Nine years ago, I was a scientist. I spent my days in the lab trying to fathom the inner workings of a nasty little virus, and my nights slumped on friends’ sofas, trying to fathom the inner workings of men. We watched Friends, ate junk and complained bitterly about the 2 cm2 of cellulite on our upper thighs. We dissected the latest antics of our useless boyfriends and PhD supervisors, and dreamt about how everything would fall into place post-PhD, when we finally moved out of shared accommodation, got married and had 2.7 kids.
Then somehow, life showed its great sense of humour. It all started in a rather banal fashion, when my Useless Boyfriend of the moment dumped me. Friends offered cheap wine and commiserations from the “he didn’t deserve you anyway” range, I alternatively contemplated pouring ethanol into his cell cultures, and retiring to a convent, possibly both… Two weeks later, I sat on the grubby stairs of my shared house, holding a positive pregnancy test, which might as well have been radioactive.
If my life had been an episode of Friends, someone would have said something hilarious. Rather disappointingly, no one managed anything funnier than “What?” or “Oh shit!”, with the exception of Ex-Useless Boyfriend who asked at least a dozen times “How did it happen?” (Not quite Friends material but nonetheless I thought a pretty good effort). I can only assume he was still trying for humour nine months later, when I rang him because I was in labour, and he said he could not fly back early from his holiday in France.
Today, interestingly enough, the man flew to France to spend a week end with his distraught son. After seven and a half years, could he be getting what being a father is all about?
This post is for Sandra whose sofa I must have worn holes into. Missing you.