(This is a bit of a rant, by definition somewhat irrational...but this is my blog, and I reserve the right to be irrational every now and again =))
So a friend of a friend, who lives in our neighborhood, invited Mr. M and I to a movie night later this month. We've interacted with this "friend of a friend" (I'll call her J) a few times, most recently when we were helping our mutual friend move. J has several children - I'm not sure how many, maybe 5? The youngest is an infant.
Anyway, J invited us to a movie night, out of the blue. My initial reaction was, "How nice! I'm flattered that they would think of us." I still had in my mind a conversation with a couple after the prayers for hope and healing event, where they told us that they recently moved to the area and have struggled to make Catholic friends because everyone else has kids and thus very different social lives. So I thought, "Neat! We're invited to get to know a family with kids, even though we don't have any."
It turns out we can't go to the movie night - we're just too busy. But here's what I need to vent about...before I could let J know "Thanks, but we can't make it. Maybe some other time?" she sent me an email, where she said she invited us because a mutual friend is coming (fine), because she thought we'd like the movie (fine), and "because it's usually easier for people without a bunch of kids to get away at night."
[Cue slight irrationality and overly-emotional reaction...]
....ouch! Here I thought we were invited because they thought we were a pleasant, interesting couple that they'd like to get to know since we live in the same neighborhood. Nope! We're just more convenient and more likely to make an evening event because, presumably unlike all their other friends, we don't have "a bunch of kids."
Her words touched that tender spot of insecurity where I'm convinced that the first thing people notice about us, and the last thing they remember, is that we don't have kids. Like it's our most defining feature. ("Is my infertility showing? Great, because it's all I think about too.")
I can picture her conversation with her husband:
"Who should we invite to our movie night?"
"How about ---? They're fun to be around."
"Nope, they have kids and probably couldn't come over that late."
"Oh. .... Well, how about Mr. and Mrs. M? They don't have kids."
I realize that conversation may or may not have happened: but it could have! I would never tell someone "we invited you to this because you have / don't have kids." !! Who cares? If they're fun people to be around, that's that. I don't tell my disabled friend "We wanted to hang out with you because we figure you never go anywhere, since you're in a wheelchair." etc.
I know I'm blowing this way out of proportion, and I'm sure J meant nothing by it. In her world where people get married and then have "a bunch of kids," it's just a normal, run-of-the-mill statement. And like I said, we can't go to their movie night anyway. But it's just one more "jab" that hurts the heart of this infertile woman.
Jesus, help me to forgive...help to me pray for J and not hold a grudge and offer up the pain of not having "a bunch of kids"...