As I walked to a drugstore to pick up a pregnancy test, the daydreams disappeared. My period arrived right before I plucked down $20 for an E.P.T. My pseudo-boyfriend called as I walked home, dealing with my mixed feelings of relief and disappointment. I had never told him. His aunt, like a mother to him, had just passed the week before and he was dealing with his own feelings of loss. Plus, the whole circle of life possibility had freaked me out.
Gone were the fantasies of being the single, knocked-up girl at the office. I wouldn't be a test case to see how far our society had come. I wouldn't have to worry about being scrutinized for being unwed. I wouldn't be the main topic of water cooler gossip, nor would anyone wonder if I'd just gotten heavier because my gym membership expired and I had rediscovered Easy Mac.
If I had been pregs, I'd have kept it under wraps for months while I came up with a game plan. I'd be sporting long jackets and big sweaters, not complaining of nausea, unless I blamed the deli downstairs. There was no need to strategize though—I wasn't.
My expectant colleagues were already checking out. Not only would I be covering for them while they were on maternity leave, but I had also been covering for them since they spotted those two Pink lines. So I checked out, too. I began looking for a new gig immediately. I took the first thing that was offered to me and escaped right before five of them went into their third trimester. The Frisky: "My Friend Is Obsessed With Getting Pregnant"
Looking back, I see I was running from a club I wasn't a member of, a club that included the commitment of a man I loved and the joy of producing a mini-me meshing of the both of us.
I do understand the enthusiasm of these women to boast of fertility victory after they chased it unsuccessfully for years. But what about the women in our office who, regardless of modern medicine, still can't conceive? What about the women who do not know if they ever will? Experts say there's discrimination against pregnant women in the workplace, and I'm sure there is. But sometimes, single women feel discriminated against, too.
I know someday I may choke on these words. That I will barely be able to lift my hand for the weight of my 6-carat diamond ring. That I'll be married and pregnant with quadruplets, after swallowing enormous doses of fertility drugs. That I will be stoned on pregnancy hormones and love struck. So, I try to suck it up and say my turn will come, just as I do when I see the payroll taxes taken out for social security. Through for now, retirement feels just as far away as motherhood.
Written by Rainbow Kirby for The Frisky.