Waiting for the elevator, I ran into a coworker. I know very little about her beyond that she’s well known as a genuinely down to earth chick, she’d recently had a baby, and regained her pre-baby body back faster than most freshmen lose their fifteen. I’d hate her if she weren’t so damn sweet.
Of my short list, the only conversable quality seemed to be about her baby. Didn’t want to discover just how awkward silence can get, by starting with “People say you’re really nice,” and then stand there smiling.
“He’s great,” she said. Not much of a small talk expert, I went for the closest relatable anecdote in my brain.
“My boyfriend and I just visited his brother. He had a baby 2 weeks ago.” I should have closed my mouth there. But I kept having thoughts and my mouth kept up. “Yeah, wow. Kids. Not for me. If I had any doubts before, whew, not anymore. I mean, wow.”
I’m awesome, right?
While mentally berating myself for shitting on her lifestyle choice, she told me a friend had sent her the recent NY Magazine article, “I love my kids, but I hate my life.” At least I’m not that bad. I felt a little better. The same way I felt when reading the mentioned article. It justified all my reproductive fears. Beyond the physical ones of expanding like a universe made from ass and turning into a walking creamery, confirmed in black and white were stats about expenses, destroyed careers and ambitions. Even better, of the two parents the mothers were reported unhappiest! There’s only one thing I enjoy more than cynicism, and that’s being right.
I went through a brief “kids maybe in ten years” period. But then I quickly realized the correlation between my (albeit slight) change of heart and Facebook; occurring the same time my high school friends -who never left Florida- started reproducing and posting the photos of their labor. Like a fashion trend, babies slowly crept into the "want it" part of my brain. But as they say, kids are not designer handbags.
It’s not that I have anything against kids. As long as we're not sharing an airplane or my belly, I can dig ‘em for a bit. I’m an only child so nieces and nephews are out. But I enjoy my surrogate “Aunt” status with my cousins' offspring. I even prefer their children to a lot of the adults in my family. It probably has something to do with having similar maturity levels, but I prefer the term “good with kids.”
Maybe I don’t want children because I’m still too busy raising myself.
Visiting my boyfriend’s nephew, his mother described to me what it’s like to breastfeed. Apparently, not only do your boobs inflate like hot air balloons, but also ache from breastmilk pressure until you "pop" them.
I wanted to blurt out, “Ew, like a zit?!?” but uncharacteristically thought better of it. Perhaps I was saved by instinct. Because ain’t nothing popping out of this body anytime soon.