Let's call it Bait the Catholic.
It's kind of like Devil's Advocate, but with more stupidity.
I was baited today and I'm still steaming.
It started with an innocent conversation when someone kindly asked me if I wanted kids. Yes, I had wanted children, I had longed for a family, but I'm 43 now and single so we're not banking on that ever happening.
A reasonable person would say, "Yeah, I can see that. That's too bad."
But you know how it is. Another voice chimes in. "You COULD have a baby if you really wanted one."
Well, I'm not going to go into how I don't have sexy time with men I'm not married to, so not so much. I shouldn't have to explain that in casual conversation, with a conversation interruptor.
I'm certainly not going into the fact that if I didn't feel right about having a baby by myself when I was young and fertile, and had endless energy... it's even less likely that I'm going to decide to have a baby by myself when it hurts to walk through IKE@ wearing sneakers!! And I can't touch my toes to begin with. If I wasn't having sexy time with non-husbands when I was young and h@rny, I'm not going to suddenly start now!
No, I'm not getting into that with someone who is baiting me.
But I did say, "What am I supposed to do? Spend 2/3rds of my salary to put a baby in day care while I work 43 hours a week just to put a baby in daycare?" I figure referring to cash flow problems is the easiest way to appeal to secular do-what-you-want-that's-all-that-matters-anyway types.
She continued, "That's an excuse."
Um, no. That's a reality. I'm a single woman in an occupation that seriously, pays me only a few thousand more than what a year of day care costs. If I would have ever gotten married, I knew I could easily make the argument for me to be a stay-at-home mom. It's silly to work if your take home salary after day care expenses is just enough to cover your travel expenses to and from work. But I digress.
She threw it out there. You could have a baby if you really wanted to.
No. I want more than a baby. I want a family. And I want any babies that come, to have a family. A mommy and a daddy. Not a stressed out, broke mom with no resources and no family nearby.
And in order for that to happen, I need a husband.
Then I did have to resort to explaining how in order to have a husband, I had to live in a different era, one in which men saw a reason to get married. When society started telling men we didn't need to them to have babies - they heard it! They've responded accordingly! That's fine for you maybe, but you've ruined it for women like me.
She said it again. "That's your opinion."
Oh super. The great secular argument. Every option is an opinion.
I wish my brain and mouth would engage in the moment, because I should have said, "No. It's not my opinion. It's the truth. It's the truth of the Bible and the truth of the Catechism. There's a right way to do it if you can help it. And I'm not here to please myself, I'm here to please God."
Maybe I AM more stubborn than selfless, but if you're speaking to someone who is obviously counter-cultural by way of being Catholic... putting up straw men about how I COULD have a child if I really wanted to is just insulting and rude. You know how I'm going to answer, and you're just trying to win an argument rather than listen to what I believe and why it matters to me. You're trying to shoot holes in my faith.
What you're really doing is trying to validate your choices and opinions.
By that reasoning, yeah, I could have a ferr@ri if I wanted one... I could steal it and drive it around until I got caught.
Want to live in a spacious, luxury mountain home? You could if you wanted to .... just stake out a nice place and attack the family, lock them in the basement and enjoy the place. You could live there if you WANTED to.
Like I said, maybe I am more stubborn than selfless. Maybe God would be absolutely fine with me having a child to love and raise in the faith. Maybe my holding out for a man who shares my faith and values is purely stubborn and not what God intends for me.
After all, I have plenty of relatives who aren't waiting for marriage for s@x and babie, and God is not striking them down. Maybe my holding out was silly. At least I would have loved someone.
Sometimes I picture myself arriving at the pearly gates and God and Saint Peter just shake their heads, sadly. "Oh TRS, you could have had so much more. We admire your fight, but you were fighting the wrong battle."