I met a friend for dinner yesterday and after a while, the conversation turned to what I like to call the ‘triple whammy: relationships, marriage and children.’ This was perhaps inevitable, since I recently got out of a long-term relationship and am single for the first time in what feels like forever. After discussing my love-life (a conversation which lasted all of twenty seconds), the subject moved on to marriage.
My friend and I are both in our early twenties, and since she and her boyfriend have just celebrated their five year anniversary, everyone around them seems obsessed with the idea of when he’s going to ‘pop the question.’ Now I don’t know, but I think that’s pretty normal. Five years is quite a long time in anyone’s book, and especially when you’re only 23. But on the other side of things, I know that (current singledom aside,) there’s no way in hell I’d even consider getting married at this age. I know this because I felt the same way when I was in a relationship, even though I’d been with the guy for almost 4 years and for all intents and purposes, thought he was ‘The One.’ I know this because the idea of marriage scares the s**t out of me. And as far as I can tell, it scares the s**t out of most of my friends too.
As two twentysomething’s on the brink of brilliant, life-long careers (we can dream) neither I, nor my friend want to get married (yet). And as far as children are concerned, we can’t handle the idea of those either. Someday, yes. But not yet.
So, what’s a girl to do when the thought of her ‘biological destiny’ makes her sick to her stomach (other than find a kindred spirit in Marian, the commitment-fearing heroine in Margaret Atwood’s The Edible Woman)? Well, for my friend at least, the answer was simple:
“I’m going to freeze my eggs. By the time I’m 26 I’m going to freeze my eggs.”
I’d read an article about this before in New York Magazine or somewhere. Young women in New York have started going to ‘egg-freezing’ parties because they want to put their biological clock on hold while they, y’know, work on becoming big successful corporate giants, or at least hit up a few more parties before tying themselves down for good.
And that’s not all. Last year, the big-wigs at Apple and Facebook announced that on top of all the existing employment perks (free food, beds, awesome CV credit etc), they would now be offering their female staff the opportunity to freeze their eggs, free of charge.
As someone who faces the eternal FOMO dilemma for even the most mundane daily activities, my initial reaction was of course:
“Wait, why hadn’t I thought of this? I need to get with the egg-freezing programme!”
But then, as is usually the way, I came to my senses, thought about it some more and asked myself a few key questions.
It’s great that as women living in this world of apparent diversity and opportunity, we have that option. That we can essentially choose when to take the plunge from ‘Career Woman’ to ‘Mother.’
But do I need to be thinking about my egg count when I’m just over a year out of university?
I really don’t know.