29 or the revolt

I think they’re on to us.

They use to be so content-- blissfully unaware in their drug-induced stupor, emerging only one week out of four into a zombie-half-wakefulness, begging for chocolate, Google-ing puppies in baskets, and occasionally making me cry for no good reason.

But I don’t think I can trick them for much longer because lately. . . lately, they’ve been waking up, announcing their presence, coursing with impatience, becoming increasingly insistent in demanding more than pictures of puppies, and making me cry for what seems like a very good reason.

My ovaries have been going through the motions, faking it for more than a decade. I started taking birth control in the spring of 2000, ostensibly to clear up my still-teenage skin and to regulate my unpredictable periods. So I haven’t ovulated since I was 18, when Bill Clinton was president and we’d never even heard of Survivor.

And suddenly, or not so suddenly, after years under our strict regime, we fall out of step at the sight of a tiny foot. We Google our egg supply’s rate of decline. We feel womanly in ways that are embarrassing.

I just turned 29. Ted celebrated by taking me to one of my favorite restaurants on the Lower East Side; the universe celebrated by seating us next to a toddler singing Old McDonald where we were waited upon by a tall, blonde, and beautifully pregnant woman. And I felt old.

Because 29 is so close to 30, impossible to ignore, impossible to pretend it’s mid-20s and impossible to pretend there’s all the time in the world. And maybe all those years of forcing my hormones into hibernation has just been pushing snooze on my biological clock, and maybe if my ovaries are trying to wake up, maybe it’s time.

There was a short list of things I made, once, of things I needed before I was ready: The walls I’ve got, in Brooklyn of all places, where people come when they need space for a stroller. The health insurance is taken care of. And I’m pretty sure I’ve found the person I want to do it with. There was that time my mom laughed at me when I told her I’d rather have a washing machine than a baby. Well, I’ve got my washing machine.

My body, my choice? My education, my career, my bank account, my city, my boyfriend, my Better Judgment. . . It’s not my body that is making this choice.

I keep chemically regulating, shutting down, postponing. But at 29, the math is hard to ignore, and so is the hollow yearning that makes me feel like one of Those Women. Women, not girls anymore.

And I’m sorry I cried, sorry I got impatient, sorry I wanted more than what we have right here, now, in this apartment that feels like it chose us. I’m greedy for a lifetime of things, but most of all I want you. It’s that that makes me feel ready, and that that makes me willing to wait.


p.s. I do not recommend leaving this tab open on your computer for at least a week like someone might have: http://nymag.com/news/features/69789/

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