Thursday, March 13, 2008

Maybe Seems to be the Hardest Word

In my former life, I worked a lot with talent agents. I booked the school's bands, comedians, and lecturers. I'd like to think I had a good relationship with most of these folks-- which is challenging at best when one member of a friendship is always trying to sell the other something. (This is why I hate it when my friends start selling Mary Kay.)

As someone who had a reputation for having a healthy, positive relationship with agents, I often presented at regional and local conferences on how to engender this kind of rapport. I asked all of my agent friends what they would say to student activities folks if they could be perfectly open and frank. Overwhelmingly, the feedback was that what they hated most of all, even more than being told "no" when they were pushing an act, was "maybe."

"Yes" was their favorite response, obviously. "No," while unfortunate, allowed them to move on to their next prey and not waste their time. But "maybe" just dragged out forever, took up countless hours and endless energy, and often resulted in "no" in the end anyway. (And advisors always wonder why agents are so pushy about a timeline for responding to an offer-- that's why!) Agents make their money by selling talent. The more time they have to hold your hand, the less time they have to sell that talent to someone else, and make more money.

I digress. Moving on.

I have developed a unique perspective on this idea since we started talking about Imaginary Baby #3 over a year ago. Obviously, when Hubs and I discuss bringing another beautiful fruit of our loins into this world, I want the answer to be yes. I wouldn't keep beating him about the head with it if I didn't. Right now, the answer is "maybe." To be entirely truthful, right now the answer is more no than yes. I think at last poll, he was 60/40 against having another child. (This is how we gauge readiness to make a decision in our household-- percentage of surety about the issue. Don't judge. It works for us.) That's progress over the 99/1 against Baby #3 that he was even six months ago, but still. The campaign is tiresome. And we remain at "maybe."

"Maybe" is so, so hard. I have no way of knowing if it's harder than no-- because we have not made the decision yet-- but it is very hard. It is hard trying not to hope that we will have another baby, and keep my self respect when discussing the matter. It is hard to finally come to terms with the fact that we are not going to have another baby, and then have Hubs get all misty and wistful when I mention selling the baby stuff. (And also when I mention the inevitable vasectomy that will accompany our decision to stop having babies.) Maybe keeps me up at night, imagining what our future would look like either way. Trying each one on for size.

Part of me just wants to say, "Enough! Let's just make a decision and move on!" But another, larger part of me (maybe my muffin top?) doesn't want to push at all, because I might not like the decision that's made. Even though this is a joint decision, I really feel that unless both parties are on board, it's not even a discussion. And since he's not on board... Anyway. Even if he changed his mind right now I wouldn't necessarily rush over to get my IUD yanked... I want to hear yes. Boy, do I. But I have to make sure that it's the right yes, for the right reasons. Imaginary Baby #3 deserves no less.

But in the meantime, "maybe" is wearing me down.


Heather said...

Maybe is hard. But it does lend itself to hope. I think it's great that you two are putting so much thought into the decision though. #3, #2 AND #1 (and their parents) deserve no less.

Sornie said...

At least in your situation maybe leaves the window of hope open. A "no" would slam that window shut and seal it with large nails and cans of that yellow expanding foam.

susiej said...

It is a bit overwhelming when you realize how much power you have to choose or not to choose to create a life.
This is the one decision that leaves you wondering if you did the right thing if you say no... but yet, never doubting it if you say Yes. Still yes, doesn't always mean it's right for anyone.