Dating with a view to marriage is no other thing than work. I am a writer in New York, but Sex & the City this ain’t. Carrie had friends who weren’t repopulating the planet. She had fancy shoes. I have fuzzy Crocs. I get commuter rail and Brooklyn birthday parties. She got limos and glam soirees. I actually exist.
This is a project and it is a schlep. I used to believe in surgical strikes, now I’m carpet bombing. I’m on three different dating websites. I ask total strangers if they know anyone single because I have dated the pool of my friends’ friends’ friends dry. Somewhere, someone is going to make me laugh and swoon. I haven’t met him yet. I’m trying.
I hope it will end. Happily.
The Composer has all the qualities I seek: funny, generous, red hair, blue eyes, Jewish, and smarter than everyone else.
We are not together because 1) he has bad brain chemistry and 2) he’s married to a man. But I would count myself lucky every day to have a partner as kind as The Composer. There is no prince more charming.
Everyone: Why don’t you two have kids?
Me: What? He hates kids.
Apparently everyone watches the same sitcom. The Composer loves me. I love him. We’ll go to the lab, a few test tubes later we’re a TV family: two adults of opposite genders partnering off in wacky ways. Happiness ensues.
I have many friends in non-traditional homes, single mommies by choice. I don’t know who the daddy is, or I do and the answer combines gay/straight, anonymous/friend donor, siblings and surrogates. They are a parade of miracles.
I know a fair number of “Whoops!” too. “Whoops, I’m pregnant. For the first time in 20 years of birth control, as I crested the horizon of fertility, the goalie mysteriously got yanked. I have no idea how that happened.”
I’m happy for everyone. I’m not making that choice.
A never-married woman with no kids is freaky, I get it. The music stopped and I’m still dancing. I am a gorgon, a harridan, shrew, slattern, harlot and jezebel coming after your husband. I live across the tracks from social norms. Those liberal minds who want me to have a kid with The Composer are trying to make sense of my awkward existence. I should totally have a baby to help them out.
If you haven’t already asked why I don’t just have a child today–and likely you have since no one thinks this is worthy of discretion–I offer you my reasons:
- I am a freelancer. My income swings between the poles of able-to-pay-my-rent and able-to-pay-my-rent-and-buy-groceries.
- I don’t have an extended family. There are no uncles, aunts, grandparents, or siblings to be village to this child.
- My job is in New York and my apartment is 500 square feet.
- I was raised by a single mom. It wasn’t her choice–my father died–but I didn’t enjoy it. There wasn’t enough energy in the house. From my four-foot point of view, parenting was a two-grown-up gig.
Trolling the Cryobank makes little sense for me. Every man I ever loved is someone I gazed at and thought, You are so extraordinary; the world needs more of you. I was only wrong twice. I can’t get that from an anonymous sperm donor.
The Composer is the best man I know. He is better than champagne, better than a video of cats chewing bubble gum, better even than revenge. An increase in The Composer would be a planetary upgrade. He would loathe it. His obsessive compulsions, depression, and anxiety disorders should drop out of the gene pool.
How marvelous are today’s choices? My mother graduated in 1950 and her classmates apologized for getting knocked up. I have to defend myself for not getting pregnant.
There won’t be a whoops, nor impoverished single mommyhood, or hopeful Hail Mary splicing of my chromosomes to The Composer’s. I can’t be that sitcom.