  7. @Empty whole.. that's a good idea.. takes the focus away from the TTC side of things and makes them realise what a personal question they're asking.. thanks!