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To Breed or Not to Breed?

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Contributor:
Dallas Boyd
Dallas Boyd

 Are you at that 20-something-ish age where people you know have started to sporadically pop out kids, get married, or - doubly disturbing - get married and have kids?

 As opposed to shagging for fun... what’s up with breeding? 

There‘s nothing better than getting off your pickle at somebody’s 21st. Or better yet, getting off your pickle at your own 21st. I know I have fond memories of mine… blurry drunken confused memories… but very fond, jolly, and misguided nonetheless. This is supposed to be a time when we have the whole future ahead of us. We have a clean slate in life. We can do anything. Explore, travel, work, play. This is a time to develop as an adult and seek independence in the world.
 
But then you start to hear frightening stories - I know a girl who actually got married on her 21st birthday. I think she has three kids now. This is a far cry from skulling a yard glass to the tune of “chug, chug, chug!” and then trying to act semi-respectable in front of your relatives, who turned up to see what a sharp young adult you‘ve become. For myself and my friends, who’ve spent many a moment dodging and squirming away from the terms “relationship”, “commitment” and “boyfriend” (in a charming and roguish George Cloony type way) the idea of getting married on your 21st birthday - this necessary day of hedonistic foolishness - seems unnecessarily foolish. 
 
Currently I’m living in a Central American country that grows and exports a lot of quality bananas. Imagine a lot of bananas. Now imagine even more teenage mothers and pregnant girls. In contrast, having no kids myself at the senile age of 23, it’s no wonder some locals view me as infertile, barren, undesirable, and as cold as a witch’s tit. 
 
I tried to explain to a man recently that in New Zealand we generally wait until we are much older to start our families. He said to me, “what like…25?” I tried to speak kindly and sound non-judgemental when I replied, “um, you know, sometimes we are even older than 25. Most women in New Zealand spend time getting an education and a good job first.” He looked at me as though I’d just announced I was about to cut off my left breast Amazon-style to help me get a better aim on shooting my poison-tipped arrows.  
 
Of course there were the early birds, the girls who dropped out of high school to raise mini me’s. Maybe I’m too idealistic, but in general, I believe after the K-I-S-S-I-N-G (in the tree) should come the love, the career, the marriage, the house… and then possibly a dog. And then a baby carriage. Here, I am going crazy surrounded by teenage girls with babies, who can’t afford birth control, let alone a child. 
 
Realise it or not, living in New Zealand provides women with opportunities, independence and freedom that some people could not comprehend, even if they knew it existed. So to my fellow 20-something-ish girls who seem so desperate to start a family asap (as soon as puberty) - what’s the hurry???
 

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