Posted by
Benjamin Leo
• 03.30.11 12:00 pm


You know how you have those fake cousins who are really just your parents’ best friends’ kids? Well one of mine — an unmarried 21-year-old — is two months pregnant.

You know how you have those fake cousins who are really just your parents’ best friends’ kids? Well one of mine — an unmarried 21-year-old — is two months pregnant.

Maybe because of the healthy, sporadic hatred I’ve received here at SC since 2008 — or maybe simply because I’m on better medication — my skin has somehow grown tougher over the last few years, and I find myself able to tell more truth to people’s faces, especially while lightly buzzed.

Recently, my sweet 21-year-old “cousin” came to me in distress, confiding that she was almost two months pregnant and that she had told her mother but of course not her father.

This is a girl who’s been “out of work” (read: unemployable) after graduating from Vassar with a degree in English. Her boyfriend is a “really cool guy” who is fiercely loyal and protective and in a band. By day he works at an entry level job at JP Morgan, where he makes enough money to support them both.

She came to me last week after we had eaten dinner with our families at my father’s house. She told me about her pregnancy and said that, while she had initially considered abortion, she was since surprised by how much she’d grown accustomed to the idea of having a child. She knew she’d make an amazing mom, but she was going back and forth and needed to be confident in her final decision before it was too late.

Because of my aforementioned thickening skin, I was able to give her the following advice in person. I’m paraphrasing it here in case there are others who can benefit from this gentle perspective:

Okay fine, Suzie. I’ll admit I had to consider it for a minute, but ultimately, YES: I give enough of a shit about you to not just nod my head and congratulate you like a jerkoff. In fact, I’ll risk my membership in the secret society of parenthood to share with you our most protected wisdom:

Having a child destroys your life.

I’m being serious: When you have a child, your life is destroyed and is then reborn into something new. Either you go with the flow and lose your identity, most of your friends and the right to pursue your dreams above all else, or you fight it and become like Eminem’s mom, getting high and abusing / neglecting your child like a disgusting and pitiful Frankenstein of who you once were.

So, first question: Are you ready to give up your ENTIRE life? If you think I’m exaggerating, you’re disqualified from answering the question and I’m driving you to Planned Parenthood right now.

Second question: Is that lovely man in the next room a KEEPER? You know what a KEEPER is?

Hint: It’s not someone who you bring home to your family and friends and is gorgeous and polite and funny and caring and charming and well brought-up.

A KEEPER is someone who is willing to sacrifice his life and your relationship to have it destroyed and then reborn into a mission to provide for, protect and nourish your child to the exclusion of all else.

If your guy is a Keeper, by the way, he’ll be the first 21-year-old Keeper in the history of y2k America, so before anything else, you should call the Guinness Book of World Records and use the prize money as a nest egg.

What’s more likely is that your relationship is great, except for you being kinda bored with no job and sort of jealous and resentful of your boyfriend for having a life and something to do all day (and a band at night).

In that case, you sound like a few other couples I know –- a few couples whose relationships “weren’t so great” and so they figured they’d have a kid in order to bring them closer together.

These couples would have been better off hanging themselves in their living rooms, holding hands and jumping off of the couch with ropes tied around their necks in front of their DVR’ed episode of Mad Men; at least that way their kid wouldn’t have come from another broken home.

Having a kid to make your relationship better is like saying, “WELL, I already have herpes, so I might as well start sharing heroin needles while being topped bareback in a Chelsea bathhouse.”

It’s like saying, “Hey, lookit that lame little fire in my fireplace — it’s so boring! That thing sucks. Let me throw a water-balloon of lighter fluid on it to make it less boring ’cause I’m so bored.”

Even people in devoted and GREAT marriages almost break up in the first year or two after having a kid. Guantanamo Bay-style sleep deprivation, loss of identity, loss of romance — it’s the worst thing (and simultaneously the best thing) ever. (Literally.)

Having a child is the greatest experience a human being can undertake, but only if you do it right. It’s like getting a chance to fuck a Catholic priest: The ultimate fantasy if you’re 30 years old and can take charge of the situation — but if you’re just a kid, it will fuck up the rest of your life.

I know it’s not easy to hear, but the bottom line is that you WILL recover from an abortion, and you WON’T recover from having a child.

Take some time to think about it, Suze. There’s no CTRL-Z.

So. You cool? Wanna go get your coat, or wait until after dessert?

