"No. I do not," I reply. And then "the look." Those of you who have gotten the look know exactly what I'm talking about... kinda like someone spoke to you in a foreign language. As if to say "uh, what? you're a woman in her 40's and you don't... have... children?!?!? I... uh... I've never conceived of such a thing!"
I hate that look. I hate the question more. I mean, seriously, where do people get off projecting their disdain and disappointment in my inability or failure to procreate! It never fails to be a swift kick in the gut that brings tears to my eyes and leaves a knot in my chest. What's worse is it always stays with me for days.
How I wish that I could just brush it off and not think about it any more. But it's hard not being part of the club- not having anything to contribute to the conversation. I have no children whose school work and ball games and ballet recitals to discuss. I'm not a home-room mom, or a soccer mom, or a pre-K contact/coordinator... or whatever the hell they're called! I have no one applying to colleges, getting ready for prom, or bringing home a questionable boyfriend. I've got nothing to say.
It's hard being childless in such a child-focused society... really, really hard.