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So your marriage is falling apart?
Only a few years ago, swathed in polyester tulle, tipsy from the domestic "champagne", you were led by your new husband in your first dance as man and wife. Leering at you in his endearing way, he trod gently on your toes. Your eyes were full of hope and starlight.
Yet now that divorce lawyer with the flashy picture on the back of the phone book beckons to you in dreams. You are on your hands and knees, once again making room for your suitcase, as you scare up a retainer fee from the spare change on the floor of your sister's closet. Where did it all go wrong?
You know you'll never really go through with the divorce. Neither one of you can pay the mounting Visa bills on your own. So why not act to hold your marriage together? The time-honored method of doing so is having a baby.
"A baby?" you gasp, aghast. "Why would I want to trade my almost bikini-perfect form for monstrous rotundity?" As a jaded modern woman, you cannot perceive the advantages of creating an autonomous creature that will be able to state, "I hate you, Mommy," with faultless diction before you've even lost the baby weight.
But have you considered how much your husband longs to impregnate you? He may seem indifferent, but with you knocked up, he'd finally feel like a real man. Swelling machismo can only benefit your faltering love life. No one wants to pay child support on a paltry salary like his. That's right, a baby is the glue that holds a crumbling marriage together.
Conventional wisdom states that raising children is difficult, expensive, and time-consuming. False. Children can be taught to perform household chores as soon as they are able to walk unaided. Even a two-year old can recycle beer cans or empty ashtrays. In some countries with forward thinking labor laws, a child can augment the household income with a lucrative factory job. Why not move to one of them? Arguments with your husband are sure to decrease once your house is sparkly clean and you have a third income to help with the never-ending debt spiral.
There are also social benefits to having well-trained children. For example, as a respectable adult you cannot point to overweight or unattractive strangers in public and make loud, hurtful comments. This is considered rude. Yet, your darling four-year-old daughter will be able to. When, clad in a ruffled pink dress (that one she made herself in a Malaysian sweatshop), she exclaims with innocent wonder, "Mommy, why is that fat lady over there buying so many boxes of cookies?" you might chuckle indulgently before replying in a stage whisper, "Now, now, it isn't nice to say such things. You don't want the fat lady over there to feel bad about her very serious eating disorder and the fact that she disgusts normal people with her presence." Free to fling gratuitous insults at strangers, your self-esteem will soar. Your husband is sure to consider your newfound confidence attractive and dump that stripper he's been hanging around with.
It is time to dispel your final objection to motherhood. All the cosmetic surgery you've invested in has unfortunately not enhanced your genetic code. A child that resembles your unaltered self might be embarrassing. Don't worry! Simply solicit a "college fund" from prospective grandparents. Dip into these accounts whenever your child enters an awkward stage. Why would your child need to go to college anyway? Formal education won't be necessary with all the work experience your offspring is sure to have.
To breed or not to breed? That is the question this article has just answered for you. Get up off the closet floor, and go spend the spare change you've just gathered on a Frederick's of Hollywood teddy. Your husband is going to need something stimulating.
© 2004 Jessica Becht
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jessica Becht is currently sweltering in the state of Florida, where she has become quite intimate with election fiascos, hurricanes, and fire ants. When not shielding her alabaster complexion from the sun's brutal rays, she can be found strolling her baby about the neighborhood while silently mocking pink flamingo enthusiasts.
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