"What is this weird gushy feeling I get whenever I see our friends' babies?" I asked Tokii over a Saturday brunch of pecan pancakes, french toast, hash brown souffle and scrambled eggs with cheese at a Cracker Barrel outside of New Haven (brunch location per Tokii's request; you can take the girl out of the South, but you can't take the South out of the girl).
"That would be called your biological clock," she replied between bites of sausage.
"I don't know why I start to feel like I want one of these when I see them," I said, nodding toward the miniature human in the highchair at the end of our table. "Can't I hit a snooze button?"
Friday evening, Debasha and I had arrived in Connecticut via the Metro-North to see Tokii perform in "The Bluest Eye", in which she was terrific as Claudia, just as The New York Times had said she was. Cassie and her best friend joined us for brunch, and in between hilariously inappropriate for family-style restaurants conversation, we were all oohing and aahing over her best friend's adorable baby boy.
"Slow your roll, girl!" Cassie's 23-year old best friend laughed.
"Slow my roll?" I shot back. "I'm 28."
She was surprised. I supposed her genuine shock at my age was a good thing. But I found myself wondering if my life choices were leading me down a path to being the unmarried, childless auntie of all of my friends' kids.
Cassie took Debasha and me on a tour of Yale University since Tokii had matinee and evening performances at the Long Wharf Theatre and was preparing for family members to arrive from North Carolina. So we transitioned from Tokii's temporary New Haven apartment on Friday night to a Saturday night in Cassie's third-floor space of the family she works for. She is the nanny of an Icelandic family of three adorable boys. I often joke that I would never hire a hot nanny, but I realized immediately that this wife should have little to worry about since she is a typical Scandinavian beauty.
New Haven is a picturesque town with tree-lined streets, white picket fences, old New England homes and adorable storefronts and cafes. Around every corner, I felt myself admiring the beauty, the space and the family-oriented landscape. And with every manicured yard, baby carriage and camera phone photo op, I felt either the urge to go watch Desperate Housewives or respond to my biological clock. Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.
We had a fun girls' evening on the town, where I learned in New Haven - of all places - that I love Cuban food, and ultimately ended the night only slightly earlier than usual with Cassie's DVD box set of "Sex and the City". The next morning we were awakened before 9 o'clock by the shrieks, bangs and crashes of three giggly little boys.
"Yes, it is this loud every morning," Cassie groaned from under her pillow as somewhere on a floor below us there was a giant thud and a shrill scream followed by laughter.
I rolled over and found the snooze button on my biological clock.