I read the entire 9,000-word lead article in last Sunday’s New York Times Magazine: Wanted: A Few Good Sperm. I have lifted the most interesting quotes from the article so you don’t have to waste your time like I did. The quotes are not all from the same woman. Grab a drink.
She also printed the [sperm] donor’s picture and kept it on the coffee table of her Manhattan studio apartment, where she sleeps in a Murphy bed. “I kind of glance at it as I pass,” she said of the picture. “It’s almost like when you date someone, and you keep looking at them, and you’re, like, Are they cute? But every time I pass, I’m, like, Oh, he’s really cute. It’s a comforting feeling.”
Translation: I’m totally capable of fantasy relationships.
“With online dating, friends used to say: ‘What about him? What about him?’ I’d say: ‘Don’t like the nose. Ah, the eyes are a little buggy. He really likes to golf, and you know I don’t like golfing.’ There was always something.”
Translation: There is not a man alive that meets my standards.
Single Mothers by Choice, a 25-year-old support group, took in nearly double the number of new members in 2005 as it did 10 years ago […] (the median age among members is 36)
“By choice” :laugh:
I made a graph to explain the amazing growth this group is experiencing:
Coincidence? I think not.
“I certainly never thought I would be the last one standing,” she said. “You feel a little bit resentful, like, Gosh, how did I get here? Blind date after blind date ? why can’t it be easy for me like it was for other people? Right up until I ordered the sperm and made the doctor’s appointment, I was filled with anxiety. I felt sad, overwhelmed. Now I’m completely at peace with it.”
Translation: I really fucked up but I can’t admit it.
“People would say, ‘Oh, it’s just a date ? don’t expect anything,”‘ she said, sipping her ice water. “‘Just go out and have a good time.’ But then you’d get four calls that night: How was it? What did you think? Did you like him? Why wouldn’t you go out with him again? There was so much pressure. It became a job.”
Translation: I loved bragging to my friends about all the attention I received from men. But then the attention didn’t do it for me anymore and I realized I’m not even capable of a normal relationship.
“I imagine one day when I get to heaven there will be a whole room full of missing socks and men :),” Karyn once wrote to me in an e-mail message. “I hope the men will be wearing the socks.”
I have no idea what this means. Is sock a euphemism for fuck stick?
“But I think if I had to choose today between becoming a mom or finding the perfect man and I could only have one today, I would choose becoming a mom.”
Translation: My failed search for the perfect man has resulted in expensive monthly syringe injections of anonymous semen in my vagina.
A 6-foot-1 blonde who speaks with disarming frankness, she came to America 10 years ago with the man she would later marry, only to find that he didn’t want children. After their divorce, she was engaged to another man who kept postponing their wedding ? she still has a set of “Save the Date” cards in her closet. Having always wanted passionately to be a mother, she decided to use a “known donor,” a close gay friend, also German, to help her conceive.
Translation: I got pumped and dumped so many times it would make your head spin. The only man who is willing to father my baby is someone who would never do it naturally.
She was also attracted by the idea of a donor of another race. “I believe in multiculturalism,” she said. “I would probably choose somebody with a darker skin color so I don’t have to slather sunblock on my kid all the time. I want it to be a healthy mix. You know how mixed dogs are always the nicest and the friendliest and the healthiest? If you get a clear race, they have all the problems. Mutts are always the friendly ones, the intelligent ones, the ones who don’t bark and have a good character. I want a mutt.”
Translation: I watch a lot of MTV and everyone seems so beautiful and happy.
“He really was the typical Aryan perfect human being,” she said, laughing. “He was a bodybuilder. He played the guitar and the drums, and he sang. He was captain of the rugby team in college. When I had the in vitro process done, the embryologist said: ‘This is some of the best sperm I’ve ever seen. It just about jumped out of the test tubes.”‘
Translation: But if I really met him, I’d surely find something wrong with his appearance or personality.
