Monday, December 22, 2008

Can't Get Enough of Your Hoo-Hoo

This is how Katy tells me she is thinking about getting pregnant soon:

"Soooohhh, Matt and I went to Shopkohhh today..."

I had to interrupt. "Wait a second. That's the most Minnesotan I've heard you sound in a long time, doncha know?"

"Okay, so," she continued, "we were at the Shopko today trying to buy some green beans for our hotdish and lye-soaked cod for our lutefisk..."

"Smartass," I said.

"ANYWAY," she said, "we were in the baby section, and there was the cutest crib there. It matched our bedroom set completely. And you should've seen the bedding! Oh my God, that bedding was adorable. And so I decided I'm going to have a baby and buy that crib."

This wasn't the first time she'd said something like this to me. Ever since we got back from Mexico, Katy's been talking crazy like that. She's been saying she thinks she wants to have a baby, that she's got a major case of the Baby Fever. And every time she says stuff like that, I feel compelled to tell her how I really feel about it. And how I really feel about it is simple: IT FREAKS ME OUT.

And because I am nothing if not consistent, I mentioned that to her this time, too. "Every time you say something like that, my heart dies a little," I told her.

"It dies?!" she said.

"Well, okay, it doesn't die, but I do lose my breath. When you say stuff like that, my heart skips a couple beats and I can't breathe for a minute. I can't handle this."

"But I think I'm ready," she insisted.

"Because you found a crib you liked?" I asked.

"It was really cute," she said. "And you should see this other bedding they have at Target. It's adorable."

"You're never going to come visit me," I said. "You'll get pregnant, and you'll never come to Maine. And you've been promising you'll come to Maine for, like, a long time."

"I'm coming!" she said. "I swear it!"

"Right," I said. "Listen. Listen. You can't get pregnant until at least this time next year. I need some time to get used to this idea."

"Oh, that's a long time to wait," she said.

That panicked me even more. "Oh my God!" I hissed. "You're going to get yourself knocked up immediately?"

"Well, not immediately," she said. "But within the year. Soon."

And that's when I told her that kind of talk was seriously stressing me out and because of that I was now turning the conversation to other things. Frivolous things. Things that involved the Christmas present I got her--one of those super gay ornaments I found in the Old Port this summer. If there was any subject that could be considered the exact opposite of Baby Fever, it was the Sparkly Gay Mermen Christmas Ornament subject.

Of course, my freaking out has nothing to do with Katy and her ability to be an excellent mother. This freaking out has everything to do with me. It's just that everyone in my friend group seems to be moving on to the next stage in their lives and I'm not. My best girls are either moving in with their long-time boyfriends, getting engaged to their long-time boyfriends, marrying their long-time boyfriends, getting pregnant, or contemplating getting pregnant. Me? I'm trying to remember that I need to buy a new pair of red panties for New Year's Eve because I've read that there are certain cultures that say if you wear red panties on New Year's Eve, you'll be lucky in love in the next year.

Is all of this stereotypical nonsense? Yes. Am I being an oh-so-predictable girl? Yes. Am I becoming one of those TV characters I always scoffed at? Oh baby, yes. But it's just that I never really anticipated how scary everything would seem at this age. I obviously know that I don't need a man to survive, and I know that I really like living on my own because I can be alone with my anal retentive patterns and rules, but that doesn't mean I don't sometimes catch myself acting like Charlotte from Sex and the City and parading around saying things like, "Oh, when am I going to get married? Who am I going to marry? Do I even know him yet? And just when am I going to have babies? Do I even want babies?"

It's all the bad, clunky dialogue I hate most from shows that feature lonely, single, wandering girls who are putting up the good fight and trying to find love. And I realize this, and I hate myself for it.

Still, there's a different side to this panic, too, and it has to do with this: it completely floors me--absolutely boggles my mind--that my friends and I are of the age that we're starting to talk babies. Weren't we just sitting in the back of the auditorium after play practice, after we'd been scolded by the director for being too giggly and chatty and distracting--and weren't we just crossing our legs and settling in back there for a long talk about naked boys and how we weren't sure we ever wanted to see one?

Am I--and my friends--ready to be the kind of person a mother has to be? This is the crucial question, I think. After all, today Amy and I were sitting in traffic after just having finished our last-minute Christmas shopping, and while we were waiting for the light to change, we were listening to some unknown song on the radio. The singer was crooning, I can't get enough of you-ou-ou! but what it really sounded like was this: I can't get enough of your hoo-hoo! And so that's what Amy and I started singing. We sang, I can't get enough of your hoo-hoo! to the cars that passed us in the other lane.

"Oh Jesus," I said as the song's final notes evaporated into the air, "we are such assholes."

And I'm not exactly sure if that type of girl--the girl who's singing about hoo-hoos while the holiday traffic streams by her--is ready to bring a baby into this world.

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