As I told my friend Kerri yesterday, I’ve realized that I am whatever is the exact opposite of a people pleaser. Instead of that intense need to please, I have an obnoxious streak of, “Oh, you want me to do A? Well then, I’m 100% going to do B.” Immature? For sure. Human? Probably. But sometimes it scares me how much this stubbornness drives me.
Take yesterday’s lunch, for example. I hadn’t really seen my mom in about a month, which is odd for me. I wanted to see her, but I was also deep in avoidance mode because we are planning on telling her and my dad about the pregnancy on the weekend—and I was worried it might be hard not to crack if I saw her in person.
I needn’t have worried. We had a lovely time (truly). But the lunch took a turn (not for the first time) into baby territory. It’s subtle, this conversation. Subtle like a ton of bricks. And couched in terms of, “how annoying that all these people always ask me when you’re having a baby”.
I find this all supremely weird. I find it weird that people ask her about this in the first place, weirder that she tells me about it, and weirdest of all that she hasn’t just told these people to fuck off if it bothers her. But then, I’m the kind of person who has no qualms about telling people to fuck off when they’re being rude.
Nobody is owed an explanation for anyone else’s decision to have (or not have) children. Somebody’s boldness or – let’s call a spade a spade – bad manners in asking the question doesn’t warrant the reward of an answer just because they feel entitled to one. A person and their spouse are the only two people who get a vote on the matter. End of story.
The last time my mom and I had a real conversation about the subject, I told her that I felt like I didn’t need kids to be happy. That Andrew and I were both content with our life together whether or not kids ever entered the picture. And that if things didn’t happen naturally, we wouldn’t go the fertility treatment route. Power to those who do, but it’s just not for us. Sorry Perry, but I meant it when I said that I’d rather spend $10,000 on a trip to Bora Bora than on IVF. I thought she believed me. Even agreed with me on many points. But…I suspect that most people who have children are kind of incapable of truly embracing a life without them. Try as they might.
Anyways, the upshot of the whole conversation was that instead of tempting me to spill the beans, it only steeled my resolve to keep my trap shut. I took such perverse pleasure in instructing her to simply tell anyone who asks that we will have a baby on the 10th of Never. And still, the thought that our good news will inadvertently make my mother’s nosy friends and relatives happy makes me crazy angry. Their satisfaction will actually mar my happiness. How fucked up is all that?
So yeah, I’m having a baby. But not because you want me to.