when i was in my classic rock phase, i used to ponder janis joplin’s lyric, “freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose”, trying to understand what she meant. i was young and freaked out about making those big decisions i could see looming on the horizon, the ones that require choosing one thing and saying goodbye to all the others. but i also knew i didn’t want to be one of those people she was talking about. the ones who sat on the fence of their lives because they were afraid, never committing to anything because they wanted to keep their options open.
jump forward fifteen years, one marriage and two kids later:
yesterday my husband had a vasectomy. i went with him to the appointment and saw the insides of his balls (he thought his vas deferens looked like this super-disgusting photo of a guinea worm and i must agree). after i set him up on the couch with a bag of frozen peas, we got excited about the prospect of all that booming sex. and then we both felt a little sad about the baby that we’d never have, as expected. more surprising was the revelation we both had that a vasectomy isn’t fully about freedom. it actually feels like we’re more committed than ever. i can’t just up and leave with a clear conscience (not that i was planning to, but it’s nice to pretend i have the option). seeing him lying on that table, i realized that he can’t just start over and make a new family with someone else. and not only that, he did it for me. so now, we’ve really got to make it work.
oh janis, what a twisted web you weave.