Reality TV has never been known for its deep meanings or life lessons. That is until last week.
Normally this apparently ‘real’, totally spontaneous (yeah right) and non-scripted (because they can’t read) TV fodder revolves around Kim Kardashian crying about how blessed she is or toffs in Chelsea buying Dior handbags the way normal people buy Primark pants.
Despite the brainless parading of tits and arse, he said, she slept with etc etc, I love it. Yes, I’m a grown, semi-functioning adult with actual responsibilities yet spend my Wednesday and Sunday evenings glued to TOWIE. The shame is real.
The glamorous, orange-tinged lives of a group of half wit Essex residents has me hooked. I’m in love with Pete ‘the pirate’ Wicks, envy the length of eyelash extensions and marvel at the concave stomachs of the cast, despite their constant boozing and eating.
Even more shockingly, the last two or three episodes have made me cry. Real, human tears. Not only with phantom pains for the females’ tottering around in death- defyingly high stilettos but at the realisation that I am Gemma Collins.
THE GEMMA DILEMMA
Whilst I’m no lover of kaftans, I am partial to the odd kebab and have recently purchased a pair of oversized sunglasses. That is where I thought the similarities with the self-styled queen of Essex stopped.
But then she went and got all real and emotional. Damn that GC.
The last few episodes have shown Gemma’s appointments at a fertility clinic. At the age of 36, with no husband or sperm donor in sight, she considered freezing her eggs in the hope that her future plans may still include a bouncing Basildon-born baby.
With the sympathetic-faced doctor last week telling GC that she was at the top end of the egg freezing age, this week Gemma learnt that her low egg count rendered the procedure useless.
Cue my tears. Proper snotty ones.
At the age of 34, my 35th looms just a few weeks away. Like Gemma I have not yet found the ‘love of my life’ or a man that I’d want to make me scrambled eggs let alone fertilise my actual ova.
Like Gemma I am a few pounds over what the dastardly weighing scales say I should be and like Gemma exercise is as foreign to me as the Turkish kebab shop she so regularly visits.
THE FEAR IS REAL
It’s not something you talk about that much is it? The fear. Of never having the baby you so badly want.
Within my friendship circle I’m the last of my kind: single and unfertilised. I date but haven’t yet met anyone who has made me sigh with relief at no longer having to shave my legs or pluck my eyebrows before a date.
Most of my friends have babies. Not just small crying, poohing-in-their-pants ones, but slightly older ones, that actually talk and have personalities. Proper little people with their own mates and social lives.
I never imagined I’d be unattached, let alone without a child at this age. Obnoxious perhaps, but it was always part of the plan and I assumed (and prayed, and wished, and hoped) that I’d have a little me running around and puking on me at will.
I thought I’d have other mummy friends and spend weekends at baby birthday parties. I thought I’d be the leader of the yummy mummy club. I never fathomed I’d have to listen to people I once danced madly with whilst off my face telling me I had no idea what it was like and how difficult having a child is.
I thought I’d be part of the cool club. Chock full of hormones and boobs squirting milk whilst doing the weekly shop at Waitrose (middle class life goals).
WEIGHING UP MY OPTIONS
So I’ve been doing a Gemma and looking at my options. They are not good.
Either I find and trap a man with a speed akin to Flash Gordon. Or I too get egg freezing.
No go on the NHS, that’s reserved for people with real illnesses and sad stuff going on.
Of course private treatment is an option but there are two things stopping me. One, I don’t have a spare £4,000 (currently I don’t even have a spare £40) and two, if I was sat across from a fertility doctor who told me my eggs were past their sell by dates I’d either be committed to a mental hospital or up at the Old Bailey for murder.
The thought of being I told I can’t have a child is as bad as the fear that I will never have the option to have one with someone I can tolerate, let alone love.
Shitting numerous bricks.
Coming from a traditional Asian background, if I turned up at my parents with a baby in my already sizeable belly and no ring on my finger, I’d not only lose the relative perkiness of my breasts but would face losing my parents and family support.
WORD OF ADVICE
I love my friends and I love their babies even more. But hearing their woes of sleepless nights, childcare arrangements and running out of nappies is not only dull but actually heart breaking.
When will it be my turn to cope with an untimely pooh? Or to travel on a nine-hour flight with a crying baby whilst all the other passengers glare at me?
These things may be bloody awful and induce fear in all you mums, but spare a thought for us baby-less women. All the horror you go through, is the horror I desire. All the arguments you have with your other half about who is going to do the 4am feed is the type of argument I crave.
For those of you 30-somethings who are happily childless. Bloody good on you. Whether you have or do not have a child is totally up to you. I unfortunately have womb ache. And who would have thought Gemma Collins – TOWIE’s orange queen in sequins – would have made me realise so profoundly that my baby-making days are numbered.
Best get myself on Tinder.