Foot in mouth disease
- Jun 2003
- Dec 2003 Archive
A few years ago, a friend of mine was going through a tough
time with her mother, who was suffering from Alzheimer's disease and getting
progressively worse every day. I didn't see my friend but about once a week (we
were both in a local community group), but I would usually try to inquire how
her mother was doing when I did have a chance to talk to her.
About 4-6 months into her mother's illness, our
group had a gathering of the group as a both a social occasion and to
install new board members. At the gathering, one of the board members mentioned
that my friend would not be there due to the situation with her mother. I
honestly do not remember if it was mentioned that my friend's mother had died
and she and her husband were out of town at the funeral.
Fast forward about 9 months. We're at a regular meeting of the
group and I asked my friend how her mother was doing. She replied, "Well,
she's still dead so I don't see much improvement these days." Boy, was my
face red! Fortunately my friend forgave my awful moment of foot in mouth
disease, and we are still friends.
My husband and I are expecting our first child in October. A
few days ago, we had a 3D ultrasound done. My mom, who was in town, accompanied
us. I'm adopted, so my mom is relatively new to the birthing process.
The man giving the ultrasound spent the first few minutes
checking the baby's sex. What he was looking at was projected on a big projector
screen at the front of the room, so we just sat there watching him. During this
time he didn't really give any indication of what he was looking for--I didn't
mind, as I was just excited to find out the sex, but I suppose it would have
been helpful for my mom. After a while, he said, "All right, I'm positive
that you're having a girl."
Response from my mom? "Are you sure?" Yes, he was.
"Really? I thought for sure it was a boy. I just kept seeing all these
First off--if it was a boy, there would only be one penis!!
I'm not giving birth to a litter of them! Second, I can't even imagine what the
ultrasound guy was thinking (but I do keep imaging the conversations he had with
his coworkers after we left!) My mom's a perv!
This is about a very strange personal introduction that happened
years ago. My twin sister and I were brought up in New York
City. After high school, she went onto an ivy league university and then
to medical school. I did neither of those things. It's well known
that she has always been the scholar and I---haven't. People don't talk
about it, to me at least. It's just the way it is. I
left New York and moved to our family's summer home in Connecticut, where
everyone knew both of us while we were growing up.
I was attending and working at the annual bazaar held by my
church. One of the church ladies I'd known all my life, Gladys, had a
relative visiting that I had never met. I knew several of her relatives,
and had played with most of her grandchildren. But I'd never met this one
woman. Being a polite lady, Gladys wanted to introduce me.
What does she say? "This is Laura. Her sister's a doctor in New
York." I felt completely invisible.
Every couple of weeks I go to the next town to get an allergy
injection. This is something I'm not crazy about doing, simply because I
don't like to be in doctor's offices. It's odd how some things try my
patience while other things, I don't care how long they take. Sitting
around a doctor's office is not something I like to take any longer than
necessary. For this reason, I loathe listening to people go on to the
allergy nurse about everything under the sun. I just want them to get
their shot and move on. Yeah, I know. Life in general doesn't
revolve around me. I'm learning that. This happened on
one of those days when someone's small talking with the nurse was annoying me.
I decided I would reassure the woman sitting next to me in the waiting area that
I would not hold things up when I got my shot. "I promise when I go
in I'll won't tell the nurse my life story." "I
don't mind," she said. "That's my husband."
This is my mum's story. It happened when she was a
teenager. She knew a boy in school that she couldn't bear. One day
she told another girl she couldn't stand him. To that the girl replied
defensively, "That's my brother." Without missing a beat my mum
responded, "Oh! Then I don't have to tell you about him, you
I have known my best friend, "Tammy", since
we were 15 years old and in high school together. We are incredibly close
and are very supportive of each other and are fiercely loyal to each
other. I don’t particularly care for Tammy’s boyfriend,
"Mark", but she seems to be happy and in love, so I’m doing my best
to be polite and accept that it doesn’t look like Mark will be going away any
time soon (they’ve been together for about 3 years now).
