Saturday, September 24, 2005

Chinese Whispers

We had a conversation with another couple yesterday about societal pressures of being married couples without children. For some reason, other people think its their god given right to probe into our personal lives with the excuse of being concerned for our lack of having children.

Why should they be concerned when we are not concerned? Or perhaps being concern is merely an excuse to be nosy? Are we anomalies because we don’t conform to the Malay norm of having a child within the first year of being married?

We managed to trade stories of how other people have tried to probe into our personal lives in a sneaky manner, by asking the other couple about us. Couple X told us of how various other individuals asked them if they had sought medical help to help them conceive. Then the conversation progressed to the question if they knew why we don’t have any children. Hmph! They might as well ask us how often we have sex and what sexual positions we practice!

So we told couple X that we too have heard stories about them. We never asked them about it before, or talk about it to them because we felt that it was far too much information than that was necessary for us, it was none of our business and it was a hurtful thing to ask anyone because it was a very personal issue. But somehow the opportunity came out while we were having a heart to heart talk.

“B mentioned to us that you guys tried IVF and was unsuccessful.”

Gulp.

I could see Mr X’s face change. His jaw almost dropped to the floor.

“Just to get the record straight, we have never tried IVF in our lives before. What happened was I met Mr B and we were just talking about the exorbitant medical costs in the country. And I guess it was my fault because I mentioned that another couple we knew was comparing the huge difference in the cost of IVF between Malaysia and here. I never said anything about myself having done it or even considering doing it.”

“But well how the story came to us was like it. Mrs B asked me if I had met you guys, and told us in the same breath that you guys had tried for IVF and was unsuccessful. Of course, then I didn’t know you guys very well so we never said anything about it because seriously, it was none of our business.”

More than anything, the conversation illustrated to us how an innocent conversation can be twisted and misunderstood. And worst still, it could spread into a vicious gossip that was totally untrue and unkind.

Sometimes its issues like this that makes me just want to isolate myself from interacting with the Malay community. For whatever reason, topics like this would be of no interest to my Western friends.

Malas tul kekadang, cerita sebenarnya lain tapi bila sampai ke telinga orang ceritanya jadi lain.

11 comments:

auntylela said...

This incident happened right in my face.
An old kakak from KL came for short-term course here and met an american lady working here.
The american lady to us she is married nine years and no children yet.
The kakak asked her, "why don't you get pregnant?"
The american lady said,"we just want to have sex only!"
Terperanjat katak si kakak!
Terdiam, habis cerita, close fail!

Sunflora said...

Wahahahahaha classic cerita tu Kaklela boleh di gunakan masa depan ;)

Lollies said...

biasalah the Malays love children or couples with children.

Which is good cuma kekadang jadik terover despite the actual thing is they want to show that they are concern. westerners have different value than the Asians. Very different.

So saya yg kekononnya ada western educated sikit tapik still an asian choose not to pry. heh heh

madnessinvain said...

Aiyooo. Kepoooooooochi.

Sunflora said...

Lollies hehehe love children tu oklah can accept but to hear something and then ceritakan something else to other people tu sampai lain jadi ceritanya tu yang susah betul tu.

MIV what to do *sigh*

Dame RoSse said...

Teringat ada seorang hamba Allah ni tanya 'Bila nak timang cahayamata?' Soalan biasa kan tapi boleh menjadi cepu emas bila ditanya on a nikah day as you stand to greet the guests... oh well SunFlora..

mobilemom said...

Hmm..this reminds me of hubby's story. (With his relatives).

At first (ni before we met in the mailing list)..."Ha ni dah masuk 30 bila nak kawin?" A relative asked him. He answered.."Hmm bulan August tahun tak tahu lagi belum jumpa calon!".

Then, we met..as you know we got married. Then the next question pop up.."Ha bila nak timang anak?" He answered.."Bulan August tapi tak tau tahun apa!".(Mind you..all DID happened in August. I dunno why. Mulut dia masen!!)

Then later when people asked? "Bila nak dapat next one? (After having a pair)I would answer..ehh cukup la..you nak jaga ke I nak jaga? Sapa yg nak beranak ni?...tam ti dum ti dum..

I know how you feel. Just ignore and used that American lady nye modal..I like having sex only!!That's one of the best I've heard so far!! :)

Sunflora said...

Medame Rosse I cheked out your new blog :) Can't wait for more.

Mobilemum heheh just kekadang malas nak jawab apa apa. I guess the more I buat bodoh the more they want to pry.

Anonymous said...

sunflora - yes, people can be so busybody. Sometimes, I wish that the people who do have kids will stop asking such rude questions. How would they like it if we ask them why their children are so naughty / stupid / manja / kurang ajar -(yes, too many kids are like that nowdays!) - would love to see their faces.......don't throw stones if you live in a glass house!! Hehehe....

Me in Bahrain

Sunflora said...

Hello you in Bahrain

Hmmm its been a mth since I was there *huwaa*

hahahaha don't get me started on that topic. On parent told me that I shld redecorate MY house before HER kids come by putting all the little and fragile things away. In my mind i was thinking, why don't you teach YOUR kids NOT to disturb any of MY things instead?

But who am I to say anything right?

Anonymous said...

Hehe...good one. Love yr blog, very interesting. Will tell you when the sales are on, NEXT & MONSOON are the only worthwhile ones, I think, tapi kena cepat, because the orang tempatan buy in bulk...cheers!

Me in Bahrain