-BENJAMIN LEO
Follow Benjamin Leo on Twitter.


Comments
  1. After DESSERT*, numb-nuts.

  2. Penis-Belenis says:

    Having kids destroys your life. Not having kids and growing into an old weird self-indulged kid yourself destroys your life.

  3. Anonymous says:

    i’ve known a few women who would beg to differ with the statement that you recover from abortion. they’ve never gotten over theirs. some women (most, probably) do fine, some women never get over having an abortion. the fact that she’s wavering is not a good sign either. she can always have it and give it up for adoption. i know that’s not the cool thing to do, but it is an option.

  4. Voda Fone says:

    Good one. Anonymous 12:32 is obviously a christian / scientology troll.

    Also, dicks.

  5. Sven Gali says:

    Go ask your Fearless Leader McInnes. He’ll tell you that it’s her DUTY to the respect the strivings of her ancestors — all the way back to her caveman clan, past simian origins, down through nudibranchs, presumably through proto-protozoa and probably on past even the non-random intentions of quantum physicality — it is her DUTY to reproduce. And she’s got another ten years to do it, or she’s Failed at the Fundamental Justification for Having Been Born. The clock is ticking, and she’s got ten years more in which to Get It Done.

    Not that that’s a recipe for continuing to fill the world with emotional hostages who grow up paying fealty to their parents’ megalomania or anything like that…

  6. Crapulent Rock Star says:

    Women who don’t get over abortions are generally brainwashed by the self-loathing, pity partying cult that all of America uses as a basis for their fake self worth. “Wah, I’m oppressed and now the system is oppressing me even more because it made me go coat-hanger on the little bitch. Wah.” I guess they just can’t get the voice of that chink in Juno talking about itty-bitty wittle fingies out of their head. Since I hang out with fairly cool women, the only post-abortion reactions I’ve witnessed are ones of pure joy and relief. They say things like, “thank god. it felt like I had a psychopathic parasite invading my body” or “phew, so nice to know I won’t be turning into a bitter, sweatpants wearing cow with stretch marks anytime soon” or “can I get some hard drugs with my cigarettes and whiskey?” or “to be honest with you, i wasn’t getting rid of the baby so much as I was getting rid of you, the father. can you leave now? i have some celebrating to do.”

  7. you all like "Fergie" says:

    @Sven

    So much blustery prose, and to what end? Could you not have said “Gavin thinks everyone should have kids, I strongly disagree” and in doing so make the exact same point you did?

  8. Anonymous says:

    @ eine hiney, but really, everyone: point of idiomatic origin —

    numb nut = your head is a singular (food-fruit, in your case likely pea-) nut.

    which is numb.

    ergo numb nut, not numb nutS. u r all welcome xxoo

  9. Damien says:

    Ben L is a sweet bro.

  10. Sven Gali says:

    Oh @fergie how right you are! Everyone should speak basic, without color or nunance. There was no point in highlighting that Gavin makes the rather peculiar moral argument that we have a reproductive obligation to our antecedent cavemen. After all, arguing from Scripture is precisely the same as reasoning from Science, right? So sure whatever, hey Gavin thinks we should have kids because it’s in the Bible. Or Gavin thinks we should have kids because you, fergie, yelled “I need to have your babies, Gavin!” while locked with him in the throes of passion. It’s all the same, right?

    I think instead of asking, “So much blustery prose, and to what end?” you should have just followed your own advice and reduced it to your beloved simpleton-ese: “Why you talk so biggum, eh? It hurt me noggin, yeh.”

    Wotta prig.

  11. i only fuck lesbians says:

    shes an unemployable english major who is dating a guy who works at jp morgan. obviously she just wants to be a housewife, so maybe the kid will be her life. dont shit on her desire for that lifestyle. the kid will be fucked up either way and at least she’ll be tied to a dude who makes enough to pay some child support, and if he’s dumb enough to go with it, they all deserve each other.

    …even though this whole story is bullshit, it reads just like when some preacher that starts with “i was down at the shopping mall when a couple skateboarding kids said to me….”

  12. hmm says:

    .. isnt this the exact opposite advice of Blognigger (“eyes on the prize!”) ?

  13. Anonymous says:

    A girl I dated had an abortion, and even though I supported her entirely, the way she talked about it made me really uncomfortable – “parasite”, “growth”, “cancer”. Didn’t speak well for her future desire to procreate, and I’m not sure I’d want to make a baby with somebody who thought about it that way anyway. She seemed to be lacking a certain maternal instinct, for sure.

