October 24, 2008
Right now we are in a city where many of my in-laws and a large number of our friends live. We’re only here for a few days, but if we were diligent and dutiful, there are literally 12 sets of people that we should be visiting at some point. We used to attempt those whirlwinds, driving all over town from one house to the next or gathering several of them together at lunch and then a few others at dinner, but not anymore. Now, it would be just fine with me if I didn’t see some of them for years. Can you guess which ones?
Here’s a hint: Their lifestyle choices don’t sit well with me.
Did you figure it out? No, not our gay friends. I’m actually particularly thrilled to see them (more on that in the next post).
It’s the friends with children.
Never mind that several of them were in our wedding, or that DH was in theirs. Never mind that he’s been friends with some of them since he was 5 years old. He is free to see anyone he wants, but I am not going to another person’s house to “meet the baby.” Especially now that it’s baby #2 for most of them.
By my count, we have 8 sets of friends in this city. Four of them are couples who have children (including Mr. Dad and Anti-Mom, as well as three couples where we can actually tolerate both people) — 7 kids total among them. None of them has been married as long as DH and I.
Another couple very recently got married, and declared specific childbearing intentions repeatedly at their wedding. Having been married for four months, they don’t have a baby yet — emphasis on the yet. I fully expect that if I go to see them in person, I am guaranteed to hear a pregnancy announcement. No thanks.
That leaves three single friends.
One of them is my friend who used to work with me in a different city. Whenever we get together, we talk about careers, mutual friends, and her misadventures in online dating. Easy breezy.
Another one is That Guy, the perpetually single guy. C’mon, every husband has one of those friends, right? That Guy whose sexual conquests number in the thousands. That Guy who randomly calls your husband and says, “Hey, what are you doing this weekend? Do you want to go to Cancun?” That Guy who routinely picks completely absurd girlfriends, and on the rare occasion that he finds a normal girl, very quickly ruins the relationship. That Guy who may never get married — and you kind of hope he never does, for the sake of womankind. He’s also That Guy that most wives can’t stand. I say, bring him on.
The last of the singles is a close friend of both of ours. He knows all about our IF, and even insists on regular updates on our treatment progress. We can talk about anything and everything, including the hard stuff. But, most of the time, he and DH talk about cartoons, or we all chit-chat and gossip, or we deliberate about whether to get sucked into the nightclub vortex of That Guy.
You heard me right, folks. I would rather go to a sleazy nightclub and watch That Guy ooze slime onto scores of women than have a cup of tea with perfectly pleasant friends who happen to have a baby or two.
My infantiphobia isn’t based in a fear of babies, nor a fear of binkies nor breast pumps nor childproofed electrical outlets. It’s an avoidance of Those Questions. And not even Those Questions themselves, as much as the potential for Those Questions to be asked. When my single girlfriend blurts out in her bubbly voice, “So, when are you going to have babies?” it’s entirely different. She is asking from the perspective of someone who is not as far along in the Game of Life as I am, who’s looking ahead on the game board to check out the terrain. The people who have already passed me on the board, with their little plastic cars full of teeny plastic pink and blue pegs — those are the ones I don’t want to play with anymore.
Tune in tomorrow to find out what other types of longtime players I am still allowing in the game — and what kind of new players we’ve been recruiting!