Friday, January 5, 2018

No one should even ask

It's very rare that I am asked to write on a particular subject, but after a conversation with a friend this week, she said, "Would you please blog about that?"

Sure! I can ramble on about that for her. In fact, if any of you reading this have a subject you are interested in my take on, let me know. I'll prattle for you too. Settle in and get ready for me to jump around without a clear train of thought. Explaining how I got from one thought to another was how I started off a conversation with a friend this week.

Among the many subjects my friend and I talked about in a long and winding conversation was how it was a slow news week where the biggest story floating around was the news that Chip and Joanna Gaines of Fixer Upper fame are expecting their fifth child. I'm pretty sure every news outlet out there covered it. It was in every daily e-letter I subscribe to at work (to screen for media hits) because they have published books with a Christian publisher.

Congratulations to Chip and Joanna! No hate or disrespect to them in any way, but can I make an honest confession? I could not care less about the news. I also don't understand why people have posted on social media about how excited they are for the Gaines' as if they are close personal friends.

Now, I have several theories on my apathy on the subject.

  1. I'm simply not a fan. I could watch HGTV for hours on end (and often do), but I cannot watch Fixer Upper. Some people, like my mom, get annoyed with Chip acting silly, but something about her grates on me too. I don't mean that as an attack on her character. I realize I annoy some people too. I also am not into farmhouse style and like color more than she does. I live within an hour of the Magnolia silos, but I have no desire to pay to park and stand in line to buy white decor items.
  2. I think everyone has a weird worship complex going on with them because they are Christians which is counter to Christianity. They are just people trying to live right like a lot of us. I don't think it's their fault people put them on a pedestal. When that happens, my leanings go the opposite way.
  3. I'm not a warm fuzzy person. I think there's something wrong with me. I really do. I simply don't have a big emotional response or connection to people and their news unless I am really close to them. I hate to admit it, but I don't get excited or happy over engagements and baby news in most cases.  I feel like a cold-hearted person. Am I just jealous? (That said, I am very happy for a friend who got engaged a few weeks ago. She has been through a lot, and she's getting a second chance at a life with someone who loves her and takes care of her.) 
  4. Maybe it takes being a parent to be happy about such news. I'm not a parent and maybe I just don't get it on the same level. I was really excited for a friend when she became an aunt a few years ago. As an aunt myself, I understood that.
  5. It simply does not concern me or my life in any way whatsoever. 
This leads me to the point that my friend wanted me to blog about. The reason actually had nothing to do with the Gaines family. Great for Chip and Jo Jo wanting to grow their family. It was their choice (or I don't know, maybe it was a surprise), but it's their business and their life. No one else's, no matter how well-meaning they may be.

My friend and I had actually been joking with pregnancy topics all week. We had joked about someone could get pregnant and have a baby before a certain something comes to fruition. We had joked someone's behavior could be pregnancy related. We had joked about me having no concept of time anymore, and no, a certain event didn't happen 9 months ago.

That's where the joking ended. The conversation got serious. My friend confided that well-meaning (yet at times pushy) friends and family had already started asking her when she was going to have a baby. Just in case she wants to share this post, I won't say how short of a time she has been married. Let's just say a kindergartener could easily count to the number of days since the wedding. (Maybe your five or six year old can count to 1000. I don't know.)

I'm pretty sure she knew that following the wedding it wouldn't take long before people started asking how soon a baby would come. I'm pretty sure any new bride knows it's only a matter of time before the question comes. However, I think most of the time when that happens it's mostly an annoying joke. Not for her. It's a pretty serious push towards motherhood.

You know what? It's her business, and her husband's business, and not anyone else's.

No one should even ask.

No one should even ask because maybe the couple needs time to adjust to all the changes of the past year before adding another humongous life change into the mix.

No one should ask because maybe one or both of them is not ready for that step. If one of them is and one of them isn't, that's an uncomfortable and awkward conversation.

No one should ask because maybe it's in the plans, but just not right now.

No one should ask because maybe they don't want children.

No one should ask because sometimes pregnancy doesn't come easily.

No one should ask because of any sensitive subject of the past that may be a factor.

No one should ask because you just don't know what can of worms the question opens.

No one should even ask because it's not their decision and it does not make the direct impact on their lives as it does the couple in question.

If the day comes, congratulate them on their news, celebrate with them, or share the news to the world via social media. Many people will be quite happy, though maybe not as many people as giddy as they are that Chip posted a pic of Jo Jo's baby bump. But until then, let their business be their business. If it doesn't impact your daily life, don't ask just to make conversation. Find another way to make conversation.

*Side note: Don't start the conversation with, "How was your Christmas?" That's another one of those can openers. Maybe I'll go down that track that split off from this one some other time.

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