Every weekend I choose to escape my 20something existence. I do this with the help of my infant boyfriend du jour, be he Webber, Nevo, Ari, or Alden. And I do it with a smile on my face because for the first time that week I have license to sing the ABCs at the top of my lungs and not be considered a stark raving lunatic for it.
Yes, rather than embrace the world of young urban professional Saturday night alcoholism, I watch episodes of the Magic School Bus on PBS Kids. And while many question my standards for entertainment, I politely choose to differ. Infants are delightful little beings who consistently shed light on my otherwise complicated and thoroughly disorderly existence.
One of the many lessons they– and particularly Nevo– have taught me is how to dissuade a male of comprable age to myself from approaching me in a public setting. Enter: the baby carriage. While I am in awe of how sophisticated these contraptions have become over the last twenty years– what with all their fancy cup holders and iPad holders and such– most young gentlemen fear the very site of them.
They associate baby carriages with babies. And where there are babies, there are familial responsibilities, which include sacrificing the yuppie Saturday alcoholism ritual for a rousing rendition of the ABCs.
But more importantly, they determine that they “lady,” as I am often referred to, pushing the baby carriage must, in fact, be the mother. And if she is the mother and this is a utopian 1950s nuclear family based society, there must be a father to whom I am married, thus making me entirely off limits.
So instead of winking or making absurdly misogynist comments as I pass by, they cross the street, turn the next corner, and all but flee from within my peripheral vision. I am the dreaded older woman without the seductive cougar appeal (perhaps because I am not actually of cougar status yet).
It’s kind of a welcome relief, but also a bit disturbing how easily I am mistaken for being a 30something instead of a 20something. I guess I should enjoy it; it’s not everyday you get paid to play in the sandbox with individuals all under the age of two.