Schadenbaby

December 24, 2009

When Eric and I decided to try for a baby – or, more accurately, to stop not trying for a baby (in her memoir, Janna Cawrse Esarey refers to it as “pulling the goalie,” which I thought was great) – it happened quicker than the time it takes Joe Biden to remove his left foot from his mouth so that he can swap in the right one.

Gee, wouldn’t it be nice to have a child someday…um, wow. And by “someday” I guess I mean 8.5 months from now.

We never imagined we’d be celebrating our first wedding anniversary with a month-old infant (ours or anyone else’s, for that matter), and we’re incredibly grateful. Especially since I’m, as my friend K. so delicately puts it, “old – I mean, really old.” I’m not that old, but I know in egg years 36 is getting up there. For the record, K. is a smug lass of 34 – so she really shouldn’t be casting stones, as her eggs aren’t all that far from their sell-by date, either.

Anyway, we’re taking none of this for granted because we know so many people who have had trouble getting (or staying) pregnant. I recently heard through the grapevine that one of those people is Doris, the woman my ex-husband ran off with and is now married to. Doris, a lifelong whinger and hypochondriac, is apparently burning through home pregnancy tests like they’re going out of style and, in the words of our one remaining mutual friend, “freaking out.”

Am I a terrible person for being just a teeny bit thrilled by this news? Fertility troubles are not something you’d wish on your worst enemy – though, truth be told, if I were starting a “worst enemy” list there aren’t many people who’d outrank Doris. I don’t wish her or my ex a lifetime of unhappiness, but it’s hard to wish the gift (and responsibility) of parenthood on two people so selfish that I’d hesitate to entrust them with the care of my goldfish for the weekend.

During this special time of year, when we look inward and count our many blessings, I am reconciling myself to the unsettling yet undeniable fact that someone else’s misfortune is a small source of joy for me. If that makes me a bad person, so be it.

Ho Ho Ho.

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