Friday, June 1, 2012
I Got A Fever... And The Only Prescription... Is More Birth Control.
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There are babies everywhere.
They are all over Facebook. They are at every family function I attend. They are at all of my friends’ barbecues. They are impossible to escape.
And they are all adorable.
Ugh... everyone told me this was going to happen.
“One day, Tina... one day your clock will start ticking and you’ll realize you want a baby. It happens to everyone. Just accept it.”
People mistake my statement for not wanting kids to mean that I hate children and think they are all the spawn of the devil. I have never thought this. I have many reasons why I have never wanted children, and most of them revolve around logic. An overpopulated planet... so many kids without a home needing loving adoptive parental units... not the right economy for a family... disagreeing with society’s idea of a strong value system... losing my independence... just to name a few.
Lately, it seems I am scrambling to hold on to these reasons.
As I wrote about in my last post, things just don’t seem to make sense to me anymore. I’ve spent most of my life trying to figure things out and understand the bigger picture behind life’s daily occurrences. However, it seems like the more I try to do so, the more confused I get.
So I’m officially dating Rob. Relationship status changed on Facebook and everything. I’m enjoying the casual nature of it so far as nothing about it has felt forced. We have opposite schedules and live on opposite sides of town. So, instead of spending the first few months of our relationship spending every waking moment together, we spend most of it missing each other. This is actually a nice, refreshing change for me and something that I think is important given how quickly I tend to jump into things.
Most of our communication is done through texting since we don’t see each other incredibly often. Last week, after getting out of work a little early, I was at home, relaxing, watching television and having a fun and flirtatious text conversation with Rob. Somehow, we got on the subject of babies. I was joking about how it doesn’t matter what he tells me, it’s obvious that he wants to have kids. He was sort of throwing it back at me playfully as well. It was actually a fun conversation and as much as I didn’t want to be having it, I was enjoying it.
Rob’s most recent relationship was with a woman who had a son. He was just a baby when they started dating and by the time they separated and Rob moved out to Las Vegas, he was six or seven years old. Rob was the only dad that he knew. I really can’t imagine what it must feel like to have left behind a child that you spent five years raising, but for reasons that are more personal than I am at liberty to discuss here, Rob knew the best thing for his own life would be to move on.
But I can see the light in his eyes when he talks about him. He liked being a dad. He says he would be fine never having children... but I think he would be more fine if he did. Up until recently, I would probably end the relationship over this assumption. Sounds like a very “Tina” thing to do...
But whatever. I’m not doing that this time around. Obviously, it’s way too early to make any kind of decision like that and this whole baby-fever thing could simply be a residual affect from being around so many mini-humans lately. And again, the way my brain works, I could feel completely different tomorrow.
Back to our texting conversation, though...
We spent some time going back and forth and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t imagining what life would be like as a mother. It was kind of a fun fantasy. One that I wasn’t planning on sharing with anyone as I knew the “I told you so”s would be rampant. But yes... I was smiling.
Suddenly, my thoughts were interrupted by a siren just outside my window. I looked outside and both an ambulance and a fire and rescue vehicle were parked in front of my apartment with their lights going. It was just after 10:30pm. I crept quietly onto my balcony to see what the disturbance was.
They were talking to my downstairs neighbor, Joe. Joe moved in a little over a year and a half ago. We became friends quickly as he had a Directv contract and they wanted to put his satellite dish on my patio for better reception. My apartment unit offered me $100 off my rent to accommodate this. I would’ve done it for free. We’ve been very friendly to each other ever since.
Joe is probably in his mid to late 60s and smokes a lot. So I see him quite frequently on his patio as I am coming and going. During football season, we’ll rap for a while about big plays and what the Broncos are up to. He and Tim got along really well and were always bullshitting about something or other. I haven’t had a neighbor I’ve gotten along with like this since... geez... I don’t think I’ve ever had a neighbor like this.
When Tim and I broke up and he moved out, Joe was sad. But he told me if I ever needed anything, to let him know. I said sometimes I go out of town and need someone to look in on Bailey. He said of course. He is very sweet.
I couldn’t tell exactly what was going on that night with the ambulance. I could hear them talking to Joe about any health problems and heard him respond that he had diabetes but couldn’t really make out much more of what the actual issue was. A group of neighbors had gathered nearby to also observe the commotion.
A few minutes later, I saw them loading him up on a stretcher and taking him away. It was dark and I still couldn’t tell what the issue was, but it made me feel better that he was communicating coherently with them. Joe doesn’t live the healthiest life in the world so I assumed it was probably something related to his diabetes or some other health issue and figured I would chat with him when he got back home in the next day or so.
The next morning, my dad and brother came over to work out at my fitness center. As we were leaving my apartment, I was telling them about Joe and what I thought might be going on with him. However, when I looked over at his patio, I realized something more serious had happened. I saw blood. A lot of it. It was pooled just outside his door and while the sun had already dried it out, it was obvious that a decent amount had been lost.
Why didn’t I go down and ask him what was wrong? Maybe there was something I could’ve done while he was getting help in the hospital? This was not a normal health problem... I suddenly felt like a pretty lousy human being and began to worry terribly about Joe.
I went to the grocery store later on that afternoon. When I returned, I saw Joe on his patio, smoking a cigarette. A lump rose up in my throat as I saw his face. It was completely black and blue. His nose looked broken and his eyes were unable to open all the way. I got out of my car and walked up to him.
“What happened, Joe?”
With a sad and defeated spirit, Joe told me he had won some money at a bar just down the street the night before. A couple guys followed him home and proceeded to beat and rob him in front of his door. They took all the money he had on him and left him on the ground, bleeding and helpless. Two big black guys beating up on an old, lonely white guy over a little bit of money. A disgusting display of today’s humanity.
I didn’t know what to do or say. I told him to let me know if there was anything he needed. He said he would and looked away. I went upstairs and cried.
I was reminded quickly of one of the main reasons why I have never wanted children. Sometimes, I just really hate this world and the people who live in it.
My head usually beats out my heart when it comes to decision making. There’s no telling whether or not this is a good thing or a bad thing. But I’m on the pill again, anyway, because “oops”ing into motherhood is not exactly how I want to approach a life decision like that. I’d like to make sure I’m with the right man, the situation is perfect, and it’s not just a fleeting emotion that will depart as quickly as it arrives. Plus, after what happened with Joe, I may need a few more reminders that this isn’t a piece of shit world that I would be introducing to a human being.
Call me a cynic... but perhaps more people should be a little cynical before deciding to have babies. Not everyone I know who has them are as thrilled as I would expect them to be. It’s not a decision that should be taken lightly. And seeing a great father in Rob is not yet as important as seeing a great partner. Far too early for that.
I did get asked to babysit my nephew a couple of times next month. Perhaps that will set me straight again.
Posted by Tina V at 3:52 PM