Ma’am, your child?
That feeling of wearing a wristwatch for years, in a rush one morning, forgetting.
- ….next to the bed ….in the drawer ….on the dresser ….by the coffee pot ….the bathroom sink.
I left it on the sink. I must have left it on the sink.
And then I remember: I don’t have kids.
- How many children do you have, ma’am? (Followed by confusion & disbelief & confusion.)
- But why not, madam? (Oh, that familiar judgement.)
- How old are you, ma’am? (The answer is still none.)
- What school do your children go to, ma’am? (Perhaps the most presumptuous, with bonus points for acknowledging the judgement that’s coming.)
- Where are you from? (That, I’ll answer.)
Cab drivers, Filipino expat women who work service jobs, the apartment agents, people I meet at cafes, in the elevator… everyone wants to know.
Every grocery store in Dubai has shelves & shelves stocked with condoms. Stocked, I joke, because no buys them. Everyone here has kids. So many kids.