  14. napkins says:

    @sven gali-

    maybe fergie just has a low threshold for wading through bullshit, which is pretty much what your verbagee was full of, you unemployed creative writing major.

  15. Margo and Todd says:

    Unless you are prepared for the consequences don’t risk ejaculating into your girlfriends vagina. There are other places you may finish, such as on her rear, stomach, breasts, or all over her glasses. If you plan on engaging in coitus later, you should urinate beforehand to expel the remaining semen from your urethra. Be sure to wash your penis with soap as well.
    You can get lambskin condoms which feel better than latex and allow you to remain inside her as you orgasm. You should then promptly dispose of the condom because if she is shifty she might try to use the contents to secretly conceive. I’ve heard about girls using pins on their boyfriends condoms without them knowing.

  16. Damien says:

    Yeah I know this dude that works at Lebowitz, Arsehole, & Wanker… got this chick pregnant… fuck I dunno…

  17. Frankly Mr. Stankly says:

    Did anyone see the abortion pics (and link to more) posted at Creep Street? Just sayin’.

  18. Anonymous says:

    why so defensive when someone shares a different opinion/experience? you only make your side look weaker when you start with the “people who don’t love abortions are mental defects” at people who hold a different view. nobody here has suggested that the right to choose be taken away, so chill out.

    if abortion is as bothersome to some of you as doing laundry, great. if some women find it more upsetting and choose not to do it, also great.

  19. Sven Gali says:

    me no likee them what no likee me. ugh!

  20. chris coke says:

    Why are lefties, liberals, hipsters, and women so casual about having an abortion as if you’re simply removing a tumor? A two month old fetus has a heartbeat, arms, legs, eyes, active brain. It’s a friggin’ sleeping child. And to simply have it scooped out of your dirty old twat and thrown in the garbage is disgusting. Some say it is murder. If you accidently get pregnant and don’t want your kid (except for rape, incest, etc.), give the lil’ dude(ette) up for adoption. Newborns don’t end up in foster homes. They fly off the shelves like hot cakes to qualified people who really really want a baby. Plus, all you liberated feminist women: Take control of your bodies for once. That’s what you all scream about. Get on birth control. It’s not hard to do. Or demand the use of a condom. And guys: for Pete’s sake pull out and nut on her stomach. Or titties. Or face. Or in her mouth. And poor people: Please get on birth control and only have one or two children. Please, for the love of God and society, use birth control. Also, birth control needs to be free (or close to free) and easy to get for everybody including teenagers without parental oversight. Every high school locker should have a box of condoms stuffed inside. End of abortion debate.

  21. Anonymous says:

    yes, yes, yes (especially the part about men and women using condoms):

    “Plus, all you liberated feminist women: Take control of your bodies for once. That’s what you all scream about. Get on birth control. It’s not hard to do. Or demand the use of a condom. And guys: for Pete’s sake pull out and nut on her stomach. Or titties. Or face. Or in her mouth…Please, for the love of God and society, use birth control. Also, birth control needs to be free (or close to free) and easy to get for everybody including teenagers without parental oversight. Every high school locker should have a box of condoms stuffed inside. End of abortion debate.”

  22. Anonymous says:

    chris coke said it all.

    it’s just truly amazing to me that these young guys won’t just cum on the tits. how do you get that lost in the moment, as though you’ve never jizzed before? CUM ON THE TITS.

    and once you’re in your 20’s, it’s time to stop the automatic abortions. you’re kind of old enough to raise a kid at that point. if that’s the direction your actions have taken you, then go with it. it won’t be that bad. no one in our generation is doing anything else with their lives anyway.

  23. What a dink says:

    Finally a fuckin’ truthful answer. I’m glad someone has the stones to actually tell the truth. At 21 you’re sure as shit not with “the one”. No fuckin’ way. That’s sure as shit a divorce waiting to happen. Bs right, she’ll get over the abortion, she won’t get over the loss of herself. Since she can’t resent a kid, she’ll resent herself. Forever. Not worth it. Have a kid when you’re ready v

  24. ElGalloGigante says:

    Geeze, please quit worrying about my soul. God has already hardened my heart.

  25. What a dink says:

    I am of the opinion that there’s no such thing as an “accident” when it comes to getting pregnant. Ever (with two consenting adults, of course. Otherwise it’s rape).