A few weeks ago, while hanging out at our social circle’s
favorite outdoor pub one Saturday afternoon, Tammy and I had stepped away for a
bit of “gal time”. Mark walks over to where "Fred" (my
boyfriend), "Peter" (a mutual friend), and "Bill" (another
friend) are standing and enjoying a drink. Mark has met Fred at previous
parties, so I have no clue why he did this: The guys are
talking and this and that, and out of the blue, Mark blurts out, "Ya know,
I don't like Tammy's best friend, Lucy (me)." Fred, Bill, and
Peter are stunned! Peter turns to Mark and wittily says, "Wow!
I really appreciate your candor and honesty............especially since Lucy's
boyfriend is standing next to you." Apparently, Mark suddenly
got a very surprised look on his face, looked at Fred, looked at Peter, looked
at Fred again, and then shrugged like it was no big deal and then walked off.
Fred, Billy, and Peter all busted out laughing while Fred commented, "At
least the feeling's mutual." Talk about putting your foot in your
mouth!! I’m just glad he had the good sense to walk away rather than
continue the verbal diarrhea as to why he doesn’t like me.
Tammy and I had a good laugh over the incident when we both found out about it
later that day. Tammy’s known for a long time that Mark and I would
never be good friends, but is proud that we can be civil to each other and
"play nice". Ever since, I just avoid Mark, and when I can't, I
just say some niceties (hello, how are you, etc) and then turn myself into
another conversation. I never bothered to ask Tammy if she
ever said anything to Mark about the incident.
I use to work the front door at a popular night club
checking peoples ID's as they entered the club. There was usually quite a line
out front and I almost always have a fellow doorman asking everyone to have
their ID's out as they get to the door. Typically I'm handed the ID card by the
patron, usually a drivers license, I look at the picture and information, look
up at the person, then hand them their ID back. If everything is in line I would
welcome them and gesture for them to proceed into the club. One particular embarrassing
night I was handed an ID with the picture of a person making what appeared to be
the silliest expression possible. Now, it's quite common for us door staff to
see some pretty God awful pictures of people, but this poor girl look as though
she was about to sneeze, pass gas, and vomit right as the picture was being
taken. I couldn't help but burst out laughing when I see the image on her ID. As
I go to hand her ID back, I look up, and you guessed it; that was her normal
look. She gives me what I would imagine was her dirty look, snatches the ID out
of my hand and says, ' what's so damn funny'. To which I had absolutely no
I was still recalling and cringing about this occurrence a few
months ago, so I finally decided to send it in. My sweet SIL, who would
never do anything to harm or badmouth anyone, unknowingly should have shoved a
foot way deep into her mouth. She and my brother were visiting at the same
time as my best friend and her husband. We were all talking about my
wildly varied extended family. Well, SIL was trying to describe one of our
more unfortunate cousins, and finally came out calling her "trailer
trash." She and my brother went on and on for a couple of minutes
about this "trailer park" bit, before it hit me suddenly, as I
recalled that my best friend grew up in a trailer park, in a very well kept
trailer home, at which I had visited her many times in high school and college.
Oh, the mortification! My friend never seemed to bat an eye, just kept
right on going with the conversation, but boy did I change that subject fast
(albeit waaaaay too late.) Anyhow, I could never bring myself to tell my
sister-in-law the faux pas she had committed, as she would have been equally
mortified, if not more. I had wondered if I should have warned her
beforehand, but seriously, it never occurred to me, and besides, I think that
would have been bad etiquette in itself, no?
