Tuesday, January 18, 2011


I was calmly walking up and down the fully loaded aisles this afternoon on a break from work.
Well, in between having to make a deposit at the bank and return to a pile of invoices.
I was shopping at my favorite Asian Market this afternoon,
I have known the family since I was 13. Their market moved in next door to our little restaurant way back when and after all my travels in Asia, I have made their shop a monthly ritual for stocking up on long loved items that the grocery store just doesn't have.
I went to high school with the families daughters and we have always been friendly with one another.

Today I was lost in pottery and figuring out which packages of soba noodles I wanted.
I was the only one in store, besides one of the daughters who was running the register. 
( they are twins and I have never been able to tell them apart...I don't hang out enough with them to hear a nuisance in a voice or see a difference in a mannerism) 
Anyways, I am lost in noodles when I hear her say
" You never had kids, huh"
I slowly looked up and said..."we tried for a long time, but it just never happened."
She told me that she is hearing a lot of people tell her recently, and she wondered what was happening.

I casually said, maybe it was all the processed food we were raised on or something.
She said "Yeah, I mean our parents clearly didn't have the same problem"
I am aware of the difference in cultures and the manner and ease that a serious topic can be addressed so casually and this came to mind as I tried to loose myself again in the aisle of bulk spices.

When I finished finding a new variety of miso and loading my basket with bulgar and the like, I took it to the register. We looked and each other and I found myself compelled to complete the thought that she had started.
" We have tried for close to 6 years now and it just doesn't happen"
her response
" Do you know who's fault it is? "
then a voice that was so calm and sure came from my mouth, before I even realized that I had responded
" it is no ones fault. We simply can not stay pregnant"

She said she had seen a science show about infertility and that a woman was talking about miscarriage and that she had lost four pregnancies before deciding that it was too much to bear emotionally and she adopted instead.
I looked at her and said, "yes, it is a horrible experience."

He brother-in-law entered the store with a sleeping baby in a carrier and quickly whisked it off to the back of the shop.
I watched him with my eyes and she looked and me and said, that her nephew takes his nap in back with her parents watching over him.

I paid for my stuff and she said, your brother has kids right? I said yep, I have three nephews and a niece.
At that I wished her a great day and to say hello to her parents for me.

I got into the car and buckled myself in, I decided The Barreness can take care of herself.


La Belette Rouge said...


Nicole said...

you know, it's funny, i was just thinking about women in the 1950s/1960s and fertility today.

I wrote about it a little bit in my blog. I believe women did have problems back then having kids, but people didn't talk about it. Which is really sad. The idea makes me sad. I know my great-grandmother had a stillbirth and then never had any more kids - only my grandma - and my mom said she never talked about it.

This was a beautiful post. thank you for sharing this moment with us. And I agree, it seems like you are a very strong lady who can take care of herself :)