Tonight at work, I was walking toward the sink with a handful of dishes when my coworker stopped me mid stride and said Do you want to see my baby? If memory serves me correctly, she’s a grand total of a month and a half pregnant, which means that her “baby” looks like the skimpiest sea monkey ever. As far as Juno is concerned, the baby doesn’t even have fingernails. I wasn’t actually sure how to respond because honestly, I had no desire whatsoever to see her sonogram, but there it was staring me in the face; sonograms are supposed to require some kind of emotional reaction… like the Sarah McLachlan commercials. Maybe it’s because I’m not a parent, but I have very little interest in seeing what your baby looks like while its inside you unless you have one of those creepy 3D shots or your baby is visibly rocking like 14 fingers.
|I mean, as far as I know, this could be a child or a squirrel,
or an old school doppler radar map. I had some pinhole
photography that looked like this once.
It reminds me of last semester of when a girl in my class Cassie discovered she was pregnant. She found out on the same day that we all received our grades for our senior comprehensive exams. All of a sudden, it didn’t matter at all that I had aced an 8 hour long test over four years of college; I was planning on how I could steal her baby. I was sure that it could be a candidate for the Antichrist, but if given to the right person (i.e. me) it would have a chance of being a productive member of society. Everyone was freaking out about the grades, and all I could do was stare at her. For the next couple weeks, she would come into class holding her back while lowering herself into her seat. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that her actions were completely illogical, as the only thing she was carrying was a pocket of cells the size of her thumbnail… at best… so I just let her do it. She would excuse herself to pee, then she would go have a cigarette after class. The whole thing annoyed me, so I tried my best to avoid conversation about her or the baby. Finally, she cornered me on campus; I was in the midst of finishing all of my final projects when she asked the big, awkward question: Oh my gahhh, Justin! Do you wanna see my sonogram? I saw her pulling the papers out, and I was tired. I was tired and frustrated and maybe even slightly delusional as I blurted out, No, not really. She gave me pregnant woman eyes, though I was suspicious if there was actually any fetal matter inside of her to begin with. Her eyes were a hybrid of devastation and unbridled anger, Um, you don’t want to see them? I figured that I had already screwed up. No reason to try to save myself now, Nope. I’m just not really interested. Maybe some other time. Or maybe not. Go big or go home, I suppose.
|Early twenty year olds having babies are like seven year olds
having Tamagotchis. Only a certain percentage of them
are actually capable of keeping them alive.
In all honesty, it took her wedding pictures to convince me that there was something growing inside of her besides a lot of doughnuts. I thought she pulled a Baby Mama and printed off a picture of a squirrel sonogram and was flashing it to people in the same way that a 17 year old flashes a fake ID: just long enough for you to see that something exists in your hand, but not long enough to see that it’s fake. Other than me blatantly stating that I didn’t want to see her blastula, I was awfully nice to the girl. She ruined all further forced enthusiasm the day that she came at me in class. That was the day that I decided that I really, really needed to steal her baby. While humming the national anthem of Genovia from The Princess Diaries, one girl asked me… um, is that the Genovian national anthem? Proudly, I affirmed her suspicion. She responded through laughter, How many times have you seen that movie? I had figured it was somewhere around 7 or 8. Anne Hathaway and I are pretty tight. Completely uninvited into the conversation, Cassie responds, Is that the day that you decided that you liked boys, too? Honestly, the question didn’t offend me as much as the fact that the phrasing of the question was embarrassingly vague. In terms of the question, which viewing are you talking about? The second, the fifth? Oh yeah, and homosexuality isn’t an insult, but I knew I had to retort. My friend Kelly began to rise to verbally assault her, and I eventually said, Cassie, when did you get fat and try to pawn it off as a pregnancy? I guess I had been holding up all this resentment about her offering to show me her old school doppler radar map/squirrel/baby pictures. Cassie didn’t say another word, and I haven’t spoken to her much since that day in class. I don’t think I could check out her lizard baby’s pictures if I wanted to now.
So back to my coworker, I glanced over at her pictures and said, Oh, how adorable because I think sometimes expectant, unmarried mothers want that confidence, even if it’s false, that they’re babies won’t come out with a cone head or absurdly wide set eyes. So I looked at her inkblot of a sonogram and then quickly walked on to the sink. I worry because Facebook seems to be telling me that babies are the new black. Everyone seems to be accessorizing with babies, and I love my accessories, but I just don’t think that people our age are ready for so many babies, just like I think it took a special kind of seven year old to adequately take care of a Tamagotchi. But I suppose I can’t control what it is that people do or not do, and that includes fornication. If I could, I would have stopped my roommate from having sex with his girlfriend on the couch a long time ago. But there is one thing I can control: looking at that really weird black and white picture that you claim at two months to be an actual baby. This isn’t a Gerber commercial; this is poor, premature photography that I don’t know if I’m holding right side up.