"I was hoping for something more than a baby receptacle." That's what one of my 32-year-old male friends said to explain why he was dating a woman seven years his junior. Apparently when he dated women his age their romance got overshadowed by the "tickin’ clock," as he put it. The women would be in "a rush" and go straight into "let's do this" mode. At first this sounded to me like the kind of retrograde philosophizing you would hear from a movie like The Hangover, not any deeper truth about women of a certain age. But as I enter my mid-30s, I'm realizing not that my friend is right, or considerate or anything, but, loath as I am to admit it, there may be some truth to what he's saying. The only reason I didn't see it is because I was wrapped up in my own perspective, the rare perspective among my friends of not wanting to have kids.
Sometimes I'm not even sure I have a biological clock. The only time I envy parents is when they are in their 30s, had their kids in their 20s, and are that much closer to getting them out of the house. Is that normal? To want kids just to see them leave? Because with all the thirtysomething mommies who blog (Heather B. Armstrong, Kelly Oxford, Julie Robichaux, et al. ), the sudden thirtysomething celeb baby boom (Sienna Miller, Jessica Simpson, Drew Barrymore, et al.), and the general mommy talk around the over-30s, it's hard not to feel like not wanting kids at my age is a handicap (just ask Jennifer Westfeldt or Zooey Deschanel).