Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Mother, May I Sleep With Danger?

"Why you no have husband?"

This is the question for which I am war-wearily prepared. And not just when I go visit Mom. And not just when I'm talking to Russian office-mate Irina. ("Syuzan. How old are you." "I'm 25." "Ohhh. You know what they call you in Russia?" "I shudder to think, Ira." "It's like starshaya rodisha, is like, you know, in hospital..." "Um. Old birther? Great.") Anytime I'm in a developing country, I know full well that the follow up question is going to be: "Don't you want baby?"

Don't get me wrong. I love the little ones. I do. But truth be told, I really think I'm more prime grade aunt material? Wait-wait! Another sidetrack! I was dating this strange French kid in high school. I was very anti-romance. He had black hair and used to lick my hand in public to freak out my bourgeois friends. Our conversations dripped with jaded ennui: [actual exchange]
HIM: So, fuck. Should I like, buy you some fucking flowers or shit?
ME: Oh, god! Please don't.
Right, so that's just to establish what a modern, unaffectionate connection we had. But one day, out of the blue, comes the nicest thing he ever said to me. I had just mentioned that I didn't think I ever wanted kids, and he replied, "What the fuck. I see all this fucking scum of humanity popping out these stupid babies that will just become more fucking stupid people, and then someone likes you doesn't want to have any kids? It makes me want to fucking puke."
Awww. If only he hadn't made out with that other girl at the coffee shop, maybe it could have all worked out.

Anyway! Here's why I can't have kids, even if I can't properly articulate it to the various babushkas I have known. Okay, say I have a gorgeous child that I treasure above all else. And say this child starts making terrible death-rattle noises, and sort of dies entirely. And I, oh gosh, I just feel terrible. But lo! The child awakes! And all my more knowledgeable acquaintances warn me that I must take the child in for professional care at once. For the illness will surely return, and I likely won't be so lucky the second time. And I nod gravely, for I know they're correct, and I...do...absolutely...nothing.

And then the ungrateful little rat of a child has another aneurysm out of the effing blue, and you've since discovered your hard drive testing disk thing, and it's a mass storage error! Which sounds a lot like the hard drive error your knowledgeable friends foreordained! YOU ARE A TERRIBLE MOTHER and the state ought to take your precious child away. What are you, a Christian Scientist or something?

And that, my friends, is why I musn't procreate. And go ahead with the I-told-you-so's. I deserve each and every one.

[p.s. 50 bonus points and a high-five to anyone who recognized the title of this post as, oh yes, the greatest made-for-tv movie ever produced, starring thespian extraordinaire Tori Spelling.]


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