Like the rest of the free world, I have caller ID. I can't imagine life without it. No more conversations with automated sales people; no more "May I have just 5 minutes of your time," or "Mrs. [insert incomprehensible pronunciation of last name], I'm not selling anything, but..." It makes no difference that we're on the national and state do not call lists, we still get them.
My most recent irritation has been repeated calls from a number in Denver, Colorado. I'm sure there are many, many lovely people in Denver. I, however, don't know any of them. I don't even know any disagreeable folks in Denver. So I never answer the phone. But they keep calling. Last Saturday, they called four times and they never left a message. Last night, I answered the phone.
Me: "You call incessantly and you never leave a message. Please take me off your calling list."
Denver person: "Ma'am..."
Me: "No, please. I need you take me off your calling list. Can you do that?"
Denver person: "Yes, but I'm with Planned Parenthood."
Me: "Please take me off your list."
Planned Parenthood. The first charitable dollar I ever gave was to Planned Parenthood. I have always fervently believed in a woman's right to choose what to do with her body. Why should my desire to have a child trump your right not to have a child? I believe no woman makes the decision to have an abortion with anything other than a heavy heart. I believe abortion should be legal and available. I believe that Planned Parenthood stands for more than just abortion rights and is a worthwhile and purposeful organization. And for reasons I am having trouble articulating, I can't give them any money. I. Can't. Write. The. Check.
My planned parenthood is not going according to plan. I recognize that this is my issue. It has nothing to do with a scared 16 year old who doesn't believe that she can be a parent or carry a baby to term. It has nothing to do with a woman who was raped and cannot, cannot, have the child of her rapist. It is my struggle and mine alone. But my struggle, my heartbreak, my hope for parenthood....I simply can't. Write. That. Check.
Maybe it is not just my struggle to be a parent, but also who I am at 37. A dear friend of ours died of lung cancer last year. It is a devastating disease and I want to support finding a cure. Volunteering at a Boys and Girls Club recently opened my eyes to the overwhelming needs of children in this country. My heart urges me to open my checkbook. Maybe it's just that we can't give to everyone. Maybe.
Or maybe, it's that I just can't.