Monday, June 01, 2009

To Whom It May Concern:

Dear person who doesn't know me that well:

I realize that making small-talk is the socially acceptable thing to do, and I want you to know -- I don't mind small talk. In fact, I appreciate your effort.

But I'd also like to let you know that while asking about my preschooler is a perfectly delightful way to engage in said small talk, asking me if I'm "going to have another" is not. In fact, that kind of conversation is entirely the opposite of "small talk;" it is (I would dare say) rather "large talk." This question, much like asking the mother of multiples if she underwent fertility or the soon-to-be mother if she's had that baby yet, is better left unasked.

You see, the answer to the question is not simple. I could say no, and then you might ask why -- and again, the answer to that falls squarely under the umbrella of "large talk." Or I could say yes, and you might ask when -- but I think filling you in on those kinds of details might be considered "too much information." Or I could say I would love to, and we've tried, and I really want my daughter to have a sister or brother more than anything in the world but after three years it's beginning to look more & more like that may never happen --

But that answer might leave you feeling awkward, which really defeats the point of "small talk."

Don't get me wrong, I'm not angry or anything. And it's certainly not your fault because it's a question that dozens before you have asked as well. Somehow, somewhere along the line, society decided that it was alright to make these kinds of casual inquiries -- probably right about the same time we started watching The Real World and Big Brother and Jon & Kate + Eight, learning much more about perfect strangers than we ever had a right to know.

So let's make a deal, OK? You don't ask if we're going to have another, and I won't lie & say "oh, I don't know, maybe sometime, we'll just have to see..."

Because lies are not "small talk," they are "false talk." And I'm just not in to that sort of thing.

Thanks for your consideration.

Sara's mom

No comments: