I bought a Subaru Forester a month ago because every lesbian drives one, and I've always yearned to be part of the lesbian in-crowd. But now I discover that you're not hip unless your Subaru is equipped with a baby-seat.
Every lesbian I know is either pregnant or en route to China to pick up a baby. This baby hysteria baffles me. After all, why would anyone want a baby when they already have me?
Like most babies, I drool excessively, cry when I don't get what I want, and gurgle happily whenever I'm within nuzzling distance of a breast. In addition, I'm potty trained (more or less) and I can type 60 words a minute. So, what the hell do babies have that I don't have?
Last weekend, I decided to borrow a baby to find out what all the fuss is about.
Finding a lender-baby proved to be difficult. Over the years, I have carefully cultivated a Boo Radley-like persona to discourage my friends from considering me baby-sitter material. As a result, kids think of me as someone who is usually chained to a basement drainpipe, emerging only to leave odd gifts at their doorsteps.
I finally convinced my friends Carol and Gina to give me their kid for 24 hours. But first I had to promise not to eat the child or get it drunk. And I had to promise the kid–Zoe–that I would not refer to her in this column as a "baby." (She is 3 years old, and, as she explained emphatically, much too old to be considered a baby.)
As soon as we were alone, I asked Zoe what she'd like to do, hoping she'd suggest that I make us a pitcher of martinis and we spend the night gossiping about her parents' marital troubles. Instead, she shoved her thumb in her mouth and blinked at me from across the room.
I desperately searched the house for a stuffed animal to distract her, but all I could find was a box of matches. So I gave her the matches to play with while I made us a hearty dinner of Spaghettios and M&Ms. Then we settled in to watch an Absolutely Fabulous marathon on BBC America.
At bedtime, I attempted to lull her to sleep by telling her the story of Liza Minnelli's latest divorce. But this tale only frightened her, and I was up until 3 a.m. trying to sooth her concerns about David Gest's creepy eyebrows.
The next morning, while we were eating handfuls of Count Chocula out of the box and chatting about what cartoon characters we'd most like to invite to a cocktail party, Zoe's parents arrived. Zoe started crying, which her parents interpreted as a sign that Zoe had missed them. (Narcissists!) But Zoe told them that she was upset because she didn't want to leave me.
As they dragged Zoe out the door, I felt a strange tingling sensation in my bosom. I grabbed a medical dictionary and discovered that the tingling was a symptom of a disease in mammals known as "maternal instinct." I put down the dictionary and picked up the Subaru catalog, humming happily as I flipped to the car-seat section.