Assumption makes an Ass out of U and… Mption

People make certain assumptions on sight. If I tell you that I am a white male in my early 30’s, you may make certain assumptions about me based simply on that. In the majority of cases, it works. Young(ish) white male, wearing a wedding ring – guess he is heterosexual, eats meat, drinks alcohol, probably has kids. Except that “heterosexual” is the only thing you would be right about. I find myself having to defend and explain my choice to be a vegan teetotaler to new acquaintances, and occasionally even having to remind old friends. I also have long hair, multiple piercings in unmentionable places, and I only wear black. Did your perception of me change just a little then?

Assumption and convention make life very difficult at times. When you tell them you do not drink, a surprising number of people try to push you into having a drink with them. Why? I do not want to tell work colleagues (who are basically strangers) that I am a recovering addict and that is why I do not drink, but sometimes that is the only defence they will accept. Why is it so hard for people to accept it as a simple choice?

So you see why, when people ask how many kids I have, I say “none”. It is not that I want to deny Sprog’s existence. It is not that I do not want to claim him as part of my genetic future. It is just that, if I have to go to those lengths to explain why I am drinking a coke instead of a beer, imagine what it will take to explain why I gave away my son. Imagine the way their perception of me will shift.

Same reason I hope Sprog is not gay. Not because I am freaked out by him doing the dirty with a guy, but because I do not want him to have to cart around that extra baggage. Growing up and existing is hard enough as it is.

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5 Responses to “Assumption makes an Ass out of U and… Mption”

  1. oooh, i want to hear more about the long hair and piercings…hee hee. (i have my nose pierced, ears, cartliage and three tattoos..is THAT obvious from my blog? I dont know).

    I personally respond to the kid question as “my husband and I have two children” Its true. We do. But I have three. I am never embarassed and will generally tell anyone who asks but i need to ahve the right timing. Generally people who ask are looking for a quick response “One kid, two kids, etc.” and dont want to stick around to hear the soap opera of losing my daughter. Those that do are usually the mean type that thrive on gossip. So, yeah,I have selective sharing.

    Also always fascinates me how people try to get addicts or alchohlics to drink. Seen it myself so many times (with two siblings who are in recovery). Frankly, I think being in the presence of the a non-drinker makes the drinker feel bad about themselve so they have to bring the non-drinker down. Few people can really respect recovery and the challenges associated with same.

    Rock on.

  2. Nope Suz, definitely not obvious from your blog.

    I am married to my son’s birthmother, so unfortunately I am unable to skirt around the question using your nifty technique. But, I think most of the time people ask because they want to get their kids together with my kids, and since that is unlikely to ever happen, the “none” answer allows for the simplicity I crave.

  3. oh, wow, i did not catch that you married your sons mom? how did I miss that? definitely adds an entirely different level or complexity for you both.

    also, wanted to note that i hope you were not offended by my most recent blog posting. my slut/nut crackwhore analogy are intended to mock the horrible stereotypes that the adoption industry paints of natural parents to justify their devious tactics. certainly NOT intended to suggest that those that do suffer from substance abuse do not love their children or shouldnt keep them. knowning you are in recovery, I did not want to inadvertently offend my recovering family and friends.

  4. I don’t count my (non-live-in) step-daughter. I hate myself for it, though not enough obviously.

    Just found your blog. Nothing and everything in common with you.

    Thanks for writing!

  5. Hi Jenna. I read some of your blog. Too true… nothing and everything in common. I wish you well in your journey.

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