Facebook has reunited me with many people from my past, including several from high school I hadn’t been in touch with since the evening of my graduation or earlier. Some of them have remained friends since that time, some of them were friends until we lost touch, and some were never more than mere acquaintances. Of these acquaintances, I’m vaguely curious about hearing where those people are in the world, but that’s about all.
As I acquired these Facebook friends, my friends update page started filling with profile photos of women’s large bellies, hundreds of snapshots from various toddler birthdays, idyllic (and completely unbelievable) family portraits of my acquaintances and their new families in matching sweaters, status updates about breastfeeding, results posted for the quiz “How many babies will you have?,” and more.
At one point, I updated my status to “Heather is amused at family portraits with matching sweaters” or something similar. And sadly, one of these acquaintances, who must have thought I was talking about her specifically, chose not to be my friend anymore!
Really though, I’ve never been much of a kid person. When I “catch up” with many of these same high school people, they often (especially if they’re female) ask if I’m married and/or have any children. Which probably proves we were never really friends, or they were never really paying attention. Of course offering back a simple “no” without editorial comment is a lot easier than delving into why I don’t really love children (except yours, of COURSE!), or my support for the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement. Or daring to say that I have never wanted to sacrifice my career or happiness for children. Or all the other things I could say that would be even more honest.
Instead of the brutal and unpopular truth, I’ve tried to become more accustomed to being around my friends’ offspring, remaining mostly open to new kid experiences. Some of these kids are great–I can sit and converse with them without wanting to tear out my hair. Other kids, not so much.
This adjustment has been mostly out of necessity, because it seems that almost all my peers are having children. I’m continually befuddled why they are doing this, but in the meantime, it helps make me slightly more socially acceptable.