Since I hit 25, most of my ex-boyfriends are either getting married or getting knocked up.
While they've been tackling these major life milestones, I've been kind of doing my own thing, like planning booze swaps and peeling slices away from this giant block of cheese I have in the fridge. It's been great, though. It's very good cheese.
In all seriousness, I do wish my exes well. Most of them are really great guys and even though it didn’t work out, I still learned a lot from each of them.
For example, there was the one ex who was really into The Shining. I’d never thought about how much the Overlook Hotel’s decor clearly addresses the mistreatment of Native Americans until we got really high that one time and talked about it for like, an entire night.
And I’d never know how gross dumpster-diving is if it hadn’t been for that other guy and the bedbugs I was sure I had in my apartment for months afterward. I also feel pretty confident saying that if it hadn’t been for another ex-boyfriend — well, two, actually — I’d never know the difference between black metal and death metal. Or that there is one.
But there is this one ex-boyfriend, and he’s a little different. I just found out that he’s having a baby, which is pretty neat. So I decided to do what any reasonable ex-girlfriend would do: I poured myself a big glass of red wine and I tracked down his baby registry. And when I found it, there were a few things I just couldn’t let go of or get out of my head.
For starters, I wondered if maybe it was inappropriate of me to be looking at it. After all, a baby registry is sacred, sort of. It’s open to the public, but it’s a place for happy, expectant couples to plan and share their innermost hopes for the baby, right?
Trading on all that sentimental crap to sucker rich relatives into buying $300 strollers is just a nice bonus. A baby registry is a special thing, and I totally get that. More importantly, I respect that.
But wow, who knew he had this many friends? (To be fair, maybe this registry is just for her friends.) I also couldn’t get over just how many things people seem to need for babies nowadays. Clothes and bottles, that all makes sense. But seriously — what the hell is a diaper sprayer, and why does it cost almost $100? Couldn’t you just use a sponge or some disinfecting wipes or something? How bougie has he gotten since we broke up anyway?
Cute drying rack, though.
When I saw he’s expecting a boy, I was so thrilled. I immediately thought of how excited his folks must be. He felt a lot of pressure to carry on the family name. He was afraid if he didn’t, it would die out with him. I never had the heart to tell him that it’s a pretty common last name.
As I looked at the registry, I also couldn’t help but wonder what would have happened if I never got that abortion — the one he drove me up to New Hampshire to get when I was 17 so we didn’t have to tell my parents.
When I think about it all, it’s even kind of surreal. That kid would be in elementary school now. I just imagine how my life and his life would have really changed. I likely wouldn’t have finished my bachelor’s degree — and if we’re being totally fucking honest, I probably never would have gotten out of high school.
I don’t know if we would have stayed together, either. He lived so far away. It was one thing for him to drive down to see me a couple times a week once my guardian was safely out of the house, but I don’t know how that would have worked with a baby. It probably would have been really hard for him to juggle the baby and me, and also teach classes at that college he worked at outside of Boston.
I always tried to be really understanding about what a huge sacrifice he was making just to see me. I think that was a big part of why I made my decision to get the abortion, which of course he was so supportive of. He even paid for it.
Besides, he was always telling me not to get too invested anyway. I was so young and had so much going for me, and once I got to college, guys would just be lining up to date me. It would be unfair of him to stand in the way of that or hold me back at all.
In the meantime, what we had was just meant to be fun and casual.
It made sense, really, to have the abortion. And after it was done, it was so nice of him to let me crash at his place for the night. I think I told my parents I was sleeping over at a friend’s house.
I didn’t even mind it when he dropped me off early the next morning so he could have plenty of time to get ready for a date he had later with a girl he met on eHarmony, because he and I — we weren’t just sleeping together. We were good friends and we truly understood each other.
Yeah. Come to think of it, maybe it would be nice if I sent him a gift card or something.