Yet another myth shattered!

Ambling along in a leisurely fashion around my block pushing the tandem stroller with Kay and Cee in it late yesterday evening, I enjoyed the quietness of dusk and the warmth of the setting sun. Kay and Cee seemed to be lost in the glory of the everyday beauty surrounding them as well. Smiling to nobody in particular I spied a couple of neighbors open their garage and walk out to their driveway. In the many years I have lived here, I have occasionally waved “Hi!” in passing. Yesterday though, the ladies stopped to chit chat and just like that it slipped out. She asked “How old are they?” followed by “How much do they weigh?” and then a gasp and a remark about how chubby the kids were for their age.

I walked away half amused and half resentful. A few weeks back, another neighbor who has never really come over to our home walked by when mom and I sat on the front stairs with the kids in our laps. She started innocuously enough gushing about how adorable the girls were and then it came out, the questions that make me want to both blurt out everything and hold everything back. Questions such as these. She took it a bit further than I have addressed wanting to know information that is privy only to me and K. I drew a line and politely withdrew.

Back in the confines of our living room the thoughts were verbalized uncensored. “But I thought..” Amma began. “I know! I too thought people outside of India respected privacy!” I continued. We went on to have a conversation about stereotypes and preconceived notions and how a huge myth in our minds was shattered. “They are just like us!” We thought feeling strangely comforted and disconcerted. Like a child discovering Santa Claus does not really exist. It was sobering and disenchanting at the same time.

5 comments

  1. I just read the “Adoption FAQ” post and I just wanted to tell you that I am so proud of you for being so brave and open(till the line allows you to go) about everything. Love.
    About the myth, Bhai keeps saying that US is no different from India. In general, people in US do respect privacy more than in India but I guess exceptions are always there.

  2. I don’t know if you have seen the British Asian comedy ‘Goodness Gracious Me’ One of the common jokes in that is that the British Royal family included – ‘Everyone is Indian !’ That so applies to what you have just written, no matter where we are in the world, human nature is such that we all want to know and then pass judgment. There are very few who would accept the selfless deed of nurturing and raising children for just that and nothing but.

  3. Recently at an office function, I heard a colleague ask another colleague’s wife if they are going to try for a baby boy (they hv 3 little girls) and they are not best friends, just meeting for the first time! 🙂

    I think at some level everywhere people are curious:)

    Great work politely withdrawing!

  4. Good for you for drawing that line. Makes for more peaceful sleep instead of waking up at 3 AM with the perfect retort 🙂

    We’ve been facing something similar since our son is undergoing eye-patching therapy, oh the love and ‘concerned’ questions from perfect strangers! The same ones who’ll stand and stare at an accident or street fight. Bah!

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