I was working in the Human Resources (but then we called it
Personnel) department of a large company and it was my job to interview people
all day. Sometimes we got really backed up and we had to interview them as
quickly a spossible, then rush to the waiting room and call up the next
person from the application on top of the pile. One day I finished up, ran to
the waiting room, grabbed the top application and called out the applicant's
name. Unfortunately for me, he was Vietnamese and there was total
silence right after I yelled out, "Phuoc Qu" "Phuoc
Another time I had repeated the phrase "Do you want full
time or part time work?" to so many applicants that my tongue slipped and I
found myself asking a very distinguished exec. applicant if he wanted
"PULL time or FART time work". I was mortified, but he
replied, without missing a beat, that "Pull time" was best. I
hired him on the spot, just because he could think on his feet and carry off an
awkward situation so well.
I was born with a very painful hereditary disease that,
usually, older people develop in time. I look extremely healthy but, sometimes,
I go through long periods of being in agony. At all times, as well, I am too
weak to lift most things and I tire easily. I am usually very quiet about it and
do not complain a lot. If I need a rest, I just go take a nap.
My friends are wonderful about it. They wait when I walk
slower, take my things from me (without me even asking--and no, I do not put on
a pout face about it) to carry and so forth. And I do the nice things for them
that I can. It is just how we are. I take care of them in ways that I can, and
they take care of me in ways that they can.
My siblings are another matter. They were very lucky in
dodging the bullet on the disease.
When I ask for help carrying my luggage, help getting into the
trucks and SUVs they own (they are very high and I am very small), for one of
them to drive four blocks to the train station to get me, or if I need help
getting out of a chair, or must walk slower, the response is often quite
seriously put, "What, are you crippled?"
Yes, yes I am. Oops0923-07
I volunteer for a local non-profit on the weekends to
teach English to an older Middle-Eastern couple. The husband is always
very shy and polite. Although I'm sure the wife means well, she sometimes
has "foot in mouth" disease... During the first few months
of our lessons, I arrived one summer day wearing a tight-fitting knit top.
I am not fat, by any means, but admittedly, I had put on a few pounds.
After looking me up and down, the wife asked "You - pregnant?" I
shook my head and laughed it off and we went on with the lesson. The
comment must've motivated me, because I started working out daily, got on a
strict diet, & lost over 10 pounds during the next few months. She noticed,
& told me how skinny I looked. Perfect - because we were just starting
our "Healthy Eating" reading unit! I must've been wearing
something unflattering at a later lesson, because after looking (not-so-subtly)
at my mid-section, she AGAIN commented on my weight: "You still
exercising?" Eh, chalk it up to cultural differences.
In fact, it's probably MY fault! If I were a better teacher, I'd teach her
some cultural etiquette! haha"
My Catholic father and unbaptized, non-denominational mother
moved to a small town about a year and a half after I was born and joined the
Catholic parish there. They were remarried in a Catholic ceremony (the first was
non-denominational in their hometown) a few years later. Not only was there a
church in Tinytown, but there was a parish school as well. My father is the
product of a Catholic education in a much larger city, but my mother went
through the public school system and hated it. This led them to agree to send me
and my little brother to the Catholic school. Mostly, this turned out to be a
very beneficial situation because of smaller class sizes and a more advanced
curriculum. However, it did come with a few downsides.
The biggest downside came in the form of my second grade
teacher. Second grade was the year we all learned how to write in cursive and
had our first Reconciliation and First Communion -- important events for young
Catholics. Well, our teacher was a singularly righteous, outspoken woman, to put
it in polite terms, and she was VERY strongly Catholic.
The first sign that anything was wrong in my seven-year-old
world was that I was much quieter than normal at home. I was usually pretty
outgoing with my family, but suddenly I didn't want to talk if I could avoid it.
After several days of near-silence, my parents asked me what was wrong. I
What was wrong was the fact that my teacher had told me in no
uncertain terms that because my mother was not baptized, she was going to hell
if she died and we would be separated forever. Seven years old and I had been
told my mother was damned to burn for all eternity in the fiery pits. Lovely. I
was suddenly obsessed with the thought that not only could my mother die but
that she could suffer unending torment.
