Sunday, 3 July 2011

The Fertility Faction

OK, I obviously spoke too soon.

Last year a coworker announced she was pregnant.

All the women in the office who have had children got intensely excited.

I congratulated her, anticipated chipping in for flowers in a few months time and forgot all about it.

I missed the predatory gleam in their eyes.

The first salvo was subtle.

The magazines on our lunch table - usually a reliable mix of culinary, design and architecture with the odd Cleo thrown in - was suddenly peppered with parenting periodicals.

The second salvo was slightly more direct.

They began including me in their 'isn't that cute' group emails of pictures of kids frolicking with dogs, drawing on walls, buried in piles of leaves and cosplaying with their parents at Comic Con.

Their stated reason for this was that they thought I liked dogs/vandalism/leaves/cosplay.

I was invited to and attended the baby shower, where I won several games.

They saw this as a promising sign until I made it blatantly clear with my gloating victory dance that my apparent baby-related prowess was down to being a competitive jerk.

At this point the campaign had been running at least two months* and I had started to get a little paranoid and had begun wondering how they got my private email and the ads on my Facebook sidebar to join in.

My junk mail had suddenly given up on selling me V14gr4 and c14l1s or trying to hook me up with my foreign lottery winnings and has been offering me singles of all flavours.

Black singles, white singles, Latin singles, Asian singles, Christian singles, Jewish singles.
All the singles.

My Facebook ad sidebar seems to be trying to kill two birds with one stone and every day urges me to 'Give Single Dads A Chance'.

So far, I have not.

Disheartened by this lack of results, they gave up on both subtle and semi-subtle.

Any time an unmarried guy not biologically old enough to be my Father visited our workplace, they would comment on his various favourable attributes and ask me what I thought.

I thought it was kind of creepy.

I mean I'm all for the sexual equality of ladies having the freedom to perve on appealing dudes but the 'give him some slack, then reel him in, then give him some slack, then reel him in' language used by certain women in these situations make me feel incredibly skeezy.

Especially when the two very nice IT guys came through to do an equipment audit and the moment they were out the door, one particular coworker demanded that I picked out and started dancing the sideways rumba with whichever one I preferred because it was terrible to see a decent chunk of man meat like that go to waste.

When I declined her order to sexually assault the IT guy(s), she began listing friends of hers who were single and not old/crazy/destitute.

At this point two of my friends decided to come to my rescue.

Awkwardly, however, they did this by insisting that I could have had the pick of their friends at any point over the last four years but that I was under no obligation to make such a selection.

Choosing this as the moment to put my earphones on and never ever take them off again, I was spared the rest of that cringefest.

Luckily after the 'take that nerd and make him your own' conversation, they did seem to get the message that I was not going to be taken in by their cunning plan.

This reprieve can probably be more accurately attributed to the fact that our pregnant coworker has recently given birth and they now have a freshly baked bun straight out of the baby oven to coo over and the intense desire to see me opening my own franchise has abated.

I know this is temporary and that one day, they'll hear the bugle call to arms once more, but I'm just grateful for the cease-fire.

However long it may last.

*I say 'at least two months' because given my field tested obliviousness to signs, signals and hints I cannot rule out the possibility that this had kicked off the moment pregnant coworker finished enunciating the letter t in 'I'm pregnant!'

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