Today my mom, little sister and I made our annual first pilgrimage to the nail salon to get our toes done. We go to the same place every month of the spring/summer, year after year, so the people there know us well. It’s your typical place, run by people of Asian descent who speak English as a second language. It’s familiar and predictable. It is also a place that tested my tolerance today.
Below is an almost verbatim exchange between me and the young man doing my manicure:
Young Man: You married now one yea? Two yea?
Me: Almost three years.
Young Man: Three yea! No baby yet?
Me: No, no baby yet.
YM: You have baby soon?
Me: Well, yes we want to.
YM: You try to have the baby?
Me: Yes, practicing is half the fun. (Joke totally goes over his head).
YM: Your sistah, she have baby yet?
Me: Yes, she has two. She’s probably having another one today. (P.S. – my sister is in labor at this moment).
YM: Three baby! And you not have one! Tell your husban, you needa have the baby.
Me: Oh yes, he knows. (pause) …You know, it’s not so easy for some people. To have babies. Some people try to have babies and can’t.
YM: Oh. Oh you try to have the baby, not working.
Me: No, no it’s not.
YM: Sometimes the doctuh, they takeah the egg – take it out, and put it in? You know? They put it in the woman.
Me: (holding back laughter) Yes, yes we did that. We tried that. It doesn’t work for everyone.
YM: Oh, yes. Yes very expensive, the doctuh?
Me: Oh yes, VERY EXPENSIVE.
Me: Actually it did work. We were pregnant, with twins. But it… it didn’t last. We lost them. (WHY AM I TELLING HIM THIS? WHY?)
YM: Oh, your body no keep the babies.
Me: Nope. Maybe next time!
I’m seriously glad no one was sitting next to me. And I’m also unsure why I chose that person and that moment to school someone on infertility. Maybe I was hoping he wouldn’t harass the next married/childless woman who sat in that chair? I honestly can’t tell if I got through to him, mostly because of the language barrier. He certainly didn’t apologize for asking why I didn’t have babies, and didn’t shed a tear for my tale of tragedy. He just kept filing and cuticle clipping like we were talking about the weather.
Sigh. Well, at least I tried.