This week: Something you’ve always regretted saying.
As some of you know, I do not have any children. And I’m very comfortable with this, as is my husband. It was a choice we made when we first got together and we have not regretted it. But we know that we are definitely in the minority.
One night we went to a pub for a reunion of sorts for my husband; some members of his high school graduating class were getting together to catch up. We got there and I was introduced to a great group of people. The conversation soon turned to children. From what I could gather they were all parents and were soon discussing each of their offspring’s exploits in detail. I sat there with a polite smile on my face. It wasn’t like they didn’t include me but they asked if we had children and when I said no there really wasn’t further to go with that. They were not being rude in any respect; I just felt a bit out of place with nothing to contribute to the conversation. And again as some of you know, I really love to talk.
Then another lady, a latecomer, joined the table. After introducing herself and apologizing for being late, she became as quiet as me as the conversation turned back to its original flow of diapers and tantrums and kindergarten. I noticed this and, suspecting a fellow child-less woman, asked her if she had children. She said no. I immediately put up my hand as if for a high-five and said, “Thank goodness, finally someone else who doesn’t have kids. Gimme five, sistah!” And yes I did actually say “sistah”. I immediately knew from the stricken look on her face that I had made a grave error. In a small voice she explained that she and her husband had been trying for a number of years and were on their fourth attempt at in vitro fertilization. Then it was my turn to look stricken. I had been rather eager in my request for a high-five so the whole table had ceased their conversation to look at me, and subsequently they had heard our exchange, every word. After apologizing about six times I quickly headed to the washroom, and we left soon after.
Once again the universe conspired to teach me the following lesson: think before you speak.
Next week: Write a scene that begins: “Joe was the last person on Earth I expected to do that.”
This is the latest exercise in my 642 Things to Write About Project. Click on the link to find out more, or click on the category 642 Things to Write About Project to read past exercises. 🙂