The Depths Of Horror

It could be worse, I know, but there is a special wretchedness in getting as sick as you have been in eleven years — not since the horrible 2000 Taiwanese flu have I been so clobbered with fever and riddled with crud that hurt to hack up — and having the PBS news-hour run a story like this while you feel literally too weak and floppy to rise from your chair and hit the radio control or even grope for the remote.

Note: I plan to NOT follow “Made In India,” which reports on a new wrinkle in overseas medical shopping: couples hiring surrogate mothers from poor countries where the dollar packs a clout.

Has the world lost its mind? (I know, this is a question we could ask every five seconds.) What is WRONG with people that they are, first, so ga-ga to have babies that they would PAY to inflict the experience of parenthood on themselves, meanwhile subjecting another random human being to not just the suffering of producing an infant but the artificial conditions of medical fertilization?

The world has more people than it can support. People are dropping dead in Somalia because they can’t find enough to eat. This stupid, idiot couple, the wife on record as saying “You know, a woman a lot of times defines herself by her ability to have children…” poured out thousands of dollars that could have done some good in the world, just to make twins with a poor woman’s help and take them home.

Yeah, yeah, overall I have libertarian (small-l) inclinations about a lot of things and I support people’s right to damage themselves in ways that don’t cause me any more annoyance than the average change in driver-license regulations. This, however, is creepy on so many levels I can’t count them.

First of all we have Mrs. Mommy prating about “defining herself by her ability to have children.” Honey, if that is how you define yourself, you’re a pathetic waste; it’s like defining yourself by your ability to vomit or excrete. They’re just natural processes that will occur under the right provocation. I’ll be generous and say that maybe getting a tan is a better analogy, since some people just pick up a tan naturally, some take pains to cultivate one, you can live quite well without one and a few people (like my Albino Ex) will never sport one.

The one vivid difference is that I won’t be tripping over your tan or listening to it scream in the post office or grocery store in another four or five years.

Later in the program, her Elrod of a husband defends himself: “There were more people telling us, you should have adopted. You should have adopted. Well, that’s placing the entire orphan issue on the shoulders of infertile couples. By their argument, anybody who has ever proactively tried to get pregnant together and succeeded and had their own children has robbed an orphan of a loving home, plain and simple.” I can’t decide if he’s an ethical dunce or has been studying candidates for Federal office with respect to tortured logic. Elrod and Mrs. Mommy aren’t like people who’ve had their own baby; they’re like people who’ve bought a dog from a breeder.

Okay, you say, well maybe there are people this stupid who are willing to pay and the poor people who can fill their need ought to be able to get that money. But for criminy’s sake, this is selling your body in a way that makes prostitution look like something fit for Sesame Street.

AASIA, surrogate mother (through translator): What should I say about myself? I used to clean people’s homes before. I’m not educated. I don’t know how to read or write. So this is my life. I have had three children. All my children were born normally. I have never done anything of this sort.

My sister-in-law, Sanno, had told me about it, but I didn’t believe her, that this can happen with medication. Now, how should I say it? A child without a man.

Nothing like exploiting the third world for the sake of your own vanity.

The segment closed and I hacked up something like a blancmange that had gone green.

I don’t define myself by my ability to do that.


21 thoughts on “The Depths Of Horror

  1. Every woman needs a child like every fat balding millionaire needs a blonde bimbo and a yacht. When will people start using a little imagination when it comes to self-fulfillment issues?

    I watched Eat Pray Love the other day – what a contrived load of pretentious crap that was. People supposedly in their late 30’s (with a lot of help from the make-up and wardrobe wizards) trying to “find themselves”. Good grief, that was something I did when I was 17! Really hard to sympathise with a (let’s face it) mid-40s woman who could actually afford to take a year off to travel the globe in order to Find Herself. Also curious that everywhere she went she only met men that looked like GQ models. And if she had all that money why did she have such a bad dye job and hairdo?? The mind reels…

    Oh, sorry. Well, you know what I mean. The only reason people can get away with such self-indulgent crap – including feeling “incomplete” without a baby – is because other people indulge them. I mean, what if I felt incomplete because I wasn’t tall, thin and rich? Think anyone would give a crap? No. And they shouldn’t because it would be my own idiotic “stuck place” that wasn’t allowing me to move ahead with my life.