That was the final motivation my mother needed. She almost
immediately contacted the school and enrolled in RCIA classes. Her baptism was
the week after my First Communion. To this day, I'm disgusted that her
conversion was finally brought about by such an ugly comment to a child who was
not old enough to truly understand the conversation. Being reminded of the story
years later (when I WAS old enough to know what was going on) started my own
drift away from the Church, particularly oblivious, self-righteous old women
like my teacher. Whether I go back or find another denomination, at least I know
that I won't be pushed into a decision by my tearful child's fear that I'll burn
Thanks for letting me vent!
Many of us, as members of a singles group, took turns hosting
gatherings in our homes. Very commonly one room, usually the living room or
family room, would be empty of furniture due to the departing spouse having
taken it in the divorce.
One time I was attending a party at the home of
"Helen," a fairly new member of the group. She had a lovely house,
with a very large family room, but it held almost no furniture, just a love seat
and one table.
"Boy, Helen," I commiserated, "your husband
really cleaned you out, didn't he?" She gazed at me with the most baffled
expression, then replied, "But Gayle, MY husband died."
I’m a firm believer that no good deed goes unpunished.
Even though, I try to be as good a person as I can reasonably be. Here is
what usually happens to me when I try to “do the right thing”.
It was a hot August morning and my hubby and I decided to take
our son to the state fair. This is a huge event in our state and goes for
10 days. Parking can be expensive and often miles away, so we opted to
park at a lot that offered shuttle service to the fair. We timed it just
right and were first in line when the bus arrived. We boarded the bus and
sat in the three seats that are parallel with the aisle. Another family of
three did the same thing on the other side of the bus.
The bus gradually filled to capacity, meaning that all seats
were taken and the aisle was also filled with people standing. The last
people to board the bus were an elderly couple. The family across the
aisle from us put their daughter on the lap of one parent and allowed the
elderly lady to sit next to them. I pulled my son onto my lap and asked
the gentlemen if he would like to sit. He thankfully agreed.
I should mention that I’m not a petite woman, but I’m also
not obese. I think I look pretty good for having 3 kids! The man, in
an effort to be friendly, asked me if I minded him sitting so close and jokingly
asked if I was going to bite him. In playing along with his banter, I
replied. “Well, I don’t think I’ll bite you-but I am getting
hungry.” His immediate response, “You shouldn’t be hungry, it
doesn’t look like you’ve missed any meals.”
The silence after that statement was deafening. I could
tell that every one on the bus was wondering what I would do or say in response.
I just laughed it off and pretty much ignored him for the 5 minutes that were
left of our journey. My husband asked me if I’d ever squash up in an
effort to be nice to someone again. The jury is still out on that one.
A couple of years ago my then BF (now DH) and I were invited
to a work colleague's costume Halloween party. We had a great time choosing our
costumes my BF making an elaborate dead rock-climber outfit complete with rope,
helmet and fake injuries while I desperate for a chance to wear my new green
dress opted to get fairy wings and go as Tinker bell. Now my dress is one of
those babydoll style dresses that were popular a couple of years ago in a
greenish/teal color with beading on the top bit. Now the thing with these
dresses is they can make you look a little larger than you actually are but I
liked it because I do have a little bit of a belly and the style skimmed over it
nicely. While at the party I run into someone I knew from school's brother who recognized
me and we got chatting. Imagine my shock when suddenly as we're talking he puts
his hand on my belly and asks when I'm due. He very quickly realized his mistake
when my jaw hit the ground and shoved his hand off my stomach. Even if I had
been pregnant why this guy thought that meant he was allowed to touch me is
beyond me. He made his excuses and escaped and I have never worn that dress
since even though I adore it.
