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Sunday, September 21, 2008

KuKd Word of the Week: "SO, HONEY" QUESTION

Greetings Strong KuKd Mommas and Brave Guests Who Dare to Set Foot in this Emotionally Charged Talkspace for Reproductively Effed-Up Women!

First, I thought I'd start this post with a virtual shout out to all my lovin' peeps out there who I know are regularly popping in to this blog, and sometimes even commenting. I've often felt that blogging is a rather one-sided and unhealthy kind of relationship. One person blabs on and on while the others - that entity called "my readers," passively listen - occasionally adding a remark or two - but getting nothing in response. How wholly unsatisfying!

So that you don't suddenly decide you've had it with this kind of dysfunctional and unbalanced mode of conversing, I thought it best to just make it known that I drink up your commentary like nectar from a lotus blossom, and post comments of my own when I can. I may not respond to all of your comments directly via personal e-mail, largely because I can't figure out how to do it on Blogger (tips, anyone??), but also because I sometimes just can't make that happen. One day, I hope to be like Shaz, who is one of the social QUEENS of the KuKd blogg-o-culture, and one of the most attentive and caring and personally welcoming KuKd Mommas I know. She ALWAYS writes me back, so I know she's listening. To my own dear readers, I do know and love that you're here!

OK, glad to have scraped that junk out of my system. And now, the moment you've been waiting for! This week's KuKd Word:

"SO HONEY" QUESTION - a passively nosy question asked by an older female relative, usually one's own mother, in an attempt to glean some information about your reproductive status.

The best example comes from my own dear mother, bless her heart.

"So, honey, your dad and I were wondering if you've given any more thought to that gender selection thing? You know, the sperm-spinning thing to try to have a baby girl? Because, if you decide you want to do that, we can certainly help you with the money. It'll be our treat."

Okay, let's analyze this particular "So Honey" question.

It starts with "so," giving the impression of a new and offhanded remark - not particularly relevant to anything or all that important. Just passive and innocent, right? Throw in a "honey" to sweeten the conversational pot - of COURSE she's only asking me this because she cares about me, and not because she really wants to know. I'm her honey after all; how could I possibly NOT confide in her.

Notice the question mark after that first sentence - the upturn in tone at the very end. Again - a subtle attempt to give the impression of just an ordinary question - not at all nosy -nothing different from "how was your day at work yesterday?" A subtle yet clear indication of a "So Honey" question - listen carefully for those upturns.

Now, take careful note of the way my mom says "the sperm-spinning thing." So casual! Using such non-scientific terminology shows that she hasn't really looked into this procedure or given it more than a passing thought - she just happened to remember just now that it was something I'd mentioned months and months ago.

The final remark is my personal favorite - "it'll be our treat." A beautifully subtle way to get me to warm up to her question, perhaps feel less caught off-guard. Perhaps money IS the issue, and if so, she does need to know about it. Just in case, you know, that's the ONLY thing that's getting in the way of her getting a grandchild. May as well cover all bases.

There are other examples- but that's a nice classic one to start you off with. Oh, where would I be without my mom's "So Honey" Questions! I mean that - my mom is one of the most stellar and adorable - albeit nosy - people I know. And you know what? At the heart of the So Honey Question, as much as I laugh at it, is one of the saddest truths about KuKd: we non-productive gals want our mommies to be happy, and there ain't much that makes 'em happier than a grandkid. I can only WISH that all it took was some $$$ and I'd be guaranteed a lovely living baby. I'd say yeah Mom - treat me! Please!

For now though, I'll just keep hedging, and fumble for the right way to give enough info to satisfy, but not so much that I feel all gross discussing my sex life with my mother. Blegh.


Rebecca said...

I finally gave into my mom's "so honey" questions - most of the time they were silently implied (followed by the occasional, "well, I don't like to ask, but it IS the white elephant in the room..."), but damn, it makes her so happy when I just fill her in on all the details, and it seems like the least I can do to make her happy... So here I am, spilling it all then getting irritated that she knows it all and asks me follow-up questions...

But wanting a baby makes me appreciate how much it sucks that all you do is love your kid unconditionally, and then one day they turn on you and don't want to tell you everything anymore... So I'm trying to make my mom happy these days; maybe I'll get some good karma back!!!

Katie said...

Ugh Mom comments.... I got a "I'm glad you're not pregnant anymore at the same time as *my friend's name here* because I want you to be the only one..." Really? I think they think they know what to say, and they just say the wrong thing... I've learned to just ignore her.

Monica LeMoine said...

Oh gosh, I know exactly what you mean. I want my mom to be happy, then feel like a brat for reverting to my 15-year-old self and being uptight with the information.

sharonvw said...

Mon, you're so right. One of the hardest things for me about all of this KuKd/TTC cr*p is that I feel like I let my Mom down. I see how my infertility impacts on her and it makes me feel sad and guilty. I see how her relationships with her girlfriends has changed as they've all got grand kids now and we still have been unsuccessful in that area.
Man this blows!

Ann said...

I'm curious.. how did you respond? haha Gotta love parents.

when I found out I was preggers, my younger sister, who is quite pessemistic and blunt to say the least, told me it wasn't a cat and I couldn't bring it back to the SPCA when I got bored.

yowza. lol Is there a word for that??? oh yeah right, bitch..

Anyhow you are a far better person than I... i'd have taken her spinning money and run ;)

Monica LeMoine said...

Ann - HA HA! Take the spinning money and run - I so have the Steve Miller Band in my head now and I thought I was totally over them. How do I respond to my mom's So Honey Questions? I totally evade, or just say smthg like, "I dunno Mom, we're still thinking about it."

As for the $$, I've still got it there in the back of my mind - definitely not forgotten.

Rebecca said...

Ok, so here is my question: how do you respond to people who think you're pregnant when you're not? I just had the THIRD person since I miscarried "notice" my pregnancy - i.e., notice that a result of all this KuKd shit is that I am now totally FAT, which gets mistaken for a pregnancy. My response is to try not to make them feel bad and then to burst into tears as soon as they're not looking... Why am I so concerned with not wanting *them* to feel bad, and how can I respond to this more productively??? And why do I feel so angry that this is a level of pain that male partners never have to experience (especially since my partner has been so amazing through all of this)??

Michelle said...

HaHa that so sounds like my MIL and talk about really not wanting to talk about your sex life with her son. UGH!! She always has interesting things to say while I sit there with a red face and say nothing. "Um, honey I was thinking maybe if you relaxed a little more and you come down to Florida with us, that might do the trick" Uh, no I am not going on vacation with you to make a baby with you in the next if that would work anyway.

Amanda said...

I enjoy reading your posts and I'll try to comment more often. I like when others comment too b/c I dont feel near as alone. Sorry about your moms comment. Its hard when others say things and they dont know what it does to us. take care.

Monica LeMoine said...

Rebecca: Seriously - people suggesting you look preggers should shove their foot in their mouths! People just don't know how much of a sensitive question that really is for us KuKd gals and/or infertile myrtles. Also, I think it's normal to not want others to feel bad! We live in a society that values saving face. I'd do the same thing: try my best to curb the awkwardness and then run home and bawl. And yes, the men have it easy - that's all there is to it. They aren't the ones quitting coffee cold turkey and getting a permanent paunch belly from all this!

Michelle: GROSS! "Do the trick?" Blegh! That is SO passively nosy!

Amanda: good to hear from you dearie. My mom's So Honey questions don't bother me so much, just make me kind of laugh in hindsight and go "oh MOM."