Thursday, July 9, 2009

Questions, questions

Apparently people only know four questions related to pregnancy. They are, in order:

  • When are you due?
  • Is it a boy or a girl?
  • Have you picked out a name?
  • Are you excited?
I understand and appreciate that these people are happy for me and want to show their interest, and since they don't know me these questions are their polite method for doing so. But seriously, people. You don't know me. Why would you actually care what my kid's name is going to be? If I say "Yes, but we're not sharing it," as some people do, will you feel you have a right to be offended? And am I really supposed to say anything other than "Yes" to that last question? It's as bad as people who say "How are you?" when they're speeding past you in a hallway and are clearly substituting the question for "Hi," or the old-time "How do you do" (to which the only acceptable answer is "How do you do"). I almost enjoyed the variation that one of my coworkers threw in the other day, though it kind of appalled me as well: "Did you guys particularly want a girl, or did you not care?" After all, she was inviting me--begging me, almost--to say "Actually, we really wanted a boy. We hate the idea of a girl. We're not sure we're going to keep her."

Relatedly, I got my first "Are you sure you're still pregnant?" call recently. I'd been warned about these, when people call to say "You didn't have the baby and forget to tell me, did you?" I can understand the impulse; Eric's waiting on the result of an interview and I keep wanting to ask him "Have you heard anything?" even though I know perfectly well that he'll tell me as soon as he gets any news. But do they really expect me to say, "Oh, right, I did spend two days in a hospital extruding a whole new person out of my body. Totally slipped my mind or I would have mentioned it" or "Yes, I had the baby, but I didn't care enough about you to tell you" or maybe "Why yes, as a matter of fact, I did have the baby. She's sweetly asleep on a perfectly made bed with rose petals scattered around her and I've just sat down after my manicure to consider penning a few haiku in silver calligraphy to announce her birth, but gosh darn it, you've anticipated me"?

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