Sunday, October 7, 2007
Yesterday was a beautiful fall day in my part of the world. As a lover of this all-to-fleeting season, I never miss a chance to enjoy some time outside. The leaves are almost at peak and I know that fair weather isn't likely to last much longer. Yesterday also happened to be homecoming at husband's and my alma mater. Football is another reason I love autumn so it was a no brainer that we would go enjoy the day with old college classmates and friends. Of course I can't leave home without my IF baggage, no matter how hard I try to unchain it from myself. Unfortunately this particular afternoon, as it turned out, the vultures were hungry. To set the scene, it was your basic family bonanza. As usual, everyone had loaded up their SUVs and minivans with their offspring dressed in cute little university t-shirts and onesies. Hell, just like we probably would if we had any kids to bring. Many of these people we now see rarely, so the questions are wincingly inevitable. Yesterday, however, there was an extra level of presumption in the air. Within minutes of each other I was asked both "where are your kids?" and "how many kids do you have?" Having mentally prepared myself for the equally invasive but slightly less jarring "do you have kids?" I was caught off guard by these brave inquiries. My answer to the first question was: "my WHAT?", accompanied by a look that practically knocked the asker back a foot. I realized we weren't in Kansas anymore and the vultures in question were used to an atmosphere in which procreation wasn't a question of IF, but HOW MANY. Shortly after my trip through the gauntlet, dear husband found himself one among a circle of old college buddies whose conversation had turned to vasectomy talk. When he shook his head and attempted to extract himself from the group, he was ribbed by the guys about how it was most certainly in his future, too. Apparently my reality is your reality as far as they are concerned. Never mind that we are clearly living in an alternate universe. The postlogue to all of this is that we somehow managed not to let all of it sour our day - or at least not as much as it would have a few months ago. Instead I somehow managed to sustain a feeling that I was somehow more enlightened than they were...like possibly I have reached some sort of plane where I look at other people and don't assume or presume that we are all walking the same path or living the same reality. I didn't mind that our stripes didn't match theirs. I just could have done without them trying to paint some on us.