“Not Not Trying”

My wife likes to keep me updated in all the gossip of her friends, despite the fact that I don't know 80% of these people.  But like any good husband I smile and nod and take it all in as much as I can.  One time she was talking about a married couple she knows and their plans to have kids.  "They are not not trying," she said.  What the hell does that mean??!!  Apparently, this is the fairer sex's slang for people who are not actively trying but don't mind if they have a kid right now.  Despite the grammatical double negative that bothers me as a writer, I had issues with the statement.  To me, "not not trying" is trying.  Those two negatives cancel each other out.

Is this some sort of ploy you use so just in case you don't get pregnant easily your friends and family won't be asking every time they see you?  If you tell them "we're trying" and it doesn't happen you're going to be the source of talk and concern in your circle.  So is this a way to hedge your bets?  If you get pregnant then great, if not it's ok because you weren't trying, right?  I denounced the term and criticized people who used it.

And of course; it's exactly what we ended up doing.  We talked about it and removed the female road block to conception and let the luck of the draw decide the rest.  We weren't actively "not trying", so it's not like a baby would be an Ooopppsss! type of thing.  We also weren't getting ovulation kits and measuring her temperature before sex (which by the way sounds incredibly sexy) so we wouldn't be bummed if it didn't happen.  I remember thinking, "I am just getting to the point where I feel as though I could handle being a dad, so if it happens cool, if not there is plenty of time."

So I hope the universe allows me this opportunity to take my foot out of mouth and appologize to all those people that I condemmed as double-talkers for not taking a firm "trying" or "not trying" stance.  Like many issues in life, its not black or white, only shades of grey.  We had humbly joined the masses of the ambiguously attempting couples; we were "not not trying".


One Response to ““Not Not Trying””
  1. Aaron says:

    Guilty as charged! My wife and I were “Not, not trying” for 7 months until we finally conceived! In the beginning of that 7 months we really were not trying to get pregnant but if it happened then, great! After a few months of not getting pregnant we actually started trying and were disappointed every month when we were not with child. I get why people say that they’re “Not, not trying” and agree with your statement above. Anyway, we are now 28 weeks pregnant as of this coming Sunday and are thrilled to be expectant parents!

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