A couple of years ago, I was on a business trip with my
relatively new supervisor and a couple of other co-workers. Our supervisor
was engaged to a man from another state. She began speaking about how strange
people are in that area. Eventually, she remembered that I had told her my
sister had married a man from the same area that her fiancé is from. She asked
me if his family was "weird". Already somewhat appalled by this
conversation, I said that no, my beloved brother-in-law and his entire family
were lovely people. She asked his last name, which I told her "Herb".
She then said that while "Herb" would be a fine last name, but
how horrible it would be as a first name. She began to ridicule the name,
describing, unfavorably of course, what sort of person would be named
"Herbert". I interrupted, saying, "Actually, Herbert is my
father's name...and my grandfather's...and my great-grandfather's...and my
great-great-grandfather's..." She did shut up after this, as I and my
co-workers dissolved into horrified laughter.
I have a very dear friend whose father is the pastor of
our Baptist church. When we were in college, she started dating a guy, and
brought him home for us all to meet. After church, we were hanging around in the
sanctuary deciding where to go for lunch, and her boyfriend was looking at the
maps in the back of his Bible. We started discussing something when he flipped
to the map of a country that I had recently visited on a mission trip.
This particular map showed, in percentages, how many people
claimed to be "Christian." This country claimed that an overwhelming
number of people were considered Christian, and I was stunned! So I say,
"That can't be true, they're mostly Catholics!" (Keep in mind that I
had recently been to this country and while Catholicism was the predominant
religion, in many parts it was heavily laced with voo-doo-ism.)
And of course the boyfriend says, "Catholics are
Christians, too." At which point I am horribly embarrassed to remember that my
friend's boyfriend IS A CATHOLIC!!!
I apologized, and explained that I was only thinking of
protestant Christians, and about the kind of "Catholics" I had seen,
but I don't think he's forgiven me. I still feel terrible, and completely
Let me give a little background. My parents were happily
married for 37 years. Unfortunately, about the time their 5th child was born, my
mom was diagnosed with bipolar depression. She struggled with it for the next 20
or so years, and was a strong, productive woman in her adult and mothering
years. About the time I got married, she became very ill, and no medication or
treatment seemed to be able to help. She simply couldn't draw out of her
depression. Shortly after my son, her second grandchild, was born, mom committed
My dad didn't take long. He remarried about 6 months later, to
a lady I will call "Step". Step is a unique and interesting woman,
with a great personality. She's funny and smart and kind-hearted. And also
extremely tactless. Unfortunately, she seems to feel there is a battle royal
between her and my father's 5 children, most specifically the daughters. While I
do concede that my sisters, especially, resented the speedy remarriage of our
dad, we've become accustomed to it in the intervening years. At this point, the
main thing all of the children agree on is that we would like to have the
father-child dynamic back that Step has so thoroughly subverted. In any case, I
am the one daughter who Step gets along with, though it's not always for the
best (I don't really want to know about my father's sexual proclivities, as I
have mentioned to her quite firmly, several times).
Unfortunately, this tenuous relationship was strained almost
to the breaking point when Step had a fight with my dad. I don't recall what the
fight was about -- apparently my dad's something of a pack rat, which my family
has obviously learned to live with, seeing as we grew up with it. In any case,
she grew quite upset and fired off an incredibly insulting email to me about my
family. She called my dad spineless, and put the duration of my parents'
marriage down to my dad's obvious need for affection. She also had some choice
insults for my sisters and their "annoying" habit of calling once or
twice a week to have long catch-up chit-chats with their dad (she's quite proud
of the fact that her children are very independent and never call her). She also
bragged in the email about how she's taken to impeding the calls -- not giving
dad the messages, and pretending they're not home (dad has hearing aids) when
It was very upsetting.
I talked to my husband and my sisters, and decided that the
only adult thing to do was to talk to Step. Obviously, she had been upset when
she wrote the email, she didn't honestly feel this way or do this things -- that
would be outside the sphere of human decency, and I couldn't comprehend my
gentle, mature father putting up with it.
