Issue #165 – “The Second Wave” – March 8th, 2010

-After enjoying a peaceful, engagement-free existence for the first few years after college, 75% of my friends got married between the ages of twenty-six and twenty-nine. This first wave were pioneers – introducing me to the wonders of bridal registries, destination weddings, and tuxedo vomit stain removal techniques. But now, a second wave is coming. Those couples (well, the ones who aren’t already divorced), are now shedding light on a phenomenon I’ve had little prior experience with: pregnancy. I can’t tell you how shocked I am by the fact that my married friends are starting to have kids. Not because I don’t think they’re ready, but because I just assumed they no longer had sex.

-The first baby I ever held was my cousin Daniel, a few days after he was born in 2001. He was so delicate that I remember being terrified that I would somehow break him. Now when I visit Daniel he comes flying at my blind side – usually face or feet first – and I end up getting clocked in the balls. I should have taken him down when I had the chance.

-I was hanging out with my pregnant friend a few weeks ago when she said she was hungry. I started to tell her what I had to eat in the house, but by the time I turned around she was already elbow deep into a box of cereal. I asked her if she wanted a bowl or a spoon…or some milk, but her eyes were already glazed over. Now I have to buy more Rice Krispies.

-I’ve long espoused in my books and stand-up act that if you’re dating a girl and you decide to make your relationship “official,” always have that conversation on Valentine’s Day. Cheesy as it may seem, every year henceforth your anniversary will fall on that holiday, enabling you to combine both gifts in one. I call this the “relationship extra-value meal.” Coincidentally, my Israeli buddy Gadi just had a baby girl who was actually born on Valentine’s Day. So if the guy who eventually marries her plays his cards right, he’ll only have to buy her one present the entire year. In other words, she’s a keeper.

-As I mentioned in Ruminations #162, I recently had brunch with two married couples, one of which brought their ten-month-old daughter. The baby was cute and I was several potent Bloody Marys deep, so I started tickling her. My buddy chided me for touching his kid with my germy hands. Um, hello? I bathe daily, carry Purell in my car, and am currently drinking nearly pure alcohol. You’re lucky I’m letting your baby touch ME!

-I firmly believe that all employees have the right to maternity leave. But how anxious are those last few days in the office when you’re trying to get shit done before the baby comes and your co-worker disappears for twelve weeks? “How far apart are the contractions? Do we have time for one more meeting? Shit, her water just broke on the Polycom.”

-Of course, most of my married friends don’t even have kids yet – which means the second wave is just beginning. When my time comes, though, hopefully I’ll have plenty of practice. I sure as hell need it. My cousin Daniel’s little sister Emily has taken to calling me from her mom’s cell phone (likely because “Aaron” is listed first in the address book), and expecting me to chat with her. But what do you say to a five-year-old? “How are you?” “Good.” “What are you doing?” “Nothing.” “How old are you?” “Five.” And then I’m out of questions. I can’t wait until Emily’s mom teaches her what a Bloody Mary is. Then Emily will be the one asking me questions: “How are you?” “Hungover.” “What are you doing?” “Sleeping.” “How many did you have?” “Five.”

-As always, here are some random things I’ve been ruminating about lately…

-Even if I’m explicitly reminded to “read from the bottom up” when forwarded an entertaining email conversation, I still read from the top down and ruin it.

-Utilizing both a smiley face and parentheses in the same sentence is a complex maneuver few should attempt.

-Ever notice that in Word when you right click on a plural term in order to find a synonym it merely gives you the singular version of the same word? No one wins.

-Have you ever mistaken a soap dispenser for a hand sanitizer dispenser and spent five minutes futilely rubbing soap into your dry hands?

-I last lived with a roommate five years ago and 3,000 miles away, but I’m still finding his shit. The other day I called Brian and said, “Dude, I’m pretty sure I have your pillow case.” “No way,” he responded, “How do you know?” “Well, for starters,” I said, “it has your name written in it.”

-Time Warner Cable just signed me up for “PowerBoost,” which is supposed to make my Internet faster for a few extra bucks a month. Clearly this is the 21st century version of being sold magic beans.

-You know you’re not religious when people offer you salutations for holidays you had no idea were happening.

-This morning my treadmill abruptly stopped mid-run and the screen read: “Maintenance necessary.” That’s just a low blow.

-I actually bought the Axe shower tool. Now I feel like one.

-And, finally, I’m the oldest child and my parents had me five years after they were married. I think five years is a good number. You get to enjoy each other’s company for a while (and make sure you don’t get divorced) before starting to pop out babies. The problem is, with people getting married later and later these days, waiting so long to conceive isn’t always an option. This has a disproportionately adverse effect on women, who now face dual pressure – from society to get married, and from biology to have kids. Meanwhile, I can stick to dating twenty-three-year-olds and not worry about either. The fact is, though, women are saints for putting up with all this. As I wrote in Ruminations #108, my mom left her career to stay home and raise my sister and me, only to return to the workforce shortly thereafter because I was such a pain in the ass. It would not be an exaggeration to say that I owe my life to my mom. And she owes hers to daycare. Fuck me.