Good fences.

Though Sea and I live in a city, we’ve been realizing more and more how much our neighborhood functions like a small town. 

When I was 20 weeks pregnant, we told our closest neighbours that we were having a baby.  Within a couple of weeks, other neighbors– people we had never spoken to– were congratulating us and fishing for details.  I went from being able to count on one hand the number of people on our street that I knew by name to recognizing people from halfway down the block.  And each person seems to come with their own set of invasive assumptions or questions.  

There was the neighbor who chastized Sea for mowing the lawn, assuming that she was pregnant.  A couple of neighbors have asked about our birth plan and told us about their birth experiences (often as their wide-eyed children looked on).  Last week the older woman who lives a few houses down instructed us to have the baby on her birthday (we didn’t).  So it was no surprise today when another neighbor stopped us as we walked home with the words, “Can I ask you something personal?” 

Based on the questions that we get asked most commonly, we assumed that she would follow this with “Boy or girl?”, “How did you do it?”, “Known or unknown donor?”, or “Birth plan?”  Instead, she asked, “Are you both planning on breastfeeding?”

Well, neighbor whose name I didn’t know until about a month ago, who I’ve only spoken to a handful of time, whose previous interactions with me consisted of “Hello!” and “Good morning!”, that is quite a personal question.  Too surprised to be coy or clever, Sea simply answered “Uh, no.”  We then stood awkwardly, shifting from foot to foot in synchrony, as the neighbor told us about her breastfeeding experiences.

They say good fences make good neighbors.  Clearly we need a taller one.


5 thoughts on “Good fences.

  1. Wow, that’s quite a question. Is that even possible? I’m sure I’ll be getting all sorts if we succeed in hetting pregnant. i can just imagine what my nosey neighbours will make of it!

  2. Wow! I’m always entertained when someone knows enough to know that something is a personal question, but somehow that doesn’t stop them from asking it!
    When I was pregnant with Tadpole, one of our neighbors (who I didn’t know well at all) called across the street, “are you pregnant??” And when I said I was, she asked, “how did that happen??”

  3. How inappropriate people are. I just have to laugh. I love also when people ask those personal questions, you refuse to lie or beat around the bush and then THEY look like they are the uncomfortable ones. Don’t ask, if you don’t want to know, that’s what I always say!

  4. Wow, it’s like none of them have ever seen a pregnant woman before, and therefore have no idea how to behave. I think my puppy may show more restraint (and she wets herself when she sees a certain person).

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