  26. Lana says:

    If I ever get prego I will definitely abort.
    No I don’t want some child coming up to me 20yrs later asking why I gave’em up. And my only answer is it was either that or abort you because I didn’t want to give a child a shitty life.
    Not sorry if I either want to give a child the best or nothing at all. If I get abortion and wait til I’m at a time in my life where I’m ready financially and mentally and have lived a little so that I’m a little more qualified to raise a human.

    And if I abort I’ll never wonder “what if” just a whole bunch “glad i did that” moments. If I ever wonder what it’s like to be a parent, I’ll adopt one of the many kids that probably should have been aborted.

  27. leeann rhymes says:

    abort abort abort I said. I’m 38 with no kids and I’m happy and never want them. I can’t imagine why anyone would. If you are careless enough to get pregnant and don’t want to be totally go to the nearest clinic and abort you won’t regret it. I work with a bunch of bitchy middle aged women who look at me with envy because of my freedom and all they do is complain about their kids and their husbands. They sound miserable. I am pleased that I have the freedom to do whatever I want. A kid would ruin that. dead weight.

  28. Psycho from the 11PM news says:

    Have the child, then throw it in the trash behind a convenience store. You experience childbirth but then you don’t have a kid to take care of. In other words, have it all, baby!

  29. Gnarles in Charge says:

    @Lana

    So to avoid having an awkward moment twenty years from now is how you’re rationalizing that abortion you’ve always wanted?

  30. popfop says:

    I’m pro choice and in this situation I think the girl should have an abortion. That said, there is a far too common trend among young women today to treat abortion as birth control. If you’re in your twenties, you’re an adult – start acting like one. I’ve known some girls who were in their early 20s who had abortions and were so nonchalant about it that it really disgusted me and made me reconsider their status as ‘good people.’

  31. Cable Guy says:

    You know what… The girl in that picture is pretty hot. 9/10 pussies

  32. Lana says:

    @Gnarles Yes.
    Giving up a child isn’t like giving up a puppy. It’s not like I’d go 20 years never thinking about the kid, worrying, wondering, then that moment of meeting them would be too much.
    I don’t want to have child that I can’t take care of and provide a great life for.

    I really wish they would develope IUDs better have them the put in as soon a girl becomes a “woman” and she could have it taken out when she’s sure she’s ready to have a kid.

  33. Stephanie says:

    I currently happen to find myself in a similar situation. I’m a 21 year old female recently finding out I’ve got some alien like parasite in me they tell me is going to become a “child”. My initial thought upon receiving this information was “ABORT! ABORT!” I am not financially, mentally, emotionally, and in all other ways prepared to have a kid. BUT there is no reason I can’t carry the little bugger to term and give it to someone else. To someone who may not be able to have a kid because of infertility, or high risk of some shitty disease.

    Abortion isn’t the only way to deal with unwanted pregnancy. I (and every single medical professional I’ve talked to) really wish the adoption option would be stressed a little more than it is presently.

    Personally, I would also strongly urge every pregnant girl dead set on abortion to get an ultrasound before making up their minds. It’s what changed mine. Seeing something with a definite human form wiggling and hearing its heart beating took killing it right out of the picture. Even though I may not want it, someone does.

  34. dryrub says:

    sage advice ben, sage.
    def know some broads I wish I could have shown this

  35. Gnarles in Charge says:

    @Lana

    Ok. Thank you for clarifying.

  36. Ally says:

    If I got pregnant I’d abort. Just not ready. Sure there’s the option of adoption but after nine months of pregnancy, bonding, labor, and stuff then seeing a baby thats part of me. I know I wouldn’t want to give him/her up, going through my life no doubt regretting not keeping them. Then we’d both have crappy lives.

    Sure there are women who can’t have babies. But there are also egg donors, and to me a better way for both the donor and the family that wants the child. I’d have no problem donating my eggs to a family in need. But being pregnant, no.
    Also while I have physical traits worth passing. I wouldn’t want to risk some of the diseases/health issues that run in my family.

    Not to mention it’s not like we’re running lol on orphans and kids that are already here that need families.

