Thursday, September 22, 2005

Mind yer beeswax.

There's a baby in the office today. You know the routine. The person that everyone erased from their memory the moment the "You're Having a Baby!!!" balloon floated out of sight down the stairwell on their last day turns up six months later, exhausted and with unbrushed hair and yesterday's shirt buttoned up wrong, lugging a tired miserable baby who can't figure out why Balamory isn't on this morning. Colleagues, both close "friends" and that odd woman from Accounts who smells of biscuits and cat, flock to ooh and aah over the squealing chubby monster while the hapless mother bravely fields questions that range from the mildly intrusive ("so are you still breastfeeding? how many months is that now?") to the downright personal ("so how long did it take for that vaginal tear to heal?"). And for some reason, if I venture to within fifty paces of someone else's baby, I become fair game for a little light interrogation myself. As the Other Half and I both work for the same company, although on different floors, our relationship seems to be the preserve of the entire workforce. We are routinely asked (often by people we don't actually know that well) about how our divorces are going, whether we'll be living together soon, how he's getting on with Small Person etc. It's also a regular occurence, particularly when I'm within brooding range of someone else's child, that someone will blatantly enquire as to whether we'll be procreating anytime soon. Aside from the fact that it's nobody else's business, I often wonder what possesses someone to ask something so intimate. What next? Will I be expected to send a round-robin email detailing our sex life? Put something on the bulletin board regarding our underwear selection that day? Click "forward" and copy the entire company, from the Board down, in on that email conversation we just had about the weekend?

In other news, there's a family gathering this weekend. It's an emotional minefield - more later.

I'm hungry.

16 Comments:

Anonymous Other Half chimed in with...

Do what I do hon...tell 'em all to F*CK OFF !!! Either that or tell 'em I'm a eunuch hehehe.

22 September, 2005 13:36  
Blogger Urban Chick chimed in with...

choose your occasion and offer way more information than they might have bargained for ("ooh, ooh - i think that third degree tear is splitting again - mind if i take the afternoon off?") and i swear no-one will venture to ask about things gynaecological/obstetric again

22 September, 2005 13:47  
Blogger Amanda Matilda chimed in with...

In my experience, the baby is usually scrubbed, shiney, and dressed for a baby fashion shoot on these occasions. The haggard mother, however, is exactly as you've described her. You know exactly who's the slave and who's the master when they visit the office.

22 September, 2005 17:10  
Blogger Kyahgirl chimed in with...

Yup, people are rude.

As to your family gathering, I must admit to some curiosity. Now that we have some clue as to how your family is constructed, my mind just boggles as to the possibilities of a 'family' gathering.
Above all, I feel oddly protective. Take care eh?
Laura

22 September, 2005 17:31  
Blogger theclamwhisperer chimed in with...

This is so damn good. The way you describe a day with the baby is hysterical....how the mother looks like hell holding a diaperbag and of course the woman in accounting who smells like biscuits and cat. I'm always surprised at the questions people ask or the way their hands jet toward a pregnant womans bloated belly. I hated people rubbing my stomach while speaking in some form of helium baby talk -- "How's mommy feeling today?" Hey, good luck this weekend.

22 September, 2005 17:35  
Blogger yclepta chimed in with...

I blogged about this myself a while ago - from the other side - I am the other half.
http://ycleptwoman.blogspot.com/2005/06/step-parents.html

I also have been plagued by impertinent questions like "will you have/ do you want/ when will you have a baby?" and "when/ will you get married?" and I am sick of it!

I quite like babies, for a short while - but that doesn't mean I want one - ok?

22 September, 2005 20:06  
Blogger surly girl chimed in with...

i'll elaborate on the family gathering more tomorrow - it does promise to be more hilarious than traumatic but it's not without potential pitfalls...us being us!!

and thanks for your thoughts, all. is lovely.

as for the whole "your private life is my concern" thing, it just weirds me out. i have a colleague who once had a dream that i got married at the Grand Canyon and that i was pregnant. she is therefore prone to rolling her eyes and intoning in a mystical way that i "can't change fate". even the news of the other half's planned vasectomy next year won't deter her, and i'm beginning to despair.

any suggestions for shutting her up once and for all? i quite like uc's intimate-gynaecological-detail approach, but there must be something as effective without bringing my cervix into the conversation?

22 September, 2005 20:20  
Blogger spindleshanks chimed in with...

Why don't you go into work stricken one morning saying you had a dreadful dream about her - hit by a 38 bus and slowly bleeding to death, in dirty underwear. Maybe then she won't be so keen on pursuing the can't change fate line. Mind you, you'd feel pretty bad if she really was hit by a 38 and bled to death in her dirty underwear, but hey what are the chances.

22 September, 2005 23:21  
Blogger Fifi chimed in with...

Really looking forward to the family weekend, and New Gorgeous Half has been primed on what to say and what not to say!

Kyah Girl - please don't fret my love ... Surly Girl and I will probably be in fits of helpless and badly concealed giggles the whole weekend.

Surly Sis - I don't look that bad, do I, with my 9 week old cherub? I thought I looked just as fabulous as ever...! (There was a spectacular projectile vomit last night, though, from baby not me...luckily New Gorgeous Half bore the brunt of it whilst I supplied sympathy and muslin cloths).

23 September, 2005 10:27  
Blogger surly girl chimed in with...

fifi, you're as gorgeous and aloof as ever, daaahlink. just need the turban and the martini and you're there.

and yay!! you blogged!! will link to you immediately.

23 September, 2005 10:39  
Blogger Smat chimed in with...

why not invite everyone along to see what you and Other Half do of an evening? Or offer to demonstrate one lunchtime?

23 September, 2005 11:05  
Blogger surly girl chimed in with...

hmm, maybe in the round. the boardroom table would be perfect....

23 September, 2005 11:17  
Blogger Who is this Dave? chimed in with...

Thank you for describing me as your dysfunctional uncle on Blue Cat's site. Given the state of your family, that's almost a compliment.

23 September, 2005 11:32  
Blogger helen chimed in with...

In my very small office we have a set of twins, who are so close that they had babies at the same time. They are so weird that they don't think that that's weird.

Anyhow when they came for the obligatory double-baby visit, I was asked - "ooh, isn't it making you broody?" Bit of a rude question to aim at a 30 year old spinster, dontcha reckon?

23 September, 2005 13:53  
Blogger surly girl chimed in with...

see, that's exactly what i mean. rude rude rude.

23 September, 2005 14:19  
Blogger elvira black chimed in with...

Another fab post. But hey, why not a post about your underwear selection? (lol)--I'm sure you'd make it hilarious somehow.

26 September, 2005 13:21  

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