In an effort to get out of the house and pretty myself up I went to go get my nails done yesterday. I don’t get them done often, but when I do I always go to the same place. It’s a place my sister and I discovered a few years back, we normally go there because the service is great.
When I walked into the salon, there was an older woman who had walked in right before me, probably in her mid-50’s. I remember thinking about how great her outfit was, she was wearing a cute navy and white ensemble. Her hair was in a cute, well-kept short style with great highlights. Then she looked at me. Well, not so much at me, but at my stomach. My belly is getting to the point where it almost sticks out more than my boobs, and anyone with eyes can tell that I’m pregnant. I proud of my belly, for a while there I looked like I had developed a beer belly at certain angles, so it’s a relief to look as pregnant as I feel. I get back to you on whether that sticks in my eighth and ninth months. Anyway, the woman was taken in by one of the manicurists, and soon I was seated next to her. The woman doing my nails recognized me immediately. She asked how my sister and mother were, and congratulated me on the pregnancy, as did the other manicurist. They asked the typical questions: how far along I was, what the baby’s sex was, if I had chosen a name, etc. Jay had been there with me once when I forced him to get a facial, so they asked about him. Then they asked if we were getting married. By now I am used to being asked this question, and I usually say something along the lines of not now. The other customer gave her first comment at this point. “You’re too young to be having babies, in fact you’re too young to be getting married.” Now, at first, I wasn’t offended at all, I’ve heard the “babies having babies” attitude before, and I usually don’t mind. I am young to be having a baby, I certainly didn’t plan to be this young: Jay and I had planned on waiting for marriage and a family for at least another two to three years. So when the woman spoke I smiled politely and agreed that I didn’t want to rush marriage. I purposely said nothing about parenthood. Then she asked, “How old are you?” I answered: twenty. “Too many young people are irresponsibly having children these days, people as young as you are not ready for that responsibility, and if you think you are, may as well get married so your child isn’t a bastard.” Now I was a little bothered, but I managed to keep my composure and threw a fake smile in her direction. Then my manicurist said “Well, I was twenty-five when I had my first, and let me just say, nobody is completely ready for it, there are always surprises, right Mrs. _________?” Her answer is what pissed me off: “I never had children, we never really got around to it.” There was a pause and the subject was changed. I didn’t think about it much until I was on my way home. Once at home, I was pretty pissed and wrote this.
I did not plan on having children for a few more years. Jay and I always used two forms of contraceptives for that very reason. Before this, we never even had a scare, so when I missed my period we immediately bought pregnancy tests and scheduled a doctor’s appointment. The idea of an abortion was not considered, as we have both the means and desire to care for a child, even if it is earlier than expected. We are adults, and I am not kidding myself when I say not only in the legal sense. We are young adults, and this does mean will lose much of the carefree nature in our lives, as we have already found, but we are aware of this, and so far, it hasn’t been the worst thing in the world. We are not stupid enough to think that everything will be sunshine and daises, we have made our preparations and plans and so far, so good.
About the marriage issue, I don’t believe that having a child means marriage is an absolute. Jay and I have been together for almost four years, so of course we have discussed marriage. When we do get married, we want it to be done right, with a proper ceremony and with all of our loved ones present; at this point our priority is our child, and that’s where our money, time and effort should go. It is more important for us to be a family now than be married. In some kind of familial sense, we are already married. The term “bastard” was highly unnecessary, and in my opinion, outdated.
I think what bothered me so much about what happened was not only that term, but the negativity this woman had for my situation. I have encountered other with views similar to hers but never with such persistence or so defiantly.