There is a club, and if you are not a part of it you may not know it exists, or you might be painfully aware of your exclusion. This exclusive club is for Those-Who-Are-Pregnant-OR-Who-Already-Have-Children (TWAPOATWAHC)**
Now, I am a member of this club.
While I was pregnant, I began to get the nods, the knowing looks, and the questions. When you are pregnant they ask when you are due, how you are feeling. When you have a newborn they ask how you are sleeping. When you have a one-year-old they ask if he/she is walking. When you have a toddler, they ask a myriad of questions about potty training and obedience. There are the competitive leading questions where moms talk about how hard it is to have such accomplished children. There is the advice giving. But mainly it’s nice. It’s communal.
But only if you are in it, and even then…
DO I want to be part of a club where any of the following conditions are excluded or offered a partial membership.
‘The Adopting’: Bummer for you. Your entire ‘waiting for a child’ period is completely invisible, and you only get invited in once you have said children. Unless…
‘Your Child is a Different Color’: You are kinda invited, but people might think you are the nanny, or be too freaked out to ask whether that brown (or white) baby is, in fact, your child, and if so how did you get such an exotic baby.
‘The Two Mom or Two Dad Deal’: If one of you is alone with the baby, maybe you get invited. But when you are strolling in the park on a lovely blue-skied day, no one thinks “what a cute family” and no one gives you the subsequent nod.
‘The Fat’: Unless you are skinny with a bump, people don’t want to ask you if you are pregnant. You might miss the whole pregnants-get-attention thing.
‘The Butch’: If you are a pregnant butch, or a butch mama, no one really knows what to do with you.
“The Single”: You are granted full membership, until they find out that you don’t have a man. Then you get some amazement and pity, and you get demoted.
Once folks talk to you, and find out you are pregnant and not just fat, or find out that you are in fact a woman, you may get a pass. A temporary card.
And for folks like me, who mostly fit perfectly into the club (except the whole lesbian thing I am tall and attractive and thin and feminine), I sometimes want to run away screaming.
I want to run over to the woman in the park covered in tattoos, and pull my pants down to show her the giant tattoo on my ass, and say “I’m a rebel too.”
I want to wear a sign to the park that says: “my wife is a Dyke.”
Sometimes while some boring normal suburban women is talking about her stupid boring life and her stupid boring kid, I want to say “I’ve had a threesome.”
I want to be part of the weirdo club. The club of the infertile, the gays, the adoptive folks, the single moms, the biracial families, the trans dad who used to be a mom (shout out to wellness).
I belong with you, on the outskirts of the club, smoking outside the gym (ok, maybe drinking half-caf at a coffee house now that we are all old and stuff), dressed in all black.
I want to fit in with you. I want to be myself.
You all are my people. Fuck the club.