So I arranged a babysitter for my son and set up an
appointment where Step and I would have an hour or so of one on one time to
discuss the Email of Disaster. When I explained my reactions to the email, and
how it made me feel, she apologized, and explained that she had been really
angry and that she shouldn't have written it.
Okay, great. Stop there.
But she didn't. To my growing disbelief and horror, she
rattled on, justifying her actions by saying that at least I understood where
she was coming from, because I had to deal with this sort of thing too (yes, I
don't always see eye-to-eye with my family, but family is family!). Then she
started in my mom.
Okay, my mom wasn't an angel. She wasn't perfect, no human is.
Mom had her flaws, and I know this. I also know that she was my mom, and she
always tried her hardest to be kind and gracious. She made life good, and she
tried to be a wonderful person. She was active in her church and had many, many
friends. Her funeral was so well attended that the chapel had to be opened up
into the overflow and the gym to accommodate the amount of people. I love her
fiercely and with all my heart. You don't touch my mom.
For some reason, having married my father, Step feels that she
now knows my mom, and my mom is fair game -- and she started in about how my
sisters and I have held her up to be a paragon of perfection, and she really
wasn't. Then came the kicker. Step laughed and said, "Why, I've been told
by quite a few people at church that your mom was actually something of a
I just stared at her for a moment, then said something to the
effect of, "Then they didn't have any real contact with her, and didn't
know her at all," before making my excuses and leaving.
How do you respond to that? I tried to talk to my dad about a
week later, after I got over my shock, but he brushed it off. My siblings and I
have accepted the fact that the Queen of Tactlessness is now ruling the roost in
our childhood home, and simply try to keep our mouths shut about personal
In college I worked part-time at a small office with a few
other people, including a lovely lady named "Jolyn" (pronounced
"Joe Lynn"). An unusual name, and often mispronounced with humorous
results. One day I was answering the phone, and a woman asked for
"Jolene" (as in the Dolly Parton song). I smilingly put down the
receiver and said "Jolene, you're wanted on the phone." What I didn't
know was that her husband had just been teasing her by calling her that name.
She smiled back and strode to the phone, as our co-worker said, "Oh, it
must be her husband." Before I could process this and say "No, it's
not," she grabbed the receiver and boomed, "It's Jolyn, not
Jolene!" Followed immediately by a very quiet and awkward conversation with
some poor misinformed woman in another department. I still feel guilty about
that, though it was ultimately as much her fault as it was mine for jumping to
Alright, so I've been to some graduation parties at my church
before and usually they are quite boring, mundane affairs with people sitting at
tables doing nothing. The one I am writing about isn't much different, but I
heard the most hilariously gauche conversation that I had to share.
Alright. The young man who was graduating (lets call him Johnny) had his party
planned for a Friday night. Unfortunately his grandfather passed away 2 days
before. What to do? Since all of the relatives were already coming for the grad
party, they planned the wake for the same night! Thus a huge crowd of
post-wake family members made up most of the graduation party. Afterwards, I
overheard the mother mentioning that since there was so much cake left over, she
would be bringing to the funeral dinner the next day! One last note,
since half the cake had been eaten, instead of "Congratulations
Johnny!" it just said "Congratulations."
When my husband and I purchased our house, I immediately began
scouring the Internet and applying to as many "Home Improvement" type
TV shows as I could find. We'd purchased a real fixer-upper and, being big
fans of home improvement shows, what could be more fun?
Lo' and behold, after going through an exhaustive application
process, we were selected to be on a show that focused on single-room
renovations. It wasn't free to us, but the show / producers covered the
bulk of the budget, and considering the deplorable state of the room in
question, it saved us an enormous amount of work and money.
My husband and I are involved in a few local organizations,
and are familiar with two women -- a couple -- who are also frequently involved.
