You know you're in a bad way when you start to resent not just individuals but entire species. The other day Sydney and I were browsing through one of her Highlights magazines when we came across a section devoted to different types of birds and their respective nests. Sydney wanted to know why there were eggs in the nests and as I explained to her that baby birds come from eggs which come from their mommies' bodies, I saw her glance at my belly. "People carry their babies in their tummies until its time for them to be born," I told her, "like Mommy has Baby Evan in her tummy. But birds get to lay eggs and so they don't carry their babies for very long in their tummies."
She seemed to accept this and we moved on. What caught me was my use of the word "get." Mommy birds get to lay eggs. How I hated those birds, with their svelte figures and smug expressions, dozing ever so peacefully atop their brood. But not as much as I hate mice, with their beady eyes and 20-day gestations. I might be tempted to add dogs and cats to the list, as they're only pregnant for about 2 months, except they also have to squeeze out an entire litter, which I don't envy in the slightest. Nor do I hate the elephants, who are forced to carry their spawn for almost two years--the mere thought of which makes me want to eat an entire box of ice cream sandwiches and take a nap.
The next day we took Sydney to the zoo, where I found myself enthralled by the elephants. Poor girls. If I were them I'd want to stomp the shit out of some birds.