  37. Uland says:

    Why can’t I resist? I know that no one reads these comments to change their minds; it’s all about trying to reaffirm your working perceptions.
    With that in mind, all this pregnancy as “parasite” stuff is just a defense mechanism against trying to deal with what’s really going on; if you don’t have an abortion, you will have a child. A fetus is a really small child that lives in your womb.
    All the early proponents of abortion did not deny that abortion is a matter of ending a life. They were for it with that in mind. Why can’t you be honest about it too? If you’re not prepared to deal with the reality of it, you aren’t prepared for sex, and the usual outcomes of sex.
    We live in a culture that offers so many choices— how many forms of birth control are there? If you haven’t protected yourself, and you haven’t been raped, you’ve made the choice already. Take responsibility for it.
    Yeah, birth control doesn’t always work, but maybe that’s an indication that you shouldn’t have penetrative sex unless you’re prepared to have a baby with someone ( no, that doesn’t mean you need to get married and die together.)
    And really, reproduction is what sex is for. It’s something humans have had to deal with since day one. Maybe that’s a kind of important part of what it means to be a human and what sex means.
    Maybe how we deal with sex in the post sexual-revolution world is part of why we’re so fucking miserable.
    If you have the kid ( and no one who isn’t mentally ill regrets having their children), you’ll be forced to get back in touch with these realities. Your old life will be over, but so will all these delusions about sexuality and what life is for.
    And no, I’m not a Christian, or religious at all. I’m just not insane.

  38. He Who Knows says:

    @ Screwland: “Miserable”, eh? Guess what, everybody, the world was, just a half-century ago, a place of joy and birdsong all the livelong! And women of today who don’t carry a baby to term are actively denying their full ration of human responsibility! Which makes them “insane”, and so less than fully human!

    So, then, what’s your stand on such a clear indication of–let’s call it by its true denature–demonic possession? I take it that suchlike unreproducing witches and their enablers should be burned at the stake, or maybe publicly flensed and their flesh ceremonially consumed? Or maybe they should be forced to listen to “Wait! Wait! Don’t Tell Me!” until they either confess or are cured by that sure quick welcome death?

    ‘For surely such a scourge cannot be allowed to prosper.’ “Waste not thine seed, for thy seed is meant only for that which is holey. And make sure it’s the right hole too dammit.” Levitra 4:20

  39. Vane$$a says:

    why is it that everyone thinks they’re giving their children shitty lives? who came up with that first… why can’t it be that you really think your kid is great and even though it’s tough at times, you like your new live and are happy you gave it more meaning. and i call BULLSHIT on realizing your potential, being yourself, and all that leftist ego shtick. going out,getting shitfacd and being a stupid graphic designer till you die? thanks, but i prefer to be happy.

  40. ??? says:

    I think her reluctance speaks volumes…The girls I know who have had abortions didn’t think twice about it and practically ran to the clinic. 21 is young but not THAT young. With supportive parents, she can do it, whether the relationship lasts or not. But I stress, she NEEDS her parents to be on board. She should take some pre-natal classes in her neighbourhood to meet other mothers too. A good support network is uber important. It takes a village. Cliche, but true.

  41. Uland says:

    He Who Knows: I have no idea what you’re going on about. I never suggested everything was perfect long ago, I’m suggesting things got worse after this idea that killing unborn children is an act of empowerment.

  42. Anonymous says:

    fucking a catholic priest most certainly ISN’T my ultimate fantasy

  43. NotChristian so cut the shit says:

    I happen to be one of “those women” who came to feel terribly and regret what I did after I had my abortion. I, like this girl,was not 100% adamant about getting an abortion and wavered on whether or not to have it, and my advice would be that if she, or any woman for that matter, is not 100% ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN about getting an abortion, then she should NOT DO IT. Instead, she should get as much information as she can about what it really means to be a parent. She should find out just how exactly her and her boyfriend’s lives will change if she has the child. And if she decides afterward to keep the child, abort, or give up the baby, in any case do not knock her. Support her.
    There are much worse things in the world than having a child; having a baby does not mean the absolute end of your life but it does mean undergoing a drastic change to it. If I could do it all over again I would have sucked it up and had my baby, because nothing contends with the hell of knowing your child was alive one day (especially if you saw him/her in the sonogram) and dead the next. Nothing contends with the hell of wondering what could have been, of knowing I’ll never get to hold my baby. I wish I were like those women who could just get on with life and treat the matter as though you would a mosquito bite, but I’m just not and if this girl goes ahead with an abortion she’s not 100% sold on, she may come to regret her decision, too.

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