Unorthodox Proposals

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.

About elroyjones

Married, no children, responsibly self-directed, living happily.
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10 Responses to Unorthodox Proposals

  1. Peggy says:

    I find this quite amusing. Honestly, can you imagine how this would screw up some 17 year old’s life today if she was approached to do this? Lawsuits would ensue, I’m sure. Back in the anything goes 70s, it didn’t occur to us to be shocked or offended by this type of proposition. Probably things happened all the time. You probably could have gotten pregnant and had a baby without anyone noticing. That’s a stretch, but remember, my brother JJS took a year off from high school and lived in CT. His junior year, I think. My father didn’t know about it until one day we were sitting on my deck in Bangor and my mother brought it up. He said, “JESUS Mary, when was that!? I didn’t know he was gone.” Well, of course he didn’t.

    • elroyjones says:

      You are a laugh riot! I can just hear your dad saying that to your mother. A year seems like a long time for a kid to be gone but when there are many of them plus assorted friends and pets and you’re only home on the weekend, it’s easy to see how one of many could be gone without much notice. It worked out just fine, your mother knew where he was. The parents weren’t intentionally remiss. We sheltered them and kept them oblivious.

  2. One word……”integrity” 🙂

    • elroyjones says:

      Another word, naivete. I’ve always imagined my life is a lot more like a novel and a lot less like life. Sometimes having a clear view of what I didn’t want saved the day.

      Thanks very much for your sweet comment.

  3. gkinnard says:

    You are never boring and always full of insight, lessons, and/or analysis! Keep it up!

  4. elroyjones says:

    Thanks, George. I hadn’t thought of this stuff in years.

  5. You, my blogging friend, have had an interesting life! I often think about the hows and whys of where and who I am. I refused many things in my life that I wish I’d accepted (help, escape, wisdom, spiritual truths). I’ve learned, though, and try not to let those treasures get away.

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