The Boy and I went to another wedding last weekend. This is the second wedding this summer from among his close circle of friends. The bride and groom are wonderful people, and I am genuinely happy for them. The only downside is that they held their reception at the same hotel where the Boy and I broke up in Round 1.
Even though we both know that our relationship in Round 2 is completely different, I think each of us had our own nagging concerns going into that day. As we drove into the parking lot of the hotel, everything just felt awkward. We checked in and I made a half-hearted joke about hoping we were not in the same room as the last time. "Don't worry. It will be fine," the Boy re-assured me as we rode up the elevator.
As soon as we walked into the hotel room I could feel the tension welling up in my chest. I took a deep breath. It may not have been exactly the same room as the last time, but it certainly felt like it. The dark mahogany wood furniture and the bulky camel colored drapes were so oppressive. No wonder I hated this place the last time we stayed here.
I wanted to freshen up before the reception so the Boy sat down on the bed to wait for me to get ready. For some reason, I continued with my uncharacteristic string of jokes to try and lighten the mood. "I see what's going on here," I teased. "You are going to turn the tables and break up with me this time. You have been plotting your revenge for two years and this is the culmination of your master plan!"
"Paybacks are hell," the Boy jabbed back at me. Then he became serious for a moment. "No, that is not my plan," he continued. "But at least we'll finally get to have sex in this hotel."
As I stood at the bathroom sink, I flashed back to that night when we broke up in Round 1. I was so distant from the Boy and he just kept trying to get closer to me. The more he touched me, the more I started to feel trapped. Finally I snapped at him, "Look if you are asking me if I will ever want to marry you or have kids with you, then my answer is no."
I have always felt bad about the way I handled things that night. Now here I was staring at my reflection in the mirror with an opportunity for some sort of redemption. We both got dressed and headed down to the wedding reception. It was actually a really great night. It was a smaller version of the other wedding we had been to in July with many of the same couples.
One of those couples stood out in particular. You may remember the Kids at Any Cost couple that I wrote about in a previous blog. At that last wedding, she had announced that they were trying for a baby, which was somewhat of a surprise to me because she and her husband did not seem to get along. I just assumed that she was desperate to have a child. This time I got to spend more time with her and I realized that I had it all wrong. The wife was not the one who wanted the kid at any cost. It was her husband. Apparently he had been trying to talk her into it for years and eventually she acquiesced.
All of a sudden I had a completely different picture of this couple. The wife was clearly the career driven type and wore the pants in that family. Her husband was very emotional and seemed immature at times. She explained to me that she was going back to work after the baby was born and her husband could stay home if he wanted to. I resisted the urge to tell her that a baby is not going to save their marriage, it will only take whatever problems they have and magnify them. Unfortunately, she will figure that out soon enough.
When we got back to the room that night, the Boy and I laid in bed recounting all of the events from the evening. When I mentioned that I was talking to the wife from the Kids at Any Cost Couple, the Boy chimed in and explained that she and I are a lot alike in that we don't particularly want to have children. He went on to say that he and her husband were in a similar situation. "But I guess I won't be talking you into doing that with me," he said cautiously.
I could not believe we were sitting in the exact same hotel almost two years later having another conversation about making babies. "Dude, are you serious?" I was only half joking this time. "Are we really going to have this conversation here?"
But the flood gates were already opened and it was too late for the Boy to stop. I knew he had been thinking about the kids issue a few other times this summer, but somehow I had managed to avoid the topic. This time there was no escape.
We then embarked on one of the most bizarre conversations I have ever had in a relationship. The Boy explained to me that he had been thinking a lot about it. And he wanted to try and find some way to incorporate his wishes to have a baby while supporting my desire not to be pregnant. I didn't have the heart to interrupt and tell him that it was not just the pregnancy I was afraid of, it was what would happen during the next 18 years after the pregnancy.
He continued with his thought. "So, I was thinking about using a surrogate, like we talked about before." I suddenly remembered a conversation we had a few months ago when I had mentioned to him that my girlfriend didn't want to destroy her body by having a baby and she told me about these surrogate mothers from India that she saw on Oprah. "I am not sure how it would work, but I am definitely willing to consider it," he continued. Then he smiled at me as if this was some revelation that could solve all of our problems.
I wasn't quite sure how to respond. It's not every day that your boyfriend asks if you would like to help him make a baby with some random woman in India. This cannot possibly be what Oprah had envisioned on her show. Maybe I was expecting him to sweet talk me a little bit more before he started harvesting my eggs.
At this point, I could have easily gone off on a diatribe about how I came to the conclusion long ago that I do not want to have a baby. Not through an Indian surrogate, or via c-section, or even floating in a bathtub like Giselle Bundchen. But then I realized that this was obviously very important to the Boy. He was faced with a conflict and he was trying for a win-win negotiation. And perhaps he was still struggling to come to his own conclusions about having kids.
Finally, I formulated my response. "I think you are putting the cart before the horse with this whole baby thing," I explained. "This isn't about whether or not you want to have a baby someday. It's about whether or not you want to have a baby with me."
Throughout the entire conversation, the Boy never said why he was looking into all of these options. I guess I could assume that he is in love with me and wants to spend the rest of his life with me. But he never said any of that. I think the Boy is so focused on the fact that he wants a baby, that he has not considered how much our life would change if we actually had one.
Unlike the first time, we did not break up that night. We actually talked openly about our feelings without coming to any conclusions. Finally we went to sleep around 2:30 AM.
When I woke up the next morning, the Boy was laying there beside me. "Good morning," he said as he snuggled in and started kissing my shoulder. It was obvious where he was heading and I wanted to cut him off before he started too far down the path.
"So, you are going to think I am the craziest girl in the world, but I have something to ask you." I knew I had to get out of that hotel room. The Boy and I had barely survived the night before and I was starting to feel a little claustrophobic. "I am pretty sure there is an Einstein Bagels right across the street. Can we just pack up our stuff and get bagels for breakfast? Then we can head back to my place."
"Sure, if that's what you want." The Boy seemed confused. Clearly he was hoping we might do one more thing before we left the hotel that morning. I didn't want to hurt his feelings so I had to come clean with the truth.
"Also, I feel like this hotel is cursed and I don't want us to have sex here." I buried my head in a pillow as I finished my sentence. As ridiculous as it sounded, I didn't want to tempt fate. And all that talk of 'making babies' was making me really uncomfortable.
The Boy laughed and laid his head down next to mine. "You're right. We made it this far. Let's just grab our stuff and get the hell out of here."
Since the wedding, it seems like we have put the baby conversation on hold for awhile. I think we both have a lot to figure out. In the meantime, I will be avoiding that hotel as well as any surprise trips to India.