A few months ago I had a very interesting conversation with my aunties and uncles.
My brother was getting married and after one of the committee meetings, my father asked me what it’s like to date at 35. After the initial surprise, it occurred to me that I could brush aside this question with a humorous response, or I could tell him the truth. So I did. I said it is horrible because half the time I feel like I am working on a schedule dictated by my biology and I find myself having weird conversations when I don’t know the guy that well.
My uncle then asked what weird conversations and I explained that the main one surrounds kids and reproduction. You see I do not have six months to spend getting to know a guy only for him to tell me that his college girlfriend had his 14-year-old twins and he is not interested in having more kids.
My aunt then asked why I don’t just have kids now and the marriage thing can fall into place in its own time. It is so bizarre when the people who instilled certain values in you then turn around and act like you can just ditch them. These aunties and uncles made sure that I knew that kids were to be raised within a family unit. Now they were asking me to create a plan B. A plan that would make me a single mother [which I was repeatedly told was not the family standard]; and a plan that would necessitate pre-marital sex, which my super Christian family has always rejected.
Hmmm… instead of pointing all this out, I chose to ask them questions: just what would it take for me to conceive a child? A brief fling with a man I do not know? Unprotected sex with a man with the sole intention of ‘stealing his sperm’? If I was successful i.e. pregnant, would I then evict the guy from my life? Or go through the messy process of trying to facilitate a relationship between this man that I deceived and his child? Should I try this with a male friend and have the kid call him ‘uncle so and so’?
I get that this has been done by many people. Both men and women have deceived others into procreating with them. Poking holes in condoms, taking condoms off in the middle of the act, lying that you are on the pill… the options are many and as a sex writer, I know more than most.
I just cannot bring myself to do it. It may sound like analysis paralysis but the process is so baffling and that level of deceit just does not live within my bones. Maybe to avoid the lying I could try a sperm bank? It is when I thought about this that it became clear that it is not that important to me to carry a child. I want my husband’s children, not those of an extended one-night stand, or a sperm donor however gorgeous and intelligent he might be.
This conversation was so mind boggling, it has sat with me for months. That I can discuss procreation and dating this candidly with my elders and betters, that they really want grand-kids from me and that I am not interesting in having a stranger’s child simply because time is supposedly running out. It is funny where clarity comes from.