Incident Report

October 29, 2008

We’re home.

Remember how I declared that I wouldn’t be seeing any friends with children nor the newly married about-to-get-pregnant couple during our trip this weekend? It turns out that DH didn’t read my blog nor ask for my opinion before he invited them all out for drinks with us. Oops! The newlyweds and one set of parents joined the singles in welcoming us to town. Luckily, babies aren’t allowed in trendy bars, so it was mostly grownup talk. There was definitely a grass-is-greener moment when we realized that in the time since DH and I travelled to eastern Europe and then to Asia, the mom has spent exactly one evening out with her husband. Since she doesn’t know about our IF, she coveted our life out loud, and we coveted her life silently a little bit — just the baby part; both of us would trade the world travel for babies, but we’re very happy with the other aspects of our lives.

Both couples (parents and non-parents) mentioned that they had to get up early the next day to attend the first birthday party of the child of Mr. Dad and Anti-Mom. Mr. Dad, as in (formerly) one of DH’s closest friends for decades, but less and less so since he got together with and then married the Anti-Mom. If you paid me $10k I wouldn’t go to that baby’s birthday party, but it still annoyed us to be excluded. Mr. Dad had known for a couple of months that we were coming to town. This means that either he (a) made a conscious decision not to invite us, (b) never considered inviting us, (c) wanted to invite us but was overruled by Anti-Mom. Regardless of how it shook out, DH has declared that he no longer expects anything from Mr. Dad in terms of consideration or friendship. I guess that crosses one obligatory visit off of our list for the next visit.

You’ll also recall that I mentioned That Guy and his impulsive attempts to drag married friends all around the world. Guess what? We spent a couple of hours hanging out with That Guy and a different newlywed couple (not really our friends, so not on the list from the other day), and within 24 hours the newlywed husband, That Guy, and DH had all booked plane tickets to Vegas. Oh, That Guy, you never disappoint. At least something in life is predictable.

At one point, they were trying to figure out if another friend would join them in Vegas. That Guy said, “Naaah, he’s married.” I pointed out that DH is married. “You’ve been married so long that it doesn’t count.”

Finally, the incident. In my last post I alluded to an incident that occurred with family. Specifically, DH’s stepmother, who, by the way, dealt with infertility and recurrent miscarriage herself once upon a time.

We were at a big family dinner. As I happened to be excusing myself from the table to go to the bathroom, someone asked where our next big trip will be. I said cheerfully as I walked away from the table, “Nowhere.” What I meant is that we’ve had so many international trips in the past year that we’re a little travelled out. I was barely within earshot when I heard DH’s stepmom ask DH eagerly, “Does that mean I will have a grandchild soon?” When I got back to the table, the subject had been changed.

Later that night, DH told me what had happened. After that question, he shot his stepmom the Look of Death and said with controlled rage, “Don’t do that. Don’t. Ever. Especially in front of Baby Smiling.” Stepmom clammed up. A few minutes later, she caught DH’s eye and mouthed silently, “Sorry.” DH declared to me his certainty that she will never make another little comment again.

That is the whole incident. I bet you thought there would be more to it.

I’m torn about it, really. I immensely appreciate DH sticking up for me, and it would be great if that really means an end to her little comments (which are not constant, nor malicious, nor particularly intrusive, but still unwelcome and hurtful). But I feel like he outed us in a certain way, gave away too much about our real feelings. I suppose if she really isn’t going to bring anything up then it doesn’t matter that much what she conjectures about our childbearing plans or abilities. DH insists that I have nothing to worry about. I maintain that her nosiness cannot be contained for long.

For the rest of the visit, I was on edge whenever I was alone with her, including a Girls’ Day Out the following day that we had already planned. Afraid that she would broach the subject and ask why he’d been so angry, why we’ve waited so long, if anything is wrong, blah blah. But she never mentioned anything about children, reproduction, or the incident. Instead we talked the whole time about some conflict she’s been having with other family members. Fine with me. I can talk about other people’s heartache and drama as long as you’d like, as long as we steer clear of me.

Open-minded, closed-mouthed, closed-hearted; that’s who I’ve become, apparently.