It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a married woman in possession of a functioning uterus and a soul must be always on the verge of pregnancy.

However little known this truth may be to a woman in this particular situation upon walking into a gas station or past a co-worker’s cubicle, this fact is so well fixed in the minds of mothers and fathers everywhere that she is considered to be approaching her second trimester, at the very least.

“My dear girl,” said her former Sunday-School teacher to her one day, “when is your baby due?”

She replied that it was certainly more than nine months from this date, as she wasn’t currently pregnant.

“But how long have you been married,” returned her teacher; “hasn’t it been more than five years?”

She made no answer.

“Do you not want children?” cried her teacher, impatiently.

You certainly must want me to have children, and I have no objection to it.”

I’d better go ahead and cite Pride and Prejudice here, in case it wasn’t clear. (Jane Austen is my writer hero.) Though this exact situation hasn’t actually happened to me, I have, on occasion (more frequently when I worked in an office where gossip was, frankly, out of control), been accused of being pregnant. Fortunately, no complete stranger has of yet asked when my baby was due, but I did have a former church-mom-youth-trip-chaperon-lady suggest, before the wedding, that I got married to my husband because I was pregnant. Why else would we get engaged after knowing one another for two months? Certainly not because we love each other and would stay together for (at this point) six years without the impetus of a child to glue our relationship together. And I definitely resented the assumption that such glue was necessary. The problem is, I am a married woman in possession of a (as far as I know) functioning uterus and a soul, and I fall squarely into this category, desperately wanting a baby. And maybe I’m just being paranoid, assuming that everyone must be wondering why on earth Hubby and I haven’t procreated after six years of blissful happiness, therefore I am giving voice to my own fears with the exercise above. I tend to think I just haven’t yet run into anyone ballsy enough to ask me when I’m going to have a baby already, and that’s why the exchange above hasn’t been part of my experience on the subject. I’m certain that this is it. In the meantime, while I wait for this individual to appear in my life, I will just remain calm and try to find a reasonable answer to that question… Surely there’s a good reason why I haven’t had a baby yet?

(Trust me, it isn’t for lack of want… more likely, from lack of funds… and an already full house. And don’t worry. I’m not on the verge of a breakdown. If you happen to be pregnant and you are my friend, I am quite happy for you, and only a little jealous. I promise.)