25May/07Off

The right to be low-key

What is it about our culture that we insist we know when someone should be excited or jubilant, and then we pester the people who seem to be inappropriately low-key?

Case 1: A woman I know is pregnant for the first time. She’s in her thirties and her life until now has been very much about her career, her husband and travel. She’s happy to be pregnant, but not, like squealing and petting bibs at Roots or asking everyone to touch her belly. And touch her belly they do, asked or not. And to add insult to women at large, apparently, she wants to go back to work after 4 months. She’s been publicly berated for saying so. She feels uncomfortable talking about being pregnant because there is no low key, only high keys that hyperkinetic dogs and chattering soccer moms can hear.

Case 2: Another friend bought a new car. Everyone is excited about the car. They want to smell the car. For her, it’s a different car but not FUN!!! on wheels. People are insisting that she be excited about the car too.

Case 3: I saw one house, only one so far (which I lost twice, grrr) that made me flutter a bit and get excited enough to show pictures to anyone other than Melle. But mostly, I’m pretty sure when I find a house, my biggest feeling will be yep, a house. But I know already that I will have to talk about the house over and over again because, everyone says, one must be excited about a new house and talk about it all of the time and show pictures (like a new baby, come to think of it).

There are some of us who don’t have frenetic reactions to these things. Get over it.