A Bit of Real Life, Bed-Stuy, New York, quickie, Surreal

Happy Mother’s Day (and so help me, you better be mothers)

So I’m coasting on some great spring weather and good visit-with-my-mom vibes, and decide to pop into a bodega before I head home. It’s not my usual spot: it stinks of cat, the lighting is sketchy and there’s always some young neighborhood person who vaguely guards the door. But it’s closest to my house and so for that, I have only myself to blame. The following took place at about 5 pm. It’s approximately 5:20 now.

I’m buying two rolls of toilet paper. The storekeeper wishes me a cheerful “Happy Mother’s Day,” to which I genially reply, “I’m not a mom but thanks!”

The below conversation was transcribed verbatim.

SO: (astonished–kiddingly, I think) “Why no kids?”
Me, chuckling: “I’m an auntie to many, many children.”
SO: “What are you, 35?”
Me: flinging hair and pulling off glasses in dramatic reveal. “Thank you, I’m 41.”
SO: His sudden pounding of the counter deadens my sails. Pounding does not mean kidding. “WHAT? And no kids? Can you have them?”
Me: “Theoretically? Me-Medically? I think… I mean…” (not prepared for this level of interrogation when picking up tp) “Yes, I’m pretty sure I could…” (trying to count out change simultaneously)
SO: Pounding again. My posture keeps tightening. “Listen, you go home & tell your boyfriend, you tell your husband to give you babies NOW. You must have babies. Babies are life.”
Me: “Uhhh–” (contemplate telling him I’m single, decide I’m way over my head already)
SO: “Without babies you become these women with the dogs and cats. They walk them and they have 5 and 6. It’s NO. GOOD. Don’t wait till 50. No babies after 50.”
Me: “Fifty,” I repeat dumbly.
SO: “Tell your husband TODAY. Babies are the answer!” He pats my black plastic bag and with that, I’m dismissed into the bright sunlight, slightly dazed but knowing I need to share this ASAP.

This entire ‘chat’ was over so fast it would take me a full day to process. But if I’m honest with myself, is it really Mother’s Day unless a stranger remarks on my fertility? I feel oddly at peace now.

(Note to self: never be nice to anyone AGAIN.)

eta: Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms and women who have been moms to me. I hope my chronicles make you smile, or just shake your head in disbelief, as I think that’s funny too.

choc lab

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6 thoughts on “Happy Mother’s Day (and so help me, you better be mothers)”

  1. I absolutely love your writing! I feel like I was standing in the store next to you. Your writing is so graphic! You continue being the best auntie you can be…those kids are blessed to have you in their world.

    Like

  2. You are beautiful smart woman. Having children is overrated! Ha, joking ;)
    I love my children somes days more than other days.
    You don’t need to have children to touch someone’s life. I’m sure you do everyday .
    Sorry that store owner was rude. Have a great day

    Like

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