Scences From A Marriage, Part-2
Dispite making all the right decsions and doing your best, life sometimes has some very scary moments in store for us. Here is a case in point. Many may have already read this, but it bares another reading. This isn't fiction, it actually happened. First Publisched February 27, 2006
The Awful Truth
"Let's have a glass of wine and go outside." she said.
It sounded good to me. I never passed up a glass of merlot and it was a nice evening outside. The sun was just setting and our acacia tree was blooming. The tree had those little puffy yellow balls on it and they made the back yard smell wonderful.
We had been married a little over a year and things seemed to be going pretty well. It was the first marriage for both of us and there had been bumps in the road, but I expected that and thought it was kind of normal. I knew that the invitation to head outside with a glass of wine was the prelude to something, but I didn't have a clue what it would be about.
Standing in the fading glow of an Arizona sunset, she asked the question, "When we have a baby, do you want a boy or a girl?"
We had agreed to hold off having kids for the first year or so, until we got settled and were sure things were going to work in the marriage. Obviously, she felt that things were working well enough to start considering the next big step. So I pondered the question and gave an honest answer.
"Having a boy would be fun. I could play catch with him and try and teach him about all the mistakes that I made when I was growing up. But having a girl would be a wonderful learning experience, since I never had a sister and that would show me a whole side of parenting and life that I have never known before. So I don't really think I would have a preference for a boy or a girl. Each one would be a wonderful learning experience in their own way."
She looked at me for a moment and then sipped her wine, "I want a boy." she replied.
"Well, that's fine; hopefully we will have a boy. We have a 50/50 chance, and my side of the family is known for having a lot of sons." was my reply.
"I really want a boy." was her reply again.
"Well, we don't have much say in it; we sort of have to take what nature gives us."
"If we have a girl, I want have another baby until we have a boy." was her response.
This sort of threw me back a bit and I am sure that the expression on my face was one that showed a bit of alarm. The reasons for the wine and the sunset were starting to become clear. Something had been working in the mind of my wife and it was now making itself known to me.
"And just how many 'girls' are you willing to have before you give up on the idea of procreating a son?" I asked.
She pondered a moment and replied, "Five".
This whole conversation started to settle into my mind and I started picking it apart like I logically do. This woman was dead set on having a son and she was willing to give birth to five 'throw away' children in order to get the one she wanted. The fact that she was willing to give birth to four baby girls before finally hitting the jackpot and having a baby boy really hit me.
"What is your fixation on having a boy?" I asked.
"Women don't have any real chance of success in this world." was her reply. "Woman can't attain any real power or influence and they can't earn as much money as a man. I want someone who is going to take care of me in my old age."
It all came crashing down on me like a ton of bricks. She wanted an insurance policy. She didn't want to mother a child, she wanted a dividend for her old age, and a boy would have a higher yield than a girl. It hadn't escaped me that she had also said 'take care of me' in her old age. Not take care of 'us'.
She was perfectly willing to sacrifice any caring or love of the girls that she bore in order to grab the gold ring and bare a son. It was the ultimate statement of anxiety, self-centeredness and self doubt. She was worried about herself and her security and everyone around her including her parents, her husband; even her children were just a means of making sure that she was taken care of. Love and maternity had nothing to do with it.
That evening as she slept I laid staring at the darkened ceiling and wondered who this person was laying next me. I realized I didn't have clue.