Monday, February 22, 2010

Conversations in Hell

For anyone who knows me in real life, they would probably admit that I'm a fairly friendly person with an open type personality. I like to chat with people, and I’ve made a lot of friends over the years. This is a good thing, I can’t deny it, but having worked in this building for 10 years, occassionally you bump into someone you haven't seen in a long time, and the awkward conversation begins.

“I haven’t seen you in a while, what have you been up to?”

See…the thing about women with children, or soon-to-be-mothers, is that they can always default to their kids as a topic of conversation. Answers to the above question often go like this…

“Well the kids are getting soooo big now – Joey’s starting pre-school ½ days this year and Sandra has her first tooth!”


“Just waiting to see what this little one’s going to be.” (rubs belly and smiles)


“The kids are both enrolled in hockey, so I’ve become one of those annoying hockey mom’s. Hahahaaa!”

I hear it ALL the time. It’s an easy way out of a conversation when you have nothing of much interest to say about yourself. Don’t get me wrong, I’d do it myself – happily – because that’s life…eventually your world becomes all about the kids and THANK GOD for that because otherwise what the hell would you have to talk about? Admit it – you do it – especially when you’re annoyed that you have to have this conversation in the first place…after all, all you really wanted was to just get yourself a chai latte.

I found myself faced with this conversation the other day, and I might add for flavour, that it was a mere 20 minutes after I’d gotten the dreaded BFN phone call. It was unexpected (as they usually are) and the question was thrown at me like I was center stage with a spot light on me. And nothing…I’ve got nothing. Blanco de Mayo. I suppose my conversations could go like this…”

“Well we’ve just finished a SEVENTH fertility procedure…and I just found out it was negative!”


“Well yesterday…let’s see what did I do yesterday…oh that’s right I spent the day on the couch because everything was clean and there’s no kids to take care of…so…”


“My husband and I are very depressed these days, so we don’t really do much…plus we’re always broke from failed fertility treatments. You?”

Talking about planning a trip to New York or the Caribbean or enrolling in a course in the spring just sounds like you’re trying too hard (and would have been a lie) …so what I actually said was, “Oh, not a whole lot, what about you?” (deflection)

Now being a woman in her late 50’s I expected to hear stories of Florida or the Caribbean, about how they were buying a cottage up north, or something to do with work. Her reply?

“Well!!! I just became a grandmother for the first time!!!”

Urgh. Seriously? WTF Universe?


leslie said...

oh, honey = (

Tabitha said...

Oh no...I just caught up on my blogs, and I'm SO VERY Sorry to hear about this...I'll be praying for you...

the good eggs said...

Other people can be so stupid, but they can't help it, just like you can't help being honest. And I think you should say those things if you feel the need. It'll get rid of future conversations from hell...and maybe future conversations period.

I'm sorry about your BFN. I was hoping I'd come back to find other news.

S.I.F. said...

I am so sorry... I just don't even know what else to say. I got paired up with a women for a project recently, and she confided in me that she and her husband had just started trying... 3 weeks later she gleefully proclaimed they were pregnant.

I wanted to vomit.

I'm so sorry.

Anonymous said...

I can relate a teenie weenie bit to that cos I was married late in life - all my friends already did the deed and had growing children and that was their soul topic of information - mine - well it was nothing really apart from what bar I ended up hanging on to on a friday night after work, or what tripe tv I watched all weekend on my own - I remember a good friend saying to me - that my life was empty. I was totally shocked at her harshness and deeply upset and it's something that i will never forget her saying - well that was said 10 years before my life became full. I would say that people who gush about their off springs are the ones who don't have much else to say right now about their lives - it's an easy cop out!(those people who have had difficulty in achieving those off-springs are exempt from my post of course!)

Anonymous said...

Talking about your kids isn't a cop out for those who haven't had fertility issues.
When your kids are young - you don't have a rich and full personal adult life - that's expected.
You talk about what you're doing - which happens to be stuff with your kids.
We're talking about brief encounters with near strangers... which generally are all 'conversations in hell' regardless of your personal situation. Nobody is trying to be insensitive or cop out, just trying to get through their end of the 'conversation in hell'.

Lise - i say go for it with one of your honest answers - if for nothing else than your own amusement.

Keep smiling my friend.