Tuesday, November 04, 2008

A friend of mine had a rather nasty shock the other day.
He'd been going out with his girlfriend for over a year and they'd settled into a cosy routine and been on a few long weekend breaks and so. You know, the sort of young relationship where you're still getting to know each other but you feel comfortable enough to fart accidentally and not die of embarrassment.
I've known the chap for many a year now and he'd been telling me how he'd been getting on with her and all the bits about how he'd had to learn about buying tampons when she was in hospital and how to get the correct flavour of ice cream without being told ten times, and how they settled down to do the Sunday Times crossword together before watching soppy films whilst snuggled on the sofa.
In brief they seemed happy and content and getting on just fine.
Until the other day.
He called me up and asked me to meet him at a pub, and not being the sort of friend to turn down a free drink let another friend down, I joined him even though I knew I was only needed for advice.
Once we'd settled down with drinks at a quiet table, he told me that she had been for a scan recently and it was something to do with 'women's bits' as that was all he'd been told.
But when he'd called her to find out how she'd got on, she'd replied rather tearfully that 'She wasn't pregnant after all'.
After my friend had stopped choking on his coffee he'd asked her what she was on about, and again she replied that sadly, she was not pregnant.
My mate was shocked to say the least. They'd never discussed having children, and if they had done so he would have told her that he did not want any of them. He had managed to get to his mid-forties without having any and he wanted to have another forty-five years or so of the same.
But when he'd got back to see her he discovered that that was 'All she'd ever wanted in life', despite being a go-getting career woman who loved her job and all the luxuries that went with it.
He'd presumed that she felt the same; after all, they enjoyed going on their holiday breaks together and being able to luxuriate in double incomes, but no. She was nearly forty-five as well, and her body clock wasn't just ticking, the alarm was ringing, and very loudly as well.
When he'd managed to get it together enough to string a coherent sentence together without saying 'Meh' repeatedly, he asked her why she hadn't told him she wanted kids. Her reply was 'But that's what everybody wants, isn't it?'
His rejoinder was no, it certainly was not.
It was at this point I asked him whether or not he'd bothered with a condom, and unsurprisingly he told me that no, he hadn't as he thought she was on the pill.
I called him a few choice names and even told him that he could get them for free from his Doctor if he wanted to, but of course, no, they weren't an option, even if it would make sure he wouldn't be a daddy.
The main thing my friend was shocked about was the fact that she could very well have been pregnant. His girlfriend had told him that she was on the pill, but unknown to him she'd stopped taking it as she assumed that he wanted a family as desperately as she did.
I haven't been in a relationship for a long time now, but in my previous ones I always told the man that I was not interested in having children and if they didn't like that and wanted a family they'd have to find someone else.
Since my hysterectomy I've told any boyfriends that I can't get pregnant anyway, and one of them said 'Oh you poor thing, we can always adopt though!'
I explained in no uncertain terms that I am not a poor thing, and if he wanted to adopt a child - go find someone else.
Although I find it abhorrent that some women feel they have the right to get pregnant without the consent of the man in question, I find it frankly unbelievable that so many men simply won't 'put something on the end of it' to make sure they don't get the CSA knocking at their door.
I'm still not sure how my friend and his girlfriend are getting on; I haven't heard from him since then, but I hope they've managed to sort things out.
I doubt they'll be going on any more long weekends away until they do.
But I did hear one bit of news that appealed to me this morning. A certain celebrity has just split up with his girlfriend as she wanted a family whereas he always told her (and other girlfriends) that he didn't want children and the Labrador in the country cottage life.
He says he wants a relationship without kids, and with someone that doesn't mind being on their own, that is not clingy and cloying but doesn't mind getting scrubbed up to go out on the town now and again.
He's also absolutely loaded.
If Simon Cowell's reading this, 'Do you fancy a drink sometime?'