We’re Not Getting Any Younger But It’s Alright

You’re not getting any younger.

Of course I’m not getting any younger, do you think that people are Benjamin-Button-ing in real life?

Also, I happen to like my age. I live on my own (well, with a flatmate but still not at my parents’), travel without a stewardess having to hand me crayons and papers after fastening my seatbelt (even though crayons sound really good), vote, can order drinks legally but, at the same time, still do a downward facing dog as well as a proper pull-up. OK, the last one might need require some additional effort but you get the picture.

 

 

You’re not getting any younger.

Why am I having the age conversation with myself? The next birthday is not even remotely in sight. I’ll tell you why. Because a guy, wait it was not a “guy”, he was a fully fledged adult, a man, came up to me last Friday and told me…

You’re not getting any younger.

To cut him some slack, this was not his opening line.

It was the end to a conversation that started with “Hello, how are you doing?” and quickly escalated into a heated debate about what’s the best age to have children. Yes, you read right. This is what happens when I decide to have girls-night-out, shake-the-long-work-week-off drinks. And might as well explain why I do not do it that often. Just kidding. Give me a dance floor and see me become Carlton Banks in an instant.

 

 

But back to my child-bearing conversation. See, I am wholeheartedly pro choice – and I’m not talking strictly abortion here. You can get all Cheaper by the Dozen or pull off an Oprah and decide that you do not want children but you want dogs that you can then spoil as if they were children or travel the world and write books instead; whatever floats your boat. You can have children with 20 or at 45. Adopt. Go in vitro. Have a surrogate mother bring your children to this Trump-electing, Brexit-ing, greenhouse-ing, homosexual-condemning, etc. world.

 

 

Life is like a notebook. A blank one. Well, not entirely, I might have filled those 24 first pages with stories. And scribbles. And smiley faces or maybe the occasional tear. And, to be honest, I cannot imagine any of the next pages being smeared in baby body fluids. I cannot imagine myself having children anytime soon unless for the following scenario: Best friend falls madly in love, gets married, has children, tragically dies in fatal car accident together with her husband and decides that she wants me, out of all people, to get custody of her little ones. She never told me so but her lawyer insists that it’s written in her will. If this is the case, I promise to to drop everything and become a super mom: drag them to museums every Sunday, make them take jiu jitsu classes, teach them how to use chopsticks, braid their hair, deny them access to electronic devices until they’re well into their 30s, and so on. I’m going to be a disastrous influence on your children so please don’t get killed in a car accident. Also, please don’t get killed in a car accident because I love you.

Time is definitely of the essence when it comes to procreating. What the aforementioned fella tried to talk me into was the fact that if you have children at a young age then you get to “enjoy” them more, i.e. run and play with them all day long without getting a heart attack in the process. Scientific research also suggests that, in many cases, children of older parents are more likely to face certain health issues. Being physically fit is thus important to childbearing.

Time can be of the essence indeed. However, what happens about being mentally and emotionally fit? Or financially fit – having children nowadays is an expensive sport. Like any female teenager about to test the uncharted waters of third base, shouldn’t one wait until they’re ready? I can still recall a conversation with a friend when, a million years ago, she emphatically declared that she was not having children until she could secure both herself and them financially. Now, this is a young woman with an incredible sense of responsibility, a serious relationship and a calling for handling petite sized humans as well as other creatures that you can squeeze, cuddle, spoon-feed and carry around in your arms. This is a friend who is nailing adulting. Fiercely independent and pragmatic at the same time, her words stuck with me ever since.

Also, what about partners? What if you do not find the right person, the one with which you want to start a family, fight over IKEA tupperware sets and share a bank account, until later in life? Do you just procreate with the first tall, dark, handsome stranger that crosses your path simply because Mother Nature (and society norms) say that the clock is ticking? And what about this clock metaphor by the way? It’s horrific. It suggests that a woman’s body is like a time bomb waiting to explode and then boom, pow, smash, wham, game over? Only lunar regolith left behind? Why does no one ever talk about male bodies in the same way?

 

You’re not getting any younger.

By the time he drops that line, I’ve already had enough. I refuse to have the baby conversation, on a Friday night out, with a person that fails to understand that I am entitled to have my own opinion regarding women’s bodies, minds and lives. My friend M. is currently looking the other way, pulling off the entire “don’t mind me, I’m giving you some space to chat and get to know each other” act and cannot thus catch any of the panicky, sidelong glances I’m casting at her. Yes, I need some time and space, probably a transatlantic flight between me and this guy. Song change. “That’s my jam!”, I squeal with delight to this song that I hardly recognize, grasp her hand and motion her to the dance floor. Just a moment before I’m about to be swallowed by the jostling, hip-swinging, Friday-night-loving crowd, I turn around and say, “hey, I might not be getting any younger but on the dance floor I’m ageless.”

That night the DJ saved my life (as always),

F.

 

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