Pert nipples. High Fructose Corn Syrup. Bud light. Tequila. Spontaneous trips. Champagne. Sex anywhere in the house. Sashimi. Sex any time of the day. Clothes that fit. Sex.
Sometime around my 27th birthday, I decided to break up with my life. It’s not that my life and I weren’t getting along; in fact we got along a bit too well. My liver would crave bourbon, I gave some to it. My lungs asked for nicotine, I obliged. My brain wanted a nap, I passed out.
In truth, my life and I loved each other very, very much.
This love was a honeymoon type of love though; something not destined to last the test of time. It began in college and continued for years, until I became that guy that was headed into his 10th year of college. I was becoming the dude that still lived in the frat house with the freshmen who was mocked endlessly but bought beer and tequila for them and thus remained allowed to sleep in a bunk with the thirty new pledges of the year. I became the old dude who still peed in a communal urinal. My love was pretty pitiful.
Sometime around my 27th birthday, I decided it was time to break up. Let go, so to speak, of the easy relationship it and I had developed over the past 27 years. Separate. Divorce. Say goodbye.
I said goodbye to my waitressing gig, said goodbye to a hipster city of fun, and goodbye to our equally hipster, citified friends. My husband said goodbye to a well-paying wine director position. We said goodbye to big city freedom and years of networking, in order to say hello to small town life where we knew no one, were surrounded by nosy family, and were as isolated from our norm as we had ever been. We said goodbye to everything because we decided to have a baby.
Babies, as I understood, were these tiny little creatures with enormous lungs and diapers full of poop that oftentimes projectile vomited onto mostly clean clothing. Babies grew up with the help of lots of money and sacrifice from resigned adults to become emo teenagers with an authority complex. Babies grew into adults with need for therapy to deal with the complexes that their fathers and mothers inadvertently gave them. A baby would, in essence, become me.
Babies were these mythical creatures (to a person whose only experience with a child thus far consisted of buying sparkly stickers for husband’s niece) that I didn’t understand, but what I did know was that the thought of babies change things. Just the thought. Not even the real action of procreation…just the thought of it.
For a friend of mine, the thought of a baby made them buy a house. For another, the thought of a baby made her husband get a job. Another one freaked out, drank a bottle of bourbon and had sex with a drummer. They were extreme reactions, to say the least.
For us, the thought of a baby made us hit the Patron bottle, drunkenly imagining the best and worst scenarios of parenthood. (Did I really want to become that person who our child needs to vent about to a psychiatrist?) Then the thought of a baby made us get married. (Apparently I did.) Then the thought of a baby made us uproot our life for a family friendly environment. Then we got to our family friendly environment, hit the Patron bottle and wondered what the hell we had done. (It appeared that I would need a psychiatrist in order to have a baby.)
It’s just amazing what the thought of a baby will do.
The problem with babies and me is that I don’t leap for joy at the sight of a baby. Babies don’t even like me. I’m a youngest child; I’ve never changed a diaper or held a baby. The last (and only) time I ever saw Pampers was at my husband’s 30th surprise birthday party. It was a gag gift. I really, really like Patron. I’m scared shitless at the thought of a baby, pregnancy, and the idea of not being able to pass out on my sofa, drooling all over the cushions as the Magic Bullet infomercial plays in the background. But for some illogical reason, I still wanted a baby.
And so we sit on our new couch, in a new home, in a new state, in the middle of the ocean, with a bottle of Patron. We had remorsefully broken up with our lives for the hope and satisfaction of trying for a baby. We don't even have a baby; we just planned our lives assuming we would get one. But if we got one, would we like it? What if we couldn’t have one? Even scarier, what if we could? Escape, it turns out, is not an option. Would it be possible to paddle back to our former lives, armed only with a binky?