I have a category called Random Word Stories. From an online random word generator, I grab a list and write a story. It’s my own way to find a prompt. Feel free to check out the others I’ve done over the years. Thanks!
It had just come to Marie’s attention in a news article, that Americans weren’t reproducing in sufficient numbers to maintain their own cultural future. Oh well, she thought, progress and changes happen. Women are more than ‘baby machines’.
Her life as a professional unmarried 28 year old was awesome! And, no stretch marks, baby.
In college, the consensus about career vs family for young women wasn’t at all obscure. Life could only be fullfilling if women pursued their careers first with becoming a mother a ‘maybe’. In fact, the few who dropped out, opting for families, were banished from elite circles and were openly called ‘troglodytes’. She never hesistated to dismiss those women and pitied them for not belonging to the enlightened fold of feminism. Her once, best friend, Lynn was one of those misguided types.
Marie was completely convinced having children was messy, expensive, and intrusive for women who wished to forge a bright future so running into Lynn, at her hometown bank (after not seeing her for a decade), was a good chance to flaunt her wiser choices.
Lynn looked horrible. Her hair and wardrobe were a mess.
“Sneakers. Really?” Marie mumbled.
Marie almost considered avoiding her to save Lynn the inevitable embarrassment but, heck, she’d created her own nightmare. It wasn’t Marie’s fault. She’d even pleaded with her not to throw in the towel 10 years ago.
“Marie! How are you?”
” I’m great! I just got back from Europe on assignment and the vice president position isn’t too far off. The marketing firm may be setting up an office in Belguim! My expense account is unlimited and I get dibs on all the first fashion trends. See?” Marie twirled for emphasis.
“Nice! You were always so talented. How’s your Mom?”
“She’s okay. How’s your family?”
With a twinkle in her eye, Lynn grabbed her phone and showed photos of her three daughters, two dogs, and a variety of camping excursions, softball games, and, what she called, ‘giggle fests’. Her husband still drove trucks, but now had his own company, and she was homeschooling her kids since Covid-19 shutdowns. Her home had a lovely yard with, of all things, a white picket fence!
Lynn certainly didn’t look miserable. Marie thought she even beamed.
The major letdown of their encounter was Lynn’s total lack of envy of Marie’s choices. She seemed content and chatted about her children with an energy and pride that Lynn didn’t even have for her own ‘projects’.
As Marie unlocked her apartment that evening, she had an epiphany.
That college feminist ‘concesus’ may not have been organic, or as altruistic, as it seemed.