    The TRUTH is that there isn’t just one thing missing that could make it all okay, and there isn’t any simple way of feeling good about yourself. You heard it here first… 😉

  2. The creepiness extends to people who would clone themselves or otherwise reproduce asexually. I await the day the homosexual movement has become so comfortably mainstream it can suddenly line up on the wrong side of an issue.

    • There’s already a gay “pro-life” caucus, allegedly motivated by paranoia that people will find a genetic test for gay and selectively abort, as if the people who have a problem with homosexuality are likely to advocate for abortions. I suspect an actual problem with Cheshire Scowl guilt.

    • Thanks. It took most of the weekend, and the performance of some operations involving salt water that are best left to the imagination. Once I got back into the gym I brought a big bandanna. Nothing will clear your chest like a few sets of squats.

  3. OK, I finally clicked on the Secret Identity thing. It’s been staring at me in a come-hither way all this time.

    You’re way cooler than I thought. I’ll check it out! 🙂

  4. way too many people on the planet. I think that ALL of the problems of the world are the result of 2 things only. Overpopulation and religion….. Hope you are feeling better.

  5. Oh, that’s demented. I’m chronicling my best friend’s pregnancy on my blog because I love her,mand we are 3,000 miles apart. But I don’t understand how she went from thinking like me (kids never) to babybabybaby. I miss the her she used to be, and she’s only 8 weeks. When she was debating getting pregnant, she said she didn’t want to change, didn’t want to lose herself. She already has, and I’m already mourning the loss I face when the kid is born. At least they won’t be the ones with the screaming illiterate brat in a few years (she lives in your area). Off topic: you wouldn’t want to share with me how to get that Live Traffic Feed on my blog, would you?

    • I exactly understand your feeling of loss and missing your friend. I’ve been there a few times in my life — realizing that someone I feel close to and care for has decided to manufacture a being that will forever have first dibs on her time and thought patterns, that will focus her on dideys and car seats rather than anything actually valuable or interesting; one that will crash and incinerate any hope of ever having the adventures and conversations we once did, or in the case of less intense friendships, just enjoying one another’s company at all. And I’ve never understood the motivation in someone who has the option of not doing it, other than the disturbing need to have another living being that is minemineminemine, everybodylookiemeImamommy.

      I just withdraw from the friendship when this happens. I figure the person has made her choice and I can’t change her, but it doesn’t mean I have to suck it up and pretend I like it. I feel as if I’ve already been thrown away, so my choosing to create distance just makes it official on both sides. I don’t know what to tell other people in the same position.

      The live feed thing should have a link if you click through on it, up at the top of the page, saying get Feedjit For Your Own Site. I just installed the free version. I discovered it over at Casa Az (

      • Thanks, next time I’m on an actual computer I’ll try the Feejit link.
        I could never withdraw from Socks, she’s my only real soul-mate kind of friend. Which makes the whole thing more disturbing. There does seem to be an unstoppable drive that takes over. I would hate to lose my brain to pure procreative instinct. She and I have touched on it in our weekly conversations, and I went a bit further on my blog, I think, but she just seems to laugh it off now. She was right to fear becoming no one other than “mom,” because now she thinks it’s the greatest thing ever. Well, what she’s doing is different than shopping for a rent-a-uterus, at least.
        I wish I could like it, and I do have to pretend to because she is so obviously happy. I can’t get in the way. Sigh. Maybe it is easier because I won’t meet the kid for years…

        • Remember it’s Feedjit (like idjit in the American South rather than eejit in ireland).

          Yeah, when you’re talking best friend, it presents a real problem. Maybe “years before I see the kid” is your safety hatch — you won’t have to be in the same time zone with all those nesting hormones or whatever they are…

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