“Do you have any children?”
“No. My husband has cystic fibrosis so we weren’t able to have kids.”
“We tried to adopt in 2015 but they told us no.” [voice drops to a whisper] “Unless you’re single or gay you don’t get the kids today.”
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph – what on earth?!
The things you overhear in a waiting room.
One of my doctors works out of our local hospital, and I’ve come to find this increases the odds of running into someone I know by roughly 200% or so. This likelihood is naturally the same for all the people around me, so it’s not at all unusual to be waiting for a checkup while listening to Aunt Bea and Mama Sue trade the latest church gossip. I mostly just keep my head down and ears open. Eavesdropping can do wonders for passing the time, you know.
But this time there was sort of a stutter stop as time slowed. You could almost see the thought bubble form over my head: Wait a second… and then, as the instant replay confirmed this nonsense had actually been uttered aloud… A hoo-ha says WHAT? I raised my head from my book and slowly turned around because really, how could I not?
That’s right, these folks were seated directly behind me, and I gave perhaps a millisecond’s thought as to whether they’d see me looking before realizing I did not give one red hot damn. Because a hoo-ha says WHAT?!
She was rather nondescript. A forty-something white woman with short brown hair – the sort of no nonsense haircut one gets when she doesn’t want to mess with locks anymore – wearing what I can only describe as grownup clothes. In this area, “grownup clothes” often translates to coordinates from JC Penney’s, Belk’s, or Dillards, depending on your shopping habits.
But what struck me most acutely was that snotty comment. “Unless you’re single or gay you don’t get the kids today.” Stop the presses! Because apparently this woman has discovered the one area in which gays and the unattached have an edge on white, heterosexual, married women.
Who knew that the gays and single folks were adopting up all the kids? Except gee…this doesn’t account for the gay people who fight the system to get approved. Or the fact that often only one partner can be listed on the new birth certificate. Or that some states don’t even recognize the adoption because, well, we can’t let those children go into homes just to be turned into homosexuals.
Having been through the adoption process myself I’m doubting even the suggestion that single people have it much easier. Adoption and easy? You might as well try to marry acrophobia and skydiving. There might be a once-in-a-blue-moon case out there, but I’ve yet to hear about it.
Oh, I had dozens and dozens of questions I wanted to ask her, but wouldn’t you know that’s when the nurse called my name?