Saturday, May 15, 2010

Okay, So I Lied....


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?

10 comments:

Dudette said...

I was asked this question by my hair stylist yesterday. Do you have kids? No, Do you want kids? (a very emphatic) No. Suddenly...no more questions and the blow dryer starts. I guess I was deemed as having nothing else important I could possibly talk about. I think it is sad that those of us who are childless by choice feel like we have to lie or wilt and hide behind our desires, or justify our decisions not to have children. I just don't want them. That should be enough.

IowaSkye said...

I don't think it was wrong to lie, it's your choice. I don't see any reason not to tell it like it is though. I understand the annoyance of having to explain to people why I'm not having children. But I also think the more people are open about their choice and why, then hopefully there will be more understanding and less judgment made towards those of us who are childfree. It's time people see that we are not have-nots, and that our choice is legimate and should be seen as such!

May said...

I also horrible about lying. I have do it hundreds of times even with close friends and it feels horrible because I feel they don't like the real me. I have done it because the few times I said I do not want kids to people other than my mother and my boyfriend everyone turned almost mad at me and I was humiliated being called a bad woman, selfish and once someone even compared me to her cat saying that her cat was better than me because she experienced giving birth.

Robin said...

When I was dating everyone wanted to know when I was going to get married. Then I got married and everyone wanted to know when I was going to have children. Now after 14 years of marriage, I get a lot of pathetic looks from people assuming it must be me. I understand not telling the truth. I have on occassion as well so I can continue on my way. But if all of us stop telling the truth it will never be accepted into society.

Kristine said...

Every time I read something like this, I get more excited about the next opportunity to tell someone I'm happily child-free. Up until a year ago, I had no idea there were so many of us. But I really think we need to talk about it more -- without excuses. Why can't we be just as happy to be without them as other people are to have them?

It's only shocking because it's a new concept to so many. Even the ones who act horrified may come to a different conclusion after giving it some thought.

Laura Scott said...

"Why can't we be just as happy to be without them as other people are to have them?"
So right Kristine!
I think our culture expects us to want kids or feel regret one day if we don't have them. I wish we didn't feel compelled to lie or deceive by ommission. Hopefully the day will come when we don't because the rest of the world will have caught up to the fact that it is possible to remain happily childfree and it's a perfectly healthy state of being.

Lisa Horstman said...

I think it would be interesting, when asked if you have kids, to say, "Why do you ask?" : D

Laura Scott said...

Lisa, hmmm that's a good one.

Laura Scott said...

Lisa, hmmm that's a good one.

bikegirl said...

The longer we keep explaining our decision to people, the longer they will retain the mindset that we should explain our decision to them.

If I were in that position, I would just tell the person that I don't need to explain myself to anybody.