Jen Kirkman, a stand-up comedian from LA tweeted me her sad/comic story of being lectured by a manicurist for not having kids. The next time she was queried in a salon she, well, lied and pretended to be pregnant. It all started when a manicurist saw her wedding ring and asked if she had kids.
When I told a Korean manicurist that I did not and put my nose back in my magazine, she stopped filing and squeezed my hand until I made eye contact with her. She scolded me saying that in her country to choose not to give a man a child and a parent a grand-child is a sin against the family and woman-hood. (I so wanted to ask, “So, aren’t you glad you are no longer living in that country?”)
She told me that I would change my mind and predicted my grim future of changing my mind when it’s too late and I have no eggs left!
So what did Jen do the next time she was asked by a manicurist “Are you a mother?”
I said, “No.” She said, “I’m sorry.” I said, “That’s okay.” She said, “Do you want to be a mother?” I sat still. How would I answer this in a way that allowed me to go back to reading? She said, “You not ready yet but you will be a mother.” So I said to her, “Well, if you can keep a secret….” and I nodded to my stomach. She said, “How long?” I said, “We haven’t told anyone yet. Very early.” She waved me off. “Okay, okay. I see. I see. Just a few weeks along. I ask no more.”This story cracked me up because I have passed as tragically childless just to avoid having to explain. In fact I did it today when I was volunteering as a ball spotter for a junior golf tournament. A fellow volunteer asked if I had kids and I just said “No.” He gave me the pity frown. I though briefly about adding “by choice” but I wanted to get back to my side of the fairway and watch for incoming golf balls.
Was I wrong?