About a month ago, my recently married, best friend from college called me on a Sunday afternoon.
“I can only talk for a second but I have to tell you something really important and I don’t want you to be upset.”
“Oh God,” I said. “Is there something living in your uterus?”
I can’t remember her response exactly, but it was something to the effect of “hell to the no,” a phrase made popular by Whitney Houston and her reality show a few years ago.
No, there was no baby on board, yet. Instead, she was calling to tell me an old flame of mine was engaged.
Ugh, getting married was SO last year.
And, 2012 is definitely the year of the baby.
It’s no hypothesis. The much-hyped movie, “What To Expect When You’re Expecting,” is being labeled the “Bridesmaids” of 2012. My favorite celebrity couple and musical obsessions, Beyonce? and Jay-Z, just popped out Baby Bey-Z.
Then there are the baby makers closer to reality.
The couples closest to me, which I wrote about last year in this column, along with the aforementioned college best friend, got married in 2011.
It’s amazing how this point in our lives has never made being the same age feel so different.
I felt the gap in our lifestyles two years ago when both announced their engagements. I felt the gap widen on their wedding day and feel I’ve fallen into the gap as talk of babies has become more frequent. I blame the gap for my unfavorable reaction to my friend’s call.
I’m just not ready to give up my friends to their future babies. With most of them spread around the state and the country, I’m not willing to share. (One of the many signs I shouldn’t make 2012 the year of ME having a baby.)
Different lifestyles do not mean a bad thing. I’m OK defining myself as a single, working gal. A new piece of bling on the left hand or the news that comes with peeing on an expensive stick shouldn’t be the only measure of value in a person’s life.
The difference is not only in lifestyle, but also in generations: My mom had me at 28 – a milestone about nine months away for this writer. Wait a minute …
Don’t get me wrong, I love visiting with my friends who already have kids. There are two little girls and one charming boy who I hang with regularly. As soon as I visit with them, my lady parts beep and I instantly understand the appeal. (This coming from the least maternal and most awkward person around. My trademark move is asking age-inappropriate questions, like inquiring a toddler’s opinion on the “Lost” finale. Smile. Drool. Cry. Blank expression. Not exactly the reaction this self-deprecating, amateur comedian was looking for.)
Then there are the diapers, the tantrums and the general unreasonableness. And the poop.
I know I’m not ready to have a baby, but I know I can’t totally dismiss the idea either. Being 27, it is at least a consideration in the 10-year plan. Plus, I am being bombarded by all forms of media telling me not to wait too long to have a baby, or else. If I wait, I am selfish, but having a baby now, when I am still actually selfish, is worse.
Being a movie buff and looking for insight, I watched one of my favorites, “Knocked Up.” That didn’t really help, except confirm that at this point in my life I am more Katherine Heigl’s deadpan, single, bitchy co-woker, played by Kristen Wiig, than the blonde unexpectedly (and happily) having a baby.
Not giving up on cinema helping me understand pregnancy, I was reminded of my favorite childhood movie: “Three Men and a Little Lady.” That, along with “Pollyanna,” was on heavy rotation in the Bell household.
What, you don’t remember “Three Men and a Little Lady”? It was the sequel to “Three Men and a Baby,” and the premise is as plain as the title says.
I know I’m not ready for kids at 27. But how do you know the difference between not wanting kids now, because you still feel like a kid yourself, and wanting them ever?
I have a modern, modest proposal, if you will. A baby-share program, like the three men.
I’ll find a few other indecisive 20-somethings with similar interests and child-rearing opinions and we’ll split the time and co-parent, just like Ted Danson, Steve Guttenberg and Tom Selleck did, along with that British mother. (I will stay true to form and find a British gent to fill her shoes.) It will allow me time for myself and for sleeping in. Or movie marathons. It’s very eco-friendly, too – fewer babies will help with the over population. Being the Selleck of the group will allow me not to have to birth the child, which terrifies me the most.
Maybe my clock is ticking more softly than others. I’m not sure what else I can do besides not worry about other people’s wombs, be happy with my own life and get the hell off Facebook – the epicenter of baby albums, announcements and gory details.
Please don’t hold this column against me or wallpaper my birthing suite with it -– if the time comes for me to be in that place, ready to be a mom, with Justin Timberlake as my baby’s daddy.
What? He’s engaged? Ugh, so 2011.