Friday, December 21, 2007

Be Careful What You Wish For

So last night BioMom attended a shwanky dinner hosted by the economics department of the uber-liberal college that is my current place of employment.

I was ecstatic to get the invitation as my home department has never hosted a similar event in the last seven years of my employment there. Last night's event was in direct contrast to the usual hor'dourves (less extravagant than a dinner) hosted by the college (less intimate than the department) at the college itself (less intimate than a restaurant) from 4-6 (more casual than the 7-10p.m. timing of the dinner last night).

I hadn't seen BioMom in what felt like weeks what with end-of-year meetings, my finals, and Christmas performances at our little Catholic school, so when she met me there, and the chair announced that we could not sit with our spouses, I was a bit disappointed. But we went our separate ways (she is a whiz at schmoozing, and I (ahem) wouldn't mind some further opportunities at this little liberal oasis within an even liberal-er metropolitan area) and made the best of it.

At dessert we were split up into odds and evens and asked to move a second time. This time around I felt lucky enough to sit next to the old-timer teaching/consulting/entrepreneurial/Rolodex-for-student guru. He's the teacher alumnus come back to visit and is the person on the epitaph on which their bequeathment is dedicated. He's popular. If he had Web lectures he'd be the economics version of this guy.

And it started out okay.

I asked him about his teaching. I asked him about his consulting work, his super-star lawyer-wife, his plans for retirement.

You get the picture.

Then it went downhill like a mudslide in Southern California in April.

"So. . . I was talking to [BioMom] over there and she was telling me that you have two kids. . . Can I ask you about that?"

All the guy wanted to talk about was insemination and sperm. How you buy it. Where you buy it. How you choose it. Does it cost more if you have smarter dudes? Etc. Etc.

I am generally open to such questioning. And I wouldn't have minded this at all from this relative stranger had it been a one-on-one sort of deal, but there were two other people at the table. Two other people that I didn't know very well. Again, it's not that I mind the topic, but it was just a bit awkward when I became aware that the other two's conversation had dwindled and that it was now appropriate for us to open our discussion up for the table's consumption, which meant that I had to 'bring them up to speed' so to speak.

Of course, the old-timer had his own version of 'I have friends that are gay, so, you know, I'm open to it' that he interjected two or three times.

When he started in on a story about witnessing insemination among cows somewhere in West Texas I thought to myself: No job is worth this!, and got up to excuse myself to the bathroom to rendezvous with BioMom.

He said: Oh, you'll miss the good part! I'm just getting to it!

If only I had had Bethany Laccone's t-shirt. Then maybe he would have left me alone.

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