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Mar. 30th, 2001

Lara and I have a four month old son. We packed him into the car and drove to Port Townsend yesterday. It was around 3 PM; past lunch time, and we decided to eat at Khu Larb, a Thai restaurant we like quite a bit. Conscious of American attitudes toward baby noises in public places, we ate quickly and on pins and needles, hoping that Logan would keep quiet long enough for us to finish our meal. Only one other couple shared the restaurant with us, and because Lara and I remained so intent on finishing our meal in the indeterminate amount of quite time the baby would give us, we didn't talk as we ate. Because we weren't talking and the baby kept quiet, we got treated to that other couple's discussion of their personal finances. Not the sort of conversation I had any interest in over-hearing.

It struck me as odd that Americans consider baby sounds extremely intrusive but that conversations like the one to which we got treated can be broadcast at large without the least bit of self-consciousness on the part of the broadcasters.

Just before Lara got pregnant, she and I took a trip to the Peruvian Amazon. EVERYONE we talked to there asked us if we had children, and when we said no, they would assure us that we would in time, and they would make what they considered encouraging remarks. They did not seem to understand when we tried to explain to them that we didn't want children. In the so-called "developing" world, people see children as life itself. Who could want to deny themselves of life itself? It just doesn't compute for them.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
(Anonymous)
Apr. 13th, 2001 01:53 pm (UTC)
this from steffan, i have no livejournal account
i've often thought this. in fact, i've gone as far as saying that one of the things my wife and i will do together is learn ASL. This way we can converse silently (at least to other diners) in restaurants. plus, we can keep our private thoughts private. Of course, lots of folks know ASL, but it can at least be discreet.
kmo
Apr. 14th, 2001 11:18 am (UTC)
Re: this from steffan, i have no livejournal account
Of course, using sign language in public makes it super-easy for the spooks to monitor your conversations.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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