When I was in high school, one of my teachers asked me if I would have a baby for her and her new husband. She wanted to pay me $10k, which was a tremendous amount of money back then. Ten thousand dollars was so far beyond my comprehension that it was meaningless to me. My primary concern was how they could get a baby without me giving up a lot of my life and all of my body for the term involved.
I can’t quite recall the particulars. I’m inclined to think there was a plan for do-it-yourself artificial insemination. The thought of it was pretty icky but it wasn’t as icky as it could have been. It wasn’t something I could do. Obviously, I didn’t mention the proposal to my mother. At 17, I was most confident of my abilities and judgment.
A few years later, one of my Australian roommates thought it would be a good idea for me to travel to Hong Kong and Tokyo with him, while my boyfriend was offshore, and prostitute myself to Asian men with lots of money. I don’t believe the idea would have been as good for me as it would have been for him. I wasn’t the least bit offended nor did I hesitate to say no. Again, there was an ickiness factor to contend with.
It is only retrospectively that these incidents seem irregular. At the time, the proposals seemed like reasonable suggestions to address infertility and unemployment. Unsuitable for me, but reasonable nonetheless. Surrogate mothering became popular when I was in my early 20s. It seems a lot of surrogates had a positive experience giving their time and a baby to the childless. A few months ago, I watched a program on Discovery with a segment featuring an American woman, who worked as a prostitute in Asia a few years after I lived there. She didn’t seem to regret her temporary occupation, indicating the pay was good for the time involved.
I can’t think of anything I’ve refused that I wish I had accepted. I wonder how I got here, how did I know enough to make the choices I did? Not just the choices described here but all of them. I believe in free will. The illusion that I have control of my life is enough. I ended up where I want to be.