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Lemme at those eggs: Part II, or The Carton Returns

September 23, 2010

I'd rather my adult child read this than "Left Behind"So romantic … the time comes to pick your baby mama and there’s no yenta, no shiddach, just a website with about 15 people on it, listed in some variety of “34, German-Italian.”

We spent about a week circling through the list, feeling a vague sense of disappointment (or at least I did). Seriously? This was the woman with half of whom I would spend the rest of my life?

Most of these women do not offer to go through mood- and body-altering procedures for months on end for a few thousand dollars because they are living in a Nancy Meyers, upper-middle-class, design-porn film. Not one we looked at had a college degree. Some were working toward them, but it wasn’t the vision one has of struggling young woman on her way to a doctorate.

And then the snob alarm kicks in. “You said all you cared about was healthy! Remember? You lying elitist! You’re gonna be that chick who takes eight months waiting for Ms. Right!”

Time to scale back expectations. Healthy. As mentioned earlier, not the easiest thing to find.

And then, like something out of a Jennifer Aniston-J.Lo-Tina Fey mash-up with less attractive people, she scrolled into our lives. And we were sold on the basis of a ’90s indie pianist.

First, there were the photos, one at about age 4, the second about age 7. She had light brown hair, blue eyes — just like me. She had olive skin — like the Young Man. A sweet smile. Cute, but not overwhelming. She looked like she had the potential to grow up into a happy person.

Baby Mama is a little older than most of the candidates, at age 32. But the donor nurses assured us that she had been tested from here to maternity, and that her eggs are plenty viable. We have proof: She has a healthy daughter of her own.

I like that idea: She might actually be a kind of a donor, wanting to share the state of motherhood with another person. More important: Her eggs work.

Even the tiny little details that you parse for meaning made her appealing: She was proudest of raising a happy, strong daughter and working her way up to office manager at a financial services firm. She had artistic ability and enjoyed reading and crossword puzzles. Her honesty about drug use was refreshing: “Used marijuana in high school. Not sure of last date used, but it was in high school. Recreational use only.” (Phew. I had been avoiding professional marijuana users.)

She wrote clearly and with a big of humor and self-awareness, which was a rarity in these profiles. One of three kids with a single mom, she wrote that her favorite thing to do as a child was, “Play with my sister … she was always the coolest. It didn’t matter what we played.” She fondly remembered her father’s “big, deep belly laugh (without the big, deep belly).”

But the trivialities were what made her feel like our bashert:

She was from the same hometown as My Young Man.

He once worked for one of her favorite bands.

And her other favorite musician proved her intelligence more than any other facet of her bio: She loved Tori Amos.

This was no small thing. We were digging through reams of Christian rock, faux country (Shania Twain, you are a pop singer. Embrace it.) and pop pablum. We tried to tell ourselves it didn’t matter, that musical taste was a product of environment.

But when we saw Tori Amos … This young woman would have been about 16 at the time that I was interviewing Tori Amos and reviewing her concert. I haven’t listened to Tori Amos in over a decade, but the fact that Potential Baby Mama had picked out a feminist, quirky and not-huge musician has me ready to drop $6,000 in cash in her mailbox.

She only had one flaw we could see (other than not actually being Tina Fey): Her favorite book was listed as the “Left Behind” series, super-Christian apocalyptic fiction.

We’d have to start the blasphemy young with this child.

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