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Mawidge

We were invited to a block party over the weekend. It was fun but as usual, odd.

TA and I were the only couple in our age group without a baby or a grown child. When we left, one of the guests yelled, “Hey next year you’d better come with a baby!”

To which I yelled back, “Yeah, we’ll get right on that!”

It was all in good fun, but it made me wonder: why do folks feel it’s ok to impose their procreative fantasies on people they’ve just met? Why is my company not enough? It kind of surprised me. What if I’d been barren? Or had just miscarried? Would they have still ordered me to have sex without protection? Or commanded me to adopt?

Weird.

Terence was also introduced as my boyfriendfiancé, one word. People just cannot wrap their brains around the fact that we are not married.

“You’re not married?”

“Nope.”

“Engaged?”

“Nope.”

“What if you want to have kids?”

“Last time I checked, you didn’t need to be married to do that.”

“Wouldn’t you rather be married, for the children’s sake?”

“For their sake, or for yours?”

When I was younger, I delighted in confounding people, but I don’t feel like explaining anymore. It’s a choice. Like your choice to wear a Nascar outfit that matches your beer cozy, that guy over there’s choice to eat meatballs with pineapple, that woman’s choice to go for a bike ride at sunset. My choice to attend this block party and try to make nice.

Freedom in action.

At a party in LA a few years ago, a woman said, “Oh, how long have you and boyfriend been dating?”

When I told her how long it had been and that it wasn’t really dating anymore, she sputtered, “Well when you say ‘boyfriend’ it’s more like a fly by night relationship.”

Piqued, I replied, “So when you and your husband were girlfriend/boyfriend, that was fly-by-night?”

“No of course not. We got married. But when you say ‘husband’ it’s like shorthand for long-term.” Her tone was so fucking patronizing, I wanted to poke her eyes out and say, “So it was fly-by-night until the second you repeated your vows? What about being his girlfriend was not committment?”

But instead I said, “Yeah, well, I’m not into shorthand for simpletons.”

I walked away after that. And accidentally ended up talking to her husband/shorthand who was overly flirtatious and made me very uncomfortable. Ick. I found out later that The Shorthand had tried feeling up a friend of mine under the dinner table, while his wife ate right across from them.

Maybe next year, TA and I will attend the block party with our bastard child and watch everyone’s eyes pinwheel into the backs of their heads.

9:57 a.m. - 2004-09-13

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