What we are going to do in the future is always to an extent up in the air, until something medically goes wrong and the decision is made for us.
This can be especially true for individuals who want children but are medically unable.
It's important to remember how hurtful it can be to ask questions about family plans of someone we don't know, especially since we don't know if a family is something they want or if the decision has been taken away from them in some way.
She began her story by explaining a little about her medical history and why the bus incident was so upsetting for her.
"Some context first, I had to get my uterus removed in 2015 because my endometriosis was beginning to grow and attach to my other organs, and had to get my ovaries removed a year later because they started growing massive painful cysts afterwards. I'm dealing with menopause at 28 years old, and still deal with a lot of residual lower abdominal pain. This is just my life now. I admit that the chronic pain definitely puts me on edge quite often and I have a lot less patience than I used to have."
She then explained how she feels now, along with a new companion.
"I had gotten a puppy mid-summer and he was approved to come to work with me after he was 6 months old (got fixed, training, and his vaccines), so he started bussing on my lap with me. Lots of people ask to say hi and stuff, I don't mind. I got him because I decided my life isn't viable for adopting a child (low wages, no time, and I'm single). I had a rough childhood in poverty and refuse to bring another kid into that. Pretty much, the universe is telling me that children just aren't in the cards, and I've accepted this."
A woman sat down next to her on the bus, observing her cute puppy and proceeded to do the unthinkable.
"Anyways, yesterday I was on my way home from work with my puppy sleeping on my lap. A woman sat next to me and started gushing over him, and then started talking to me."
"Her: 'Puppies are excellent practice for children!'"
"Me: 'That's nice but I'm not having any.'"
"Her: 'Oh never say never! I used to say that too until I popped out 3 beautiful sons!'"
"Me: (starting to get really uncomfortable) 'Cool, good for you. Not going to work for me.'"
You would think at this point that the Reddit user had dropped enough hints about her feelings on this situation, but apparently not.
"Her: 'Well you're still young, you better get started now before you miss your window! The clock is ticking!'"
"At this point I was near tears from frustration and said 'Lady I don't HAVE a UTERUS, so I think that window had f**king LONG passed. Maybe you should put more thought into what you say to strangers before opening your mouth next time.'"
This would be the perfect place to say you've made a mistake and apologize.
But not for this woman.
"She looked at me shocked for a moment before she spit out 'Huh, maybe it's a good thing you can't get pregnant. You have the attitude of an abusive parent.'"
"I had had enough and got off at the next stop even though I was several stops away from home, and cried on a bench for a while."
"When I got home and started venting to a friend, they said that what she said was obviously horrible, but I shouldn't have antagonized her and just moved to a different spot when she wouldn't drop the subject."
She later turned to Reddit, wondering if she was actually in the wrong for reacting to the woman's comments the way she had.
Of course, many of her fellow Redditors came forward full of thoughts on this subject.
They were all resoundingly supportive of her feelings and viewed her outburst as justified.
"You are so NTA it is infuriating. I'm so sorry that woman couldn't take a hint, and also no one around you stepped up in your defense. You are doing awesome, you are awesome." - MaryK007
"This situation totally sucks. Clearly this lady wasn't trying to be an AH but obviously clearly quickly became one. OP you could have just got off without the outburst but who could really blame you. Clearly you've been thorough a lot and you're definitely not an AH. I get upset over certain things pretty quickly so I can definitely level with you on this. My judgment is NTA because even though this lady didn't start as one she definitely became one." - Cargirl_carlife
"I disagree that the woman on the bus didn't start out as an AH. Situations like this are exactly why commenting on someone's reproductive status or choices is an AH move, and there's no reason that woman shouldn't have known better. It's highly personal, often involves people's health, and you never know what someone is going through. It's just not appropriate, especially with strangers you don't know anything about." - StringOfLights
"Similar thing happened to me last week at a Carters store where I was buying onesies for a friend's baby. The ignorant a$hole behind the counter kept going on with the 'never say never' bulls**t when I wouldn't give my email."
"I wish I had the guts to disclose my medical issues in a crowded store full of families with young children."
"I hope he has a dozen children and has to work at Carters for minimum wage to support them until he drops dead at 70 having never known a good night's sleep or the comfort of having disposable income and a retirement plan." - NotThatValleyGirl
"I disagree. Even if the situation didn't involve medical reasons, It's not okay to hound someone on not wanting kids. Lots of people can't or don't want kids, it's not the place of a stranger in a bus to comment on it."
"NTA op. The woman was a massive AH to begin with and grew to an even bigger AH." - AwesomenessTiger
"No, she was an a$hole from the beginning. You don't go around telling young women how they should be having children. It's cringy-sexist-rude at best, and at worst it's horribly insulting like it was to OP who can't physically have children ever. Lady was an a$hole from the start, she was just a 'polite' one. Stop bringing up having babies to young women, we're sick of it and it just makes those who want one but can't have one feel like garbage." - your_moms_a_clone
"I would say the lady was TA the instant she said 'puppies are excellent practice for children.' There's literally no reason to make a comment about children to a stranger who has no children with them, and as this post demonstrates, you don't know what the person's circumstances are and could end up causing them a load of pain. She should've just complimented the cute puppy and moved on instead of pushing herself into OP's business." - justadorkygirl
"I normally dont piggy back others comments but I'm gonna do it this once. Don't ever ask a woman or man for that matter, their plans for children. I've got endometriosis as well, along with several other medical reasons why I can't have children. And it absolutely kills me. Every time someone brings it up, my stomach sinks in the realization that I cant have a baby of my own. I've cried myself to sleep on this issue more than I'd like to admit. So for the love of God, keep ur noseyness obnoxious comments to your d**n self." - kymberhunnybabe
"I know the feeling. Allways wanted kids. Last year I learned that I'm sterile. I'm not facing the question when we're going to have kids very often (because obviously people aren't badgering men about this often) but every time a colleague or friend is going to have a baby or talk about their kids it hurts. Every time you walk down the street and observe some dumbnuts with their children you think: 'Why are those idiots allowed to have them but I'm not?!'" - DocSternau
"Typical gaslight, I'm the d**k and then make out that you're the potential abuser?! NTA big time" - tjstrider
As many of these Redditors pointed out, it's never okay to ask someone you've never met what their plans for the future are.
It's especially inappropriate to ask about children. Like many of these Redditors pointed out, there may be medical reasons or other deeply personal reasons why not wanting or having children is perfectly valid.
And even if there's no "reason," anyone who doesn't want children should never be pressured to have them or justify why they don't want them.
It's better to stick to safer subjects and simply comment on how adorable the puppy is.