Okay, lovely, good-hearted, well-intentioned people with gorgeous, big-eyed children who are convinced that I will want a baby someday: Maybe. You're not wrong. Maybe someday I will want a baby.
But today is not that day.
And you giving me that conspiritorial, winky, "I know something you don't know about yourself and the inevitable ticking of your inner female mommy-clock" smug look doesn't make me want to leap up and go get impregnated. It makes me want to punch you and holler, "I'm thirty-two, you! I think I have a decent grasp on my personal desires, and what I desire most right now is to punch you! Also I want a bowl of cornflakes! With honey!"
This is a hard time in a child-free woman's life, this thirty-something period. Every day I have to ward off people who think I want babies deep down in the bloody bits of marrow of my being.
We dodge them on the way to work.
Raphael: There's one!
Jenny (swerving on two squealing tires): Augh!
Raphael: Why'd you swerve?
It's true. Someday in the distant future, when I am a cyborg, I might wake up and decide I want a baby. It would probably go something like this:
Jenny: I'm feeling dissatisfied with my life. You know what we need around here?
Raphael (hesitantly): Wha-a-a-t?
Jenny: A cantouloupe. You know what else we need?
Jenny: A new left headlight for the car. Badly. I almost killed a guy yesterday. Accidentally, I mean.
Raphael: Yeah, we do need to get that headlight replaced.
Jenny: Also, I want a baby.
Jenny (taps him on shoulder with finger that has been modified to shoot out crazy futuristic metal webby thing - very handy for reaching things on high shelves and tying up intruders): Well...maybe I'll just have one manufactured then.
I understand that if I had babies, I would love them. I'm sure this would be true. I'd love them like crazy. To distraction, even. People wouldn't want to hang out with me anymore because they'd see in my eyes that I find them about as interesting and attractive as an old fencepost compared to my kids.
But while the "Nope-don't-wanna" argument stands up when you tell someone that you don't want to go back to school to be an orthodontist, say, it has no power in the face of the hordes of people who think that you should have babies whether you actually want to or not. After all, the world doesn't need more orthodontists, they seem to say. What it needs badly is more babies. Babies! Rawrrr!
Anyway, the way I feel about it is, at least if I allowed peer pressure to nudge me into orthodontarianismery school against my better judgement, I could change majors. And marry an orthodontist so I could have access to the parties.
But you can't back out once you've committed to procreation, so you better be damn sure that's what you want. And I'm not.
Shouldn't that argument be the best one there is?