Monday, November 07, 2011

My jealousy is ugly

My cousin Mara had her baby on Saturday. A little girl she named Claire, who has a head of dark, dark hair. I am excited to meet her.

You know who else is excited to meet her? My mom. My mom who danced – literally broke out into a bloody jig, I am not even exaggerating a little bit – when she heard the news.

And who cooed and petted the monitor when the first picture was emailed.

My mother has never been one to pressure me to get married or to have babies but, holy shit, that dance routine that she broke out in certainly felt like subliminal pressure. Not unlike when she coolly congratulated me on every college acceptance until my UM letter came in the mail – just before Thanksgiving (I was the first of my friends to hear back from my beloved UMich) – it was dinner and hugs and beaming, beaming pride. Mom never said it but it was pretty clear where she wanted me to go to college. Just like I am pretty sure I know what she would like: grandbabies.

News of Baby Claire’s arrival came on Saturday morning and by noon I was in a horrible, horrible mood. Cancelling prior plans to go out with Meg and my cousin Liz that night. Disinterest in the UM football game. (Watching would have only broken my heart even more.) Halfhearted trips to the mall and to the craft store. To buy supplies. For Lucy’s baby shower. Which is next Sunday.

How about everybody have a baby at the same time so that I can just jump into this pool of Life Failure rather than settling for dipping in my toes and testing the waters?

It’s nothing against anyone. Really, it isn’t. If it is time to have a baby: have a baby. I will be overjoyed for you. If not a little (okay, a lot) jealous. This just feels like my many, many turns as a bridesmaid all over again. Except that my ovaries are involved. Fucking ovaries. Ridiculously fucking sensitive ovaries.

I’ve always felt like I am so far behind my peers. It’s been like this since I was a kid – always the youngest in my class because of my late birthday, I was always waiting and watching as my friends achieved milestones long before I did. From learning my multiplication tables to growing out of kid-sized clothes to having that first legitimate boyfriend to the husband and the house and the babies. It always happens, eventually – and I guess I would like to believe that pattern will continue and I won’t be an old maid librarian and the weird single aunt to Meg’s kids – but I’m always the last.

I dislike last.

I dislike this envy.

I dislike myself for keeping score. For wanting to catch up. For treating life like it is a board game where the right roll of the dice or the right card at the top of the deck will turn things around. For seeing what I don’t have more clearly than I see what I do.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

You hit it spot on! My closest cousin and best friend both just had their first babies in the last 3 weeks. When I found out they were pregnant I was so happy that they were getting what they wanted. And then I spent a whole weekend on the couch feeling depressed and sad.

I wonder if I'll ever have it or of they'll have time for their single friend. Or if they'll bond with other friends and couples that have kids. I had hope I would be there with my kid too. But all you can do is hope that it happens for you, someday it will be my day or your day. And there's got to be a reason that things happen this way, we just don't know it yet. Either way I'm comforted knowing someone else is feeling the same way.

kjpugs said...

My mom insists my six month old nephews (twins) grow up calling her grandma because she's too old to be their aunt. Pressure much? I TOTALLY hear ya girl.

Lauren said...

I totally understand what you're going through. Nearly ALL of my friends are married, and have been for years. Not only are they having children, but they are actively GROWING their families. My long-time friend just had her 3rd on Saturday. Being that I can't get my BF of nearly 6 years down the aisle, and I'm 32, it stresses me out to no end.

It was time for drastic measures. For me, I left. Not my boyfriend, we're still together, but I picked up and shipped myself off to a job in Iraq. A change of life, scenery, job, everything was exactly what I needed. So now I can also say (like Barney on HIMYM), "All my friends are either getting married, or getting pregnant. I'm just getting more awesome."

 
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