Friday, December 13, 2013

Oprah and Me

It's not often I find myself in league with Oprah Winfrey, but today's one of those rare occasions.

In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Oprah Winfrey, who single-handedly changed the broadcasting and publishing industry, who consistently makes the Forbes list of highest paid people, who is, well, OPRAH, still has to answer questions about why she doesn't have children.

Graciously, she deigns to answer those questions. But why should she have to? Why must a woman have reproduced to be considered whole? It's certainly not a question men get.

Many of the people like me, people without our own children, glory in our nieces and nephews, cousins and others and have plenty of love to give without feeling the burning need to bring another person into this crazy, mixed-up world. And yet, those among us who remain child-free continually get asked why we didn't get on the Mommy Train.

Somehow, people don't think it's rude to ask why I haven't given birth, but somehow I know it is not acceptable to ask a woman why on earth she -did- give birth: 'You know your husband is nasty, right? You don't have a job, you're emotionally a mess, you're not, um, very good at it...'

It's OK to admit it - there are actually crappy mothers out there, and you have met them.

Why can't we ask those tough questions of the mothers, but childless me is left stammering and red-faced at family gatherings trying to come up with a gracious answer to a rude question?

Just once, I would like to reply to a Judgy Questioner, "I love my children too much to put them in a playgroup with yours." But that would just get me into trouble, wouldn't it?

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