The Baby Maker's Club

By: Penny Wylder


Staring down at my phone screen, I shake my head, confused and pissed off. Here I was thinking that my date last night had gone great and that I would be seeing this guy again, but this text proves otherwise. How had I completely misjudged him? I was pleasantly surprised when he picked me up. He was handsome. He planned a nice date, at one of the hipper restaurants in town, and there were no lulls in the conversation, no awkward pauses. He was funny and engaging. I thought I made a great impression, too. I dressed to the nines and had him laughing throughout dinner. When it came time for him to drop me off, we shared a romantic kiss at my front door. I could tell he wanted more but I pulled back. I wasn’t quite ready to go that far just yet. In my experience, sleeping with a guy on the first date never ends well. And it never hurts to leave them wanting a little more. He said he was fine with going slow. But this text, telling me he’s not interested in a second date and is just looking for something “casual,” clearly shows that he wasn’t serious about a relationship, he was just looking for a fuck buddy.

I drop my phone on my desk in frustration and sigh. I’m starting to think there is no such thing as a decent guy anymore.

This marks my fiftieth failed date this year, and it’s getting old. I just want to meet a guy I can relate to. Someone I can talk to, spend a lazy Saturday in bed with doing nothing but watching Netflix. And someone I have smoking hot chemistry with, so we could pass Saturday night rolling around in bed until we’re covered in sweat and exhausted. I want what my friends have. I see them all pairing off and having kids and I feel hopelessly left behind.

My blood is boiling, and the anger from that text is making me seethe. I need a distraction. Bringing up Google on my computer, I type in “cute babies” in the search bar. Seeing pictures of their little chubby faces always makes me feel better. Some people like cute animal videos. I like cute babies. I want a child of my own, but it seems like no one wants to be in a committed relationship in Los Angeles.

“What are you doing?” I voice behind me says. I startle, nearly jumping out of my seat.

Megan, my co-worker and best friend, stands behind me, her baby bump resting at my shoulder. She’s eight months pregnant and always bumping into me with that thing, and half the time I don’t think she realizes it. I’ve never seen a more vibrant pregnant woman. She has that soft glow everyone is always talking about that comes along with pregnancy. Her hair is thick and shiny, and she looks happy despite her constant complaints about swollen feet and hunger pains.

“Nothing,” I say.

“Want to go down to the hotdog cart with me …” Her words trail off when she sees all the baby pictures on my computer screen. I quickly click off of it, but it’s too late.

She smiles and gives me a funny look. “Come on. To your feet. The hot dog guy won’t wait forever, and you’re due for a little bestie TLC.”

We leave the building’s lobby and walk into the Los Angeles sunshine. It’s good to be outside with Megan. My head clears a little and my disappointment recedes. We wait our turn in line for Edward, the hot dog vendor and runner-up for Megan’s best friend these past eight months. Who knew that hot dogs were a pregnancy staple?

We step up to place our orders with Edward, and even though I’ve grabbed lunch down here with Megan for months now, my jaw still drops as I listen to her rattle off her requests. By the time she finishes listing the three condiments she wants on her hot dog, I tell Edward I’ll just take a diet Coke. We walk over to a table under a large shade tree. I feel pangs of jealousy, and then guilt, as I watch my goofy best friend maneuvering herself gently and ungracefully into the small seat, pushing out the table to make room for her swollen belly.

“Does someone have baby fever?” she asks me quietly, trying to maintain a bit of privacy while we’re surrounded by our colleagues.

I sigh. “Yeah, I think I do. You’re so lucky to have found Nathan. I keep dating assholes who are only looking for one thing. I’m sick of dating. I just want to meet a decent guy and start a family already,” I admit.

“So I take it last night’s date didn’t pan out the way you were hoping?” she asks. “I’m sorry, Kate. You know you deserve better.”

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