Each square of a 5×5 grid is a phrase frequently heard by childfree people. “You’ll change your mind one day,” for example. Or, “What about the family last name?”, “The only reason to get married is to have children.” And, the ever popular, “Who will take care of you when you’re old?”
In reality, childless-by-chance women aren’t exempt from hearing comments like these, either. Their gameboard might include a few intrusive comments that don’t fit the by-choice vibe, like “So, why can’t you have kids?”.
Anyway, I knew the gameboard existed, and I could understand its popularity, even as I rejected some of the language attached to it. What I didn’t know is that you don’t have to yell “Bingo!” to use the word as a verb.
Trolling through the Net and re-visiting sites listed here as Resources, I found several references in discussion streams like this:
“Don’t let your family bingo you about your decision to be childfree. Stand your ground”
“I was so surprised when my sister bingoed me. I thought we were past that.”
“Went home for a visit to bingo-land.”
The no-kids community has its own code word? Who knew?
The idea of it – this particular word, at least – scrunched up my eyebrows. I got it. I sorta liked it. But, I sorta didn’t. Finally, I decided that what was troubling me was the emotions behind it.
In each of the above examples, ‘bingo’ is shorthand for “someone close said something about my child-free status that bothered me, hurt me or pissed me off.” Five little letters charged with describing exasperation, anger or pain. So easy to sum it all up with a casual ‘I was bingo-ed’ and mull over inner responses over time.