Sunday, 18 October 2015

Questions every stepmum dreads


Questions every stepmum dreads

As a stepmother, I get asked an unending string of questions posed by the family, close and not-so-close friends, and even by people I barely know.

When I first started dating Mr Chateauneuf, those questions didn’t bother me. But now, three years later, I have developed something of an allergic reaction to them. The last time I had a volley of them fired at me, I was at a hotel bar. The lady asking them was somebody I had only met that night. As soon as I got the first question I excused myself and fled for my room. And I still didn’t come up with an adequate defence to stop them.

One Saturday evening, after a busy family day out, we managed to get an earlier train home. Because it was a busy train and our seats were reserved on the departure that was due an hour and a half later, we didn’t get seats.

Like professional commuters we found a solution - we sat on the floor. Right next to the toilets. Directly opposite the loos and leaning against the window, were two older ladies chatting away.

The migration towards the lavatories began as soon as the train left the station. After the third visitor, an orderly queue was formed. And as the passengers were coming up to the loos, the two ladies by the window were asked the same questions – are you in the queue? Is there anybody in there? Have they been there long?

When eventually the queue disintegrated, I jokingly said to the ladies that they should write a sign with all the answers to the questions they’d been asked at least ten times that evening, to save them answering the same questions over and over again.

And as Mr Chateauneuf and the boys joined our friendly banter, I suddenly had a thought. I needed the answered questions board.

If only it was socially acceptable to produce my answers sheet to the questions people are dying to ask, I might start liking people again. I might even be less anxious meeting new people and dreading the compulsory Q&A session of introductory conversation.

After all, we email each other at work sitting right next to each other. One night I even emailed Mr Chateauneuf, while lying next to him in bed. So, I think it’s about time I produced a neatly prepared answer sheet and skipped all the drama.

  • Three years we’ve been together.
  • No, we are not married.
  • Yes, we are going to one day.
  • No, the boys are not mine.
  • No, I don’t have any children of my own.
  • No, I am not going to have any children of my own.
  • Because we don’t want to.
  • Because I’m selfish and like my life the way it is, and my breasts – not saggy.
  • No, I don’t want a girl – I have a niece.
  • I know the boys are not mine.
  • No, I don’t feel I am missing out.
  • Yes, I am sure I am not missing out.
  • I don’t need my own, I love these two.