Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

Defending Our Honor August 12, 2010

Last night I almost came to blows in defense of our collective honor. It was our last meal out on vacation and we were making it a good one–crisp tablecloths, fresh seafood, flowing wine–you get the picture. The restaurant had all but cleared out as I was sampling the delectable flavors of some homemade lavender ice cream, when I caught a snippet of conversation from the other remaining table.

“He’s very selfish,” said the man, “He doesn’t have children…”

As you can imagine, that caught my attention, so I craned my neck to hear more. Unfortunately I was too far away, but I did catch this:

“Yes, she hasn’t created the next generation. She has three step-children, of course, but that doesn’t count…”

Sisters, I was this close to marching over there and setting this bunch of old coots straight. How dare they assume this man didn’t have children because of his selfishness? How dare they suggest that this woman had an obligation to procreate to carry on some family line. How dare they suggest that raising someone else’s children isn’t a worthy role?

In the end, I decided these people were a lost cause, and that it wasn’t worth ruining my lovely dinner for the sake of their education. There are some people who just aren’t going to get it, no matter what. But I think that our generation is starting to understand and to value people for more than their ability to pop out heirs.

That having been said, when I walked past their table on the way out, you’d better believe I gave them my very best evil eye.


14 Responses to “Defending Our Honor”

  1. Lindy Says:

    Ooh that’s made my blood boil just reading that! Enjoy the rest of your holiday!

  2. You go, Lisa!

    How mean-spiritied and judgmental? How dare they cast dispersions on those of us who don’t have children for whatever reason!

    I stand in solidarity with you, sister! Thanks for having our collective back.

  3. Victoria Says:

    I agree with you. It seems to me nobody should have children if they don’t want them and that people who have trouble with fertility related issues should make the very best personal decisions for themselves.

    Coming from the childbearing world I’ve heard it said the other way too, having too many children is selfish adding to extra burdens in an overburdened world.

  4. Kelly Says:

    Good on you darl !! It must have taken alot to hold back and not want to whack them one !
    This day and age people are just so easy at judging others and its a real shame. I am sure there is a perfectly good reason “she” may not have procreated, or to just assume someone does not have kids it due selfishness and what not.
    ^5 girl !!

  5. Pamela Says:

    I’ve had my share of restaurant encounters (ahem!). Good thing I wasn’t there. The weirdest one of late for me was in NYC with three other infertile women. It was so unusual to gather in public that we dove right in to the whole experience rather enthusiastically. While we were trying to keep it down, “C” was admittedly talking louder than I would have about her cycles and the like. We were completely misunderstood by an indignant Frenchman dining in the vicinity. He was convinced we were all discussing our pregnancies and came over to dress us down for ruining his meal saying he had already raised his children and didn’t want to hear our mother talk. Talk about surreal!

    • Pamela,
      I am going back over some old posts and just came across this comment. I don’t even know how to respond to the. Surreal is about the only suitable description. Hopefully you’re laughing about this now. 🙂

  6. Kathryn Says:

    Maybe you should have loudly began talking about how selfish people are for having children!

    Your self-control is laudable. 🙂

    Hope your vacation has been fantastic. 🙂

  7. Kel Says:

    Arghhhhh, this infuriates me. The selfish slam is ridiculous. I swear, the folks that laid that on me, on some level they were/are jealous of my freedom, or they may have a kernel of regret about theirs?

    Good for you for restraining yourself, you would have wasted your time.

  8. […] @ 1:05 pm Tags: childless, Society, tolerance, workplace After last week’s post about the overheard conversation, I’ve been thinking a lot about tolerance and about trying to understand one another. I think […]

  9. lmanterfield Says:

    Age is a wonderful thing. In my younger days, I would have marched over and straightened them out! But you’re right, it would have been a waste of time and probably would have just given me heartburn. 😉

    • Jodi Says:

      I admire your self control. Can’t say I would have been able to exercise that!

      But I have to admit that all I could think about as I was reading your post was, “Yum…lavender ice cream. That sounds heavenly!” Haha!

  10. loribeth Says:

    Catching up on my post-vacation blog reading & posting. People ar so quick to judge, aren’t they?? :p

  11. […] explain, to show people the other side of the story, but we can’t force-feed that education. The people in the restaurant last week got my back up with their closed minded opinions, but stomping over there and giving them a piece […]

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