My dad came to visit me a couple of weeks ago. He lives in Japan so I don’t get to see him very often, and he was only in town for a day as part of a longer trip to various places in the U.S. We did the usual stuff: went out to dinner, saw pictures of his latest home remodeling projects (complete with shots of the circuit breakers!), etc.
And I told him that I am infertile.
I told him that we had been TTC for a long time, that we had been to doctors, that I had a diagnosis, and that I would be having a myomectomy* on July 13. There was no crying like when I told my mom (there was sobbing on both sides of that conversation!), and in fact his reaction was “Well, lots of women have fibroids so I’m sure you’ll be fine.”
Now, coming from my dad this is not so unexpected. He and I were really close while I was growing up, but over the past 10 years or so our relationship has gotten really strained. Obviously my parents’ divorce was the root cause of it, but beyond that I really think he has changed the way he thinks about me and my brother. He is not at all involved in or interested in our lives, and doesn’t seem to react with any emotion even when major life changes happen (my and my brother’s weddings, the births of his granddaughters, etc.). So I wasn’t wholly surprised that he had such a calm response to my news.
I haven’t gotten to the WTF part yet.
After he left my city, he headed to my hometown, where most of the extended family still lives, and where he met up with my grandmother, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. (There are a lot of us.) Apparently at a barbecue at my aunt’s house he announced to everyone that I had had an outpatient procedure to have some fibroids removed, that it went well, and that I was doing fine.
First of all, I haven’t shared any of this with any of my extended family. I know they are all wondering where exactly the next generation might be; my cousins have been notably fecund, and I suspect everyone has assumed that my hippie pinko-commie feminist ways are leading me to choose not to have children. Well, the cat is out of the bag now.
But even aside from the oversharing, there is so much about what he told my family that just isn’t true! I am completely confounded by this.
*For those of you who are wondering, I’m having a laparotomy. No robots or laparoscopes for me, apparently.