The "wife", in this case, gets on my nerves; she can come off as
somewhat crude and abrasive, and her partner constantly places her in charge of
designing all the invitations and literature to whatever project we're working
on. I'm in Marketing by trade -- I do graphic and print design for a
living -- but every single design project is handed over to this woman, without
even asking for other volunteers or participants, who then proceeds to mangle
something out of Word, covered in clip art, which looks terrible and
unprofessional. Meanwhile, I usually get stuck doing mindless busywork.
They're otherwise well-meaning people, so I don't say
anything. At one of the organization meetings, my husband and I mentioned that
we were selected to be on the show. Most everyone was excited at the
opportunity, but this woman snorts and goes, "What sob story did you tell
them to get THAT?"
I assume she's referring to the show "Extreme Home
Makeover", which features complete home demolition and reconstruction for
families that have been through some significant, life-changing tragedy.
Nevermind that there are probably 50 other home-improvement shows on the air
right now, all of which are about general home design and renovation, and are
not charitable give-aways to the people who participate.
What would she have done if I'd turned to her and said,
"I lost my entire family in a house fire," or "We had three
children that were killed in a car accident." Would that have been enough
of "sob story" for her?
Even if her manner and the "favoritism" wasn't
enough to rub me the wrong way, this woman is a crude boor, and needs to learn
to think before she speaks.
I have been at my current job for five months now. I work for
a well respected mid-sized law firm in a busy metropolitan area. Being a law
student I work days at the law firm as a litigation assistant. I enjoy my job
immensely but the office manager is a piece of work.
One day, I went to the restroom to discover that my period had
arrived a few days early. I thought nothing of it, took care of it and sat down
at my desk. Not even ten minutes later I get a call from my doctor to give me my
test results of some routine blood work I had gotten done. She informed me that
I WAS PREGNANT. I was shocked needless to say. I was 22, a newlywed married, in
a new state and pregnant. I told my doctor what I had just discovered in the
bathroom and she instructs me to go to the emergency room immediately. Both of
my bosses are men so I went to the female office manager to explain my
I told her that I just received a phone call from my doctor
informing me that I was pregnant AND that I had started my period. I also told
her that I had to go to the hospital immediately per my doctors orders because I
was evidently having a miscarriage. She asked me which hospital I was going to
(odd question) and I told her that I would be going to the one closest to my
husband’s office so he could meet me there. She said, “Be careful, when they
bring food in your room they don’t bring you pepper, just salt. Ask for
pepper”. I gave her a blank stare and said, “Okay”. I told her that I had
to leave and as I am walking out the door she screams, “CONGRATULATIONS!”.
Congratulations??!! I am having a miscarriage and you tell me
about the hospital food and congratulating me? If I had been devastated by the
news she probably would have really made me feel like garbage. You do not tell a
woman who is currently miscarrying congratulations. What was she thinking?!
My husband and I had been privately struggling with
infertility for about a year when we were invited to a dinner party. There
were about 12 guests altogether, and though some of them were acquaintances,
none knew about our situation. The host couple were lovely people, and we
learned in the normal course of chit-chat that they had been married for about
ten years. They showed us around their home and we all sat down to dinner.
During the course of the meal, the hostess got up from the table and went into
the kitchen to refill glasses or do some other task. At that point one of
the guests turned and asked the host husband if the couple had any kids.
Now I thought it was pretty obvious from the lack of toys, noticeably absent
photographs of little people, etc in the home that these people did not have
children, but I figured she was just making conversation or something (and maybe
I was a bit sensitive to that question at the time). The host replied that
no, they did not. And the woman's response? "Well, if you
decide to, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT. We have four, and they are so
wonderful." What?!? Are you a complete idiot? These
people have been married for ten years and they have no children. Either
they don't want any or they can't have any. And goodness knows, they were
certainly not waiting around for you to recommend it before they decided to get
started. Geez. That was over five years ago and I still am amazed at
how thoughtless she was. Thank goodness that poor hostess was not in the
room to hear it.
Page Last Updated September 18, 2008