Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe. – Albert Einstein
A warm fall evening. Happy hour at a local brewery. Fifty or so IT professionals gather to celebrate the career of a coworker that has accepted a position elsewhere.
I dislike these types of events. I may be able to express myself well in writing but face to face is often a different story. Social anxiety reigns supreme. I dislike chit chat and sucking up and pretending you like people you don’t.
I sucked up, I pretended and I networked.
I had to. My division is imploding and the champion and executive sponsor of my work is leaving the company. I can kill or be killed. I can hunt or be hunted.
I put on my happy face and chatted. To my surprise I made a few good contacts who seemed quite impressed with me and asked me to forward my resume immediately.
The evening wore on and the crowd thinned. I was engaged in conversation with an architect and a business manager. Turns out the architect and I worked at another company together. We rehashed mutual friends and reasons for leaving that company. We ventured into personal matters and discussed our children and schooling and property taxes.
I learn he has college aged twins.
I look for an escape route. I am not in a mood to discuss adoption.
I become silent.
Business manager inquires about adoption. Architect proceeds to explain they adopted from Korea as he and his wife did want the “bother” or “interference” of a domestic “birth” mother. Did not want to fear that they may try to take back the child.
Went on and on about infertility and how shameful it is that those “loser ignorant” teenage girls “pop and squat” out babies when decent couples like he and his wife cannot get pregnant. (He does add that within six months of adopting wife miraculously became pregnant.)
He says he kept their Korean names as their middle names. (He starts to get some points from me). I ask him if they are interested in meeting their natural families. He appears startled at my question.
“No. They have no interest. Why would they? We are their family. Their Korean roots don’t matter.”
I vomit a bit in my throat.
I excuse myself to the ladies room and I don’t return to the table.