After skipping a week last week to focus on a different topic, this week I present another "Dear ArkieLad" segment. Hope you enjoy!
Q: My husband and I ran into an old friend, a lesbian who was surprised to see us pushing a stroller. (Our daughter was conceived with the help of a surrogate last year.) I understand that straight couples have been dealing with this question for eons, but it was our turn to be surprised when the friend asked us point blank, "How much did she cost?" I didn't know how to answer, but my husband replied tartly that, "We didn't buy her!" Then he stalked off angrily. I’d like to have a good answer for this kind of question when it comes up again, especially as the baby gets older and can understand the conversation. She’s not an accessory!
One of two things is going on here. Either A) your friend is ridiculously rude, or B) you are taking the statement way out of context. While I understand that your child is not an accessory, I hope that you know that the friend, as a lesbian, may have been acquiring as to the cost in case her or her partner wanted to adopt a child. Granted that she did not take the correct approach to this, getting all offended and storming off is a childish way to respond to this situation. Do not ever encourage hate, just educate.
You should have asked her if she was inquiring because she was interested in having a child. If she said "no", then you should have informed her that you find the statement "very offensive", and, as an old friend, you accept that she did not mean it that way. However, be sure to inform her that a future couple she poses that question to might not be as friendly.
Do not ever automatically assume someone is being rude. Give them a chance to prove to you that they are being rude. Then, if you find out they are, educate them. If they listen, great. If they do not, choose your future friends a little more wisely.
Note: I am using questions found in other advice columns. This week's question is from a column in the Advocate.