“Taking this whole ‘I have to find the father of my child’ out of the equation might make it a lot more relaxed and easier,” she said. “The guys are smelling it, and they run.” And even if the guy held still, he might not be the one you’d pick ? or even consider ? if you weren’t desperate for kids.
Translation: I knew I was in trouble when I could no longer hide my desperation from men.
“This baby will be my baby, only my baby,” Karyn told me that night at Caliente Cab. “The thing I’m afraid of is that after doing this, I might not want to get married. It seems like a lot of hard work, a lot of compromise. Someone ends up short, and usually it’s the mom, because by the time you get to the child and your husband and the dog, there’s not much left.”
Translation: I never even intended to be a good wife.
“I thought I could have kids until my period ended, and menopause is 50, right?” said another woman I met at a Single Mothers by Choice meeting in Washington, who began trying to conceive at 44.
Translation: Blah blah blah feel sorry for my idiocy.
One [sperm donor] was Indian: “He’s got black straight hair,” she told me, “brown eyes, he’s six feet but he only weighs 150. Which is good. If I have a girl, she wants to be skinny, and if she can eat what she wants, that’s perfect. You don’t have to get in fights about food.” […] “Thick hair, which is also nice,” she said, “because if I happen to get a son, I don’t like bald guys. He’s Catholic, which I would obviously like, because I am. He has a very interesting book collection: he likes Hesse, Henry James, Lorca. Excellent vision. His parents are pretty boring professionally, so I was a little concerned about that.”
Translation: Babies are so much fun – like shopping for shoes!
One woman, a 40-year-old graduate student in biology in the Midwest, told me shortly after her first insemination: “One of the things that was so powerful about deciding to have a baby on my own was saying, I’m taking charge of this piece of it; I’m not going to wait around for a guy to give it to me
Translation: I waited for such a long time but no guy would give it to me.
“I have this big fear in my life that I never will be pregnant. You see these pregnant women on the street, and you’re, like, How does it feel? What’s going on in your mind, in your heart? I want to feel it!”
Translation: It’s like when you see someone with this amazing new purse and you just have to have it!
The doctor came back and placed the straw of clear, yellowish sperm in a slim glass cylinder and removed a drop to look at under a microscope. “We have very good motility,” he said. “This is a good specimen.”
I liked the use of the word specimen. Possible usage: “Sweetie, I accidentally got some specimen on your face again.”
Shelby does have a boyfriend: a 52-year-old bachelor who works at a pharmaceutical company, whom she met at a party when Christopher was a month old. “He’s been a great person in my life and Christopher’s life, but he’s not going to marry me,” she explained over the phone when we first spoke. “Some people just don’t want to do that, and he’s one of those people.”
Translation: He is a very smart men.
Last fall, she went to the Donor Sibling Registry and got a shock: the Aryan bodybuilder with the leaping sperm has fathered 21 children (and counting ? he is still an active donor), including four sets of twins. These children are all 3 and under, and their families ? four lesbian couples, three heterosexual couples and six single mothers ? have formed their own Listserv…
That guy has won the game of life. No one reading will ever father that many children. His seed will go on for generations while you continue wasting time on the internet.
He was saying he was one of these what he calls old-fashioned guys: if his wife is going to have a child, he’s going to be in the waiting room until the child is delivered and washed. I’m, like, wait a second. Don’t you think you should go through this together? He said, ‘No, I’m going to faint, and I’m going to throw up.” […] “He’s not cut out to be a provider, to be a protector or to be a patriarch,” Daniela said. “He can’t be there when the child is born; he can’t make the living for the family. Maybe what bothered him is that he couldn’t offer what he would like to offer. So he made it, like, taste bad.”
Translation: No man wants to knock me up even if I payed them.
I had never heard her so low. “Everything is so hard, and it’s so degrading,” she said. “You always think that you’d go through this with somebody that would support you. You don’t think about having all the problems, let alone doing it on your own.”
Time flies ladies. This could be you in 10 years.