Squeeze This Out
I received a friendly comment from someone who seemed bothered that I used the phrase "squeeze one out" in my previous blog about a crazy actor lady who squeezed one out and finally found her happiness. I guess the reader would have preferred a more sanitized phrase like, "give birth." Or "deliver." Or perhaps a more technical version like, "push through the birth canal and out the bagina." So since it's on my mind again thanks to her sententious comment, I thought I'd continue on the topic of little human beings.
I went to a commercial audition today and noticed that all the women around me were talking about babies. One just had her second. Another decided to leave her two at home this time. And one came strolling in with her little bundle of joy happily sucking on her binky just chilling out in her ride. Upon seeing the other women, that mom said, "Where are yours?" while I was wondering which stranger was gonna have to babysit this child while her mommy went in to audition. Sometimes I can't tell if I am noticing more baby talk now than before because I'm in my prime fertilization phase, or because it's now become the new trendy thing to do. But it seems like everyone and her mother is squirting out puppies. Perhaps it's a combination of both.
I am often shocked and slightly disturbed when I hear my younger female cousins, who range in age from 18 - 27, all speak about their dreams of marrying and raising kids. Huh? What? You guys are WAY too young and educated and talented to be focusing all your time and energy into finding husbands and making babies right now. Live your lives! Pursue your goals! Have some fun! Sleep around! Drink a beer! Seriously, what's the rush?
I am lucky enough to know a few women who have the courage to be honest when they speak of their experiences as wives and mothers, who can openly admit the reality that things aren't always great. You know their counterparts. Those chicks with the shellacked doos and toothy smiles...
single person: "How's married life?"
married woman: "OMG, it's amaaaazing! Wonderful!! It's SO GREAT!!!"
When my friends ask me that question, I usually say, "It's hard work." And when they bemoan single-dom and express envy, I tell them that the grass is always greener. My girlfriend who got married last summer completely freaked out with cold feet. I had to talk her down, but I told her honestly how marriage has been for me. And she thanked me. She told me I was the first and only woman who laid out the good and the bad. She did in fact walk down the aisle, and she's still married. For now.
From what I hear, motherhood is hard too. And sometimes it really sucks. And admitting that does not in any way shape or form mean you love your brat any less, just like admitting marriage is difficult doesn't mean I don't love my husband more than anything in the universe. Of course it's the beautiful and wonderful and OMG amaaaazing aspects of both that make it worth all that hard work. If you're lucky.
It seems the pendulum has swung back to a time where our energy is intensely focused on family, marriage, and home. I mean, how many TV shows can there be about cooking and interior decorating for crying out loud? Even I have found myself considering absurd arts and crafts projects before I suddenly slap myself across the face for even uttering the words "arts and crafts" and come to my senses by purchasing some other useless decorative chachki from some hip street vendor in Soho instead. I sometimes wonder if the general doom and gloom we're constantly fed by the media makes mankind feel this insatiable need to procreate out of a subconscious fear that mankind won't survive. I would think our instinct would be, "If we continue destroying the earth and idiots like Bush remain in office, how and why would I want to bring another life into this fucked up world?"
Don't get me wrong. I love my home, my husband, my family. I love to cook when I'm in the right mood. And I sometimes ponder names of possible future progeny. I just find it fascinating how not that many years ago there was so much emphasis on women's independence, our careers, our equality. And now so many of us want to be taken care of, stay at home, and raise the kids.
Anyway, I thank the women in my life for their honesty. And I am thankful that they are healthy minded enough to talk about it. And loving enough to share their thoughts with me. And funny enough to use crass expressions and joke around to lighten things up and have a good laugh.