I was a happy girl. Happily thirty one years old. Happy in my existing relationship. Happy to be selfishly focused on myself. Happy to live in my tiny overpriced apartment in Denver. Happy to have money to spend on expensive products and weekend trips with friends. Happy to be a proud auntie. Happy to be on my schedule. My. Own. Schedule. I didn’t even own a pet.
You know how in your early twenties you always assumed that by the time you were thirty you’d be married and have children? I know, I did too. I think that happens because thirty seems sooooo far away and marriage and children seem so…well a natural part of life. Thirty to a twenty year old is basically forty to a thirty year old and when I’m forty I fully intend to have three kids, a Range Rover, a country club membership, a professional grade kitchen in my home…and I’ll be even thinner than I am today, after those three children. God, I can’t wait until I’m forty.
Last summer after a four year relationship ended I found myself in Denver…in Denver as a single lady with a lot of married friends. And so I got on Tinder. Now, hold your horses, Nelly…I wasn’t getting on Tinder seeking love or even lust…I was simply seeking a platonic relationship with a guy who I could text early on a Saturday morning, “Wake up loser, we’re going to the farmers market”. All my guy friends in Denver were married to all my girlfriends and sometimes a girl needs a little less girl-talk and an ice cold beer. I was looking for a casual, laid back guy who would let me hit his world like a hurricane and wouldn’t be heartbroken when I finally met my financier, country clubbin’, three kid baby daddy. A friend. Who was a guy. Casual. Easy.
I was heading to Europe for about two weeks when I felt it was an appropriate time for me to start scouting out some guys, in fact, I was en route to Denver International Airport when I swiped for the first time, RIGHT. Fast forward 18 hours later, I landed in Rome and after a hot shower and three cups of Italian coffee, opened up the app and found that overnight I had several matches, ohhhweee. Over the next two weeks I had friendly conversations with guys in Denver and attempted the same with guys in Italy, lost in translation is a real thing and sometimes its best just to be drunk in a nightclub making out when you literally can’t exchange words (speaking not of my time in Rome), I digress…
I’ll save my Tinder approach and several other stories of love, pre-date arguments, and GIFs for another post.
So I matched with a guy with whom I found easy to converse, totally boss-able, and a little sarcastic . He also had photos of himself fly fishing in Alaska which initially peaked my interest after I had previously found out that a guided fishing trip is upwards of $400 per day (bonus). The conversation started with, “Brett, how strong of a fisherman are you?”. After a while we played, “Name Your Pizza Toppings”, and found that we were truly compatible (pepperoni and mushroom), we set a date upon my arrival home from Europe; we met 24 hours later for oysters, prosecco, and pizza and the rest (sixteen months) is history. He was the perfect out-of-a-serious-relationship relationship. Forty one, never been married, no kids, owned his own company, chopped his own wood, smelled like whiskey, hand rolled cigarettes, and body odor, he was tough man with a gentle and thoughtful heart. Oh and he bought me waders on our first fishing trip in Vail and the friend zone ended right there.
About a week into knowing one another he invited me to his house to make me dinner and mid-steak grilling confessed nervously that he had something to share with me…he had a vasectomy. At the time I wasn’t sure how I felt so ended up brushing it off due to the fact that I couldn’t figure out why he felt the need to tell me something so personal when we weren’t even dating (I was friend-zoning him for a while, a very short while). He also opened the door that night without a shirt on. WITHOUT A SHIRT ON. I mean we had not even kissed at this point and the guy so brazenly receives me in his home with a bare chest? I think I said something along the lines of, “Oh, where’s your shirt?”, so although he quickly covered himself, things were progressing…rapidly.
Fast forward six months and I was in my annual at the gyno and casually talking to my nurse practitioner. My nurse practitioner, God, I wish we were friends…she’s just the coolest. I think she’s probably my mom’s age and I always look forward to that one time of year I get to see her, or maybe another UTI visit or something in-between, but a couple times a year. I always want to ask for her number, but realize everyone probably feels that way and I doubt Marsha wants to hang out with me so I keep it professional.
So Marsha and I are chatting and here is how our conversation unfolds:
Marsha: Soooooo, you still dating that one guy? With the vasectomy right?
Brittany: Oh yeah! Yeahhhhhh, we’re still dating…..
Marsha: How’s that going? That vasectomy is convenient, right?
Brittany: Oh my goshhhhhhh, tooootally…I KNOW.
Marsha: So do you think you want to have any kids?
Brittany: Welllllll….you know it’s SO funny you ask, Marsha, I was just talking to my best friend about this….you know how when you are younger you always just assume you’ll have kids and then now I am like at that AGE and I just don’t have the desire or see it today…it’s so weird.
Marsha: Ohhhhh yeah, well you do NOT have to have kids to have a fulfilling or purposeful life.
Brittany: Yeah…. THANK YOU. Totally…(in thought about if life really would be fulfilling and purposeful as an AFL, auntie for life)
Marsha: BUT Brittany, if there’s ANY chance you even THINK you might want a kid…you need to know by 33 and you MUST make up your mind by 35.
Marsha: Have you seen a fertility specialist yet?
Marsha: You should book an appointment to talk about your options for freezing your eggs. I’ll give you a referral.
Marsha is a total bitch.
I was set up. I was made to feel comfortable, and accepted, and I didn’t deserve for my very own GIRLFRIEND (nurse practitioner) to throw my age in my FACE and treat me like I wasn’t twenty three years old, plus eight years. Like what was she trying to pull in there? The only thing I had ever thought about freezing was a bottle of Tito’s and Girl Scout Cookies.
Upon my departure from the doctor’s office I called my girlfriend and told her my horrifying story of my pregnancy firing squad and you guys…she told me it had JUST happened to her a month prior. I mean, granted she is one year older than me, but still…STILL. It just wasn’t the time for that conversation.
It didn’t take that long before I realized that although Marsha was being totally dramatic, I guess it’s real thing that we have to think about and decide on, which is completely ridiculous. What if I simply don’t want to have a family for another twelve years? I don’t wake up and want to be married yet. I don’t wake up and want kids yet. I still feel like I am twenty three, okay twenty five, and although I’m so thankful to not feel stressed about marriage and family, I am starting to really stress over the fact that I am not stressing over marriage and family. Am I supposed to just have babies with someone who will simply suffice in the meantime if I even remotely think I want to have children? I don’t want that….it’s not the fairy-tale I envisioned. Is life not a fairy-tale?
W. T. F.
Yours in Sleeping In and Selfish Desires,