I was on a bus this evening, commuting home after work. Usually the journey is uneventful and is my daily reading time
, but today there were two ladies sitting beside me. One of them was talking loud enough to be heard on Alpha-Century, which is is a feat in itself since sound needs air to travel, and there's no air in space.
I don't make a habit of listening to other people's conversations, but Mrs.Loudspeaker was oblivious to the fact she was high enough on the Decibel scale to drown a jet-plane. The topic was about children, more specifically how great, wonderful, fulfilling it was to have children, and that people without children were selfish, missing on the greatest joy a person can know, and bordering on evil
Don't get me wrong, I love children and am always happy to have those of my friends and siblings around. Unfortunately it wasn't possible for my wife and I, and even adopting proved a grueling experience we had to abandon due the proverbial shit happens
thing. I also happen to be a very private and quiet guy, the kind who tries his best to blend in the background at parties, content with the company of a diet-coke and his thoughts.
Of course, in accordance with the bad karma which has been plaguing me for some time now, one of the ladies arrived at her destination. Guess who stayed? Of course it was Mrs. Peta-Decibels, who turned to me and asked, "And how many kids do you have?
I am not stupid and realized that, had I told the truth that I have no children, chances are she would have asked, "Why not?", followed by a long monologue that would have turned my brain to mulch. That is a bad thing because then it would have flown out my ears, nostrils and eyes, and it so happens I still need my brain for everyday things and stuff.
Had I been rude, which I am not, I could have gone with, "Mind your own business.
" or "Can't you see I'm reading?" or "I had a kid once, but then the dog ate it."
Instead I decided to have little fun and replied, "I have four daughters." And then the conversation went something like this:
"Oooooh, really? What are their names?"
"Selphie, Akasha, Scarlett and Fionna."
"Such pretty names! How old are they?"
"Selphie will be 14 in June, Akasha will soon be 13, Scarlett just turned 11 before the Holidays, and Fionna will be one year old this Spring."
"A baby! Must be lots of work for your wife."
"Yes, Fionna is very active and curious, wakes us up often at night, but she is really cute and affectionate."
At this point I wouldn't have been surprised if the lady wet herself from happiness
, and so she said, "That is wonderful! And do the other girls get along well with each other?"
"The 2 eldest ones yes, but Scarlett is rather loud and often snaps at the others, but the 3 of them are also very loving with their Mother and me."
"Sibling rivalries are normal, but what you have to look out for is who they hang out with. Friends have a big influence on children you know."
"There's actually a little bum in the neighborhood orbiting around them, but they push him away. They're also more of the stay-at-home type."
"Goooood! Just make sure they exercise enough, obesity is such a big problem in children these days."
"I admit I am a little worried about the eldest one, she is on the chubby side but very healthy according to the ve... doctor."
At this point I got concerned her head would split in two from her huge grin that nearly reached ear to ear, but blissfully my turn to get out the bus came. So we said our goodbyes and since the lady was so happy I don't feel bad passing my cats for my daughters
After all my cats are like children to me, they have their unique personalities and it is scientifically proven they can experience complex emotions, like distress, sadness and love. As for the little bum? It's a male cat from one of the nearby streets, it's not a stray but it roams freely around the neighborhood, and it came right to the back door on many occasions just to be chased away by Selphie, who at 16+ pounds isn't easily intimidated
My wife had a good laugh about my adventure, but I hope I'll be allowed to read my book in peace tomorrow on my way home
If I get stuck in another similar situation, I can always talk about my triplet-daughters, Yuzu, Yukari and Romy (which I call the triplets
because they are from the same litter). Oh, and they're female rats, them too with unique personalities and very affectionate
plus they love each other and like sleeping in a hammock, eating cookies, cheese, bread, and do short work of vegetables, especially peas
All to make a dad proud