Could someone out there please tell me when my reproductive organs became public domain? Also, could you tell me why? Seriously, if you have the answer, let me know.
I ask you this question because of the questions frequently being asked of me. The questions started around the time I turned thirty and have increased in frequency as well as intrusiveness ever since.
Work Colleague: “Mantha, can I see you in my office when you have a moment?”
Me: “Sure. I have time now.”
Work Colleague: “I’ve been meaning to ask you something. Have you thought about freezing your eggs?”
Me: No response. I was shocked into silence.
Work Colleague: “Well, have you?”
At this point I was still clueless as to what eggs this woman was referring to. Although we were colleagues we did occasionally have conversations that didn’t involve work. This is why I honestly thought her question was about cooking. As strange as it may sound, this woman, by her own admission is a terrible, cook. So I assumed her question was just a symptom of her lack of culinary skill.
Me: “Why would you freeze eggs? What are you trying to cook?”
Work Colleague: “Mantha, you’re so funny! I’m talking about your egg eggs!!! You know … (with a whisper) your reproductive eggs!” She said all this with a huge smile.
I’m still trying to figure out what made my colleague think that this was an appropriate line of questioning. I would never dream of saying to her, “Work Colleague, you keep wearing that ring on your wedding finger, referring to your boyfriend as your ‘husband’ and you live together. So when, oh when, do you plan to skip your behind down the aisle and make it official?”
And when people aren’t trying to interfere with my egg-eggs, they want to focus on ‘my girls’ and the rest of my body.
“You’d better hurry up and have some babies ASAP if you ever want a chance in hell of your breasts not sagging forever! You should see what happened to mine, and I had my kids when I was still in my twenties!!!”
Wow! Talk about motivation for having children: the preservation of your girls. As I’m not a goat, hence won’t be having ‘kids’ that will suckle from my teats, I’ll take my chances. I think I should mention that the woman who shared that lovely bit of advice was rather buxom. If I could give her some advice it would be to accept the fact that gravity, not her children, has played a bigger role in her sagging bosom. A proper bra wouldn’t hurt her either.
My absolute favourite of unsolicited, intrusive reproductive advice has to be the childbirth horror stories. I could fill pages with tales of tearing vaginas, multiple stitches, screaming for vodka bottles (not to drink, but to be knocked unconscious with) and all the rest. But, I won’t. The women who tell these stories (I had a friend who enjoyed sharing her birthing tales over dinner) tell them like war vets: the hospital is the battle ground, while the actual labour is the battle itself with all the requisite blood, gore and screaming.
Before any of you with children get your knickers in a twist, relax. I am not trying to belittle the labour/child birth experience. All I want is to know why some women take such obvious pleasure in sharing these horrific tales in one breath will encourage you in the very next to get pregnant? Why?
Honestly, I don’t understand why I (and other women like me) am being subject to all the above and sometimes worse. Why are these people so concerned about women like me who don’t have children? Let me put it in these terms: IT’S NUNYA BIZ-NIZZZZ!!!! Yes, I used slang and unconventional, nonsensical spelling. And I’ve done it for a reason: these rude and intrusive people don’t deserve to be spoken/written to properly. At the end of the day none of us really knows the intimate details of other peoples’ lives. This logically means that when you start grilling people on such personal matters as having a child, you could be really hurting them.
I believe that if I were a woman of a certain age I would never be subject to this sort of biological harassment (no I do not think I’m being overly dramatic).
In my opinion such women can’t be quantified by a numeric age. What they possess is a certain ‘air’ about them that commands respect and inspires a decent level of fear in the rude and stupid. If you need a few examples, look at women like Lena Horne, Rita Haywood, Sophia Loren and Phylicia Rashad: they have always been women of a certain age.
I can imagine the sort of answer the late Lena Horne, with that slightly gravelly tone in her voice, would have given my colleague: “Honey, why you so interested in my eggs? I think you’d be better off putting your mind to worrying about yourself and why you keep wearing that wedding ring when ain’t nobody has asked ‘Will you marry me…’ or said ‘I do’!”
I’m confident Sophia Loren would have handled my bosomy friend as effectively with an equally biting quip in her still accented English. I can hear her now: “I will ignore your last comment, but remind you that as a woman you should know how to care for your body properly and be woman enough to keep certain things private!”
I cannot wait until I become a woman of a certain age. I want to have that air that warns others not to ask me certain questions and if they can’t resist, that they’re doing so at their own peril. I think I’m just about there. But, I’ll know for sure when I’m able to tell the next person with questions about my having a child: “My dear, I’m not sure why you’re so concerned about my having children. But, between your spread hips and your hellion children, I believe you’ve sorted my birth control for the year!”
Laters & G’Night,