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Tuesday, June 6, 2006

"Is she your only child?"

Some of the best moments in life happen when you aren't around. My wife had one of those "Insensitive Stranger" moments. I have these often. I'm a big white dude toting around an adopted Chinese baby, so I either get the confused stares with no comments or the ballsy folks that just come right up and start in with "Is she yours?" or something equally uncalled for.

My wife has had less exposure to the dredge of society because she is also asian. I'm the only white person in this family and have become a Dredge Magnet. She still gets people coming up to her in public, but because of her ethnicity they don't usually start with "Is she yours?" Occasionally, they begin like this:

"Is she your only child?"

Last week my wife went to the Allergist's office for her weekly shots. My wife is allergic to everything - pollen, cigarettes, dust, sex - and the shots help keep those allergies in check. On this particular day, she brought our two-year old daughter with her.

"We'll be right with you. Please take a seat." said the receptionist in the waiting room.

My wife sat down. Ellie, our daughter, climbed onto the chair next to her and they waited for their names to be called.

A woman in her mid-40s, who happened to be sitting next to them, asked "Is she your only child?"

Note - I asked for a better description of the woman so that I could relay that info to you, the reader. The fact that my wife only told me "she was white and in her mid-40s" probably means she was hot. But I guess that's not relevant to the story. Unless you're cooped up in your house all day and never get to see any other women besides your wife - THEN you may have gotten something out of it.

"Yes." My wife replied to her question.
"Are you planning to have another one?" The woman asked.
"Not at this point."
"Have you passed 30 yet?"
"Yes." Wife still being polite. Smile on face. Murder on mind.
"Have you passed 35 yet?"
"Yes." Wife's politeness waning. Approaching the "Get-off-the-Couch-Lazy-Husband-and-Take-out-the-Friggin'-Garbage" mark that I've spent our marriage trying to avoid.

The woman could have ended it right there. But she continued:
"Well, I had my last child when I was 38. And let me tell you, I worry about not being around for his high school graduation and his wedding. But you know what?" Uh-oh. Here comes some of that sage advice that we are continually seeking from people that don't know us: "You can always adopt next time."

1 comment:

  1. That's the middle aged caucasian female mind for you. "Everyone must feel the same way I do, so let me tell them my thoughts on the subject,"

    ...even though no one cares about what their talking about, but them.

    I find the only way to combat such people is to politely say with a smile after they've given me their advice,"Why would I want to do that?"

    As if they were crazy. They usually get a deer-in-the-headlights look. Priceless.

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