“Ooh, look! A new one just was added to the database,” Penny coos in excitement as she points to the screen.
We’re gathered around my iPad at Speakeasy, our favorite Midtown haunt, perusing the latest offerings on a bank I’ve been in touch with in Manhattan.“He’s five-foot-nine. College educated. Plays the violin. And he has red hair,” Delaney reads, then runs her fingers over the ends of my hair. “Do you want little redheaded babies?”
I laugh. “I think I’d like the choice whether they should have red hair or not, and clearly I’m only bringing recessive genes to the equation.”
Penny swipes left dramatically as if the new donor is a Tinder no. “Anyone else? And are we ever going to see what they look like besides when they were five years old?”
I shake my head. “In most cases, only childhood photos of donors are posted. Every now and then you hear of a woman who’s seen adult photos of her donor, but that’s highly unusual, and only allowed at a few, select banks. It’s actually quite rare to even see high school or college photos, since a lot of donors only do it because it’s anonymous.”
Penny points to the screen, reading another donor’s profile in frustration. “Look. This guy is six feet, has blue eyes, played hockey in high school, went to UCLA, and works in tech. But what does he look
“Unfortunately, we’re just going to have to imagine,” Delaney says, with a heavy sigh.
Penny reaches for her red wine. “That makes me so sad I need a drink.”
“And let’s be honest, looks do matter,” Delaney adds.
I nod vigorously. “They do. That doesn’t make me vain, right?”
My girls shake their heads in unison, defending my stance. “We all want a cute elephant baby for our matriarchy,” Penny says, patting my hand.
I laugh. “But seriously. You think it’s reasonable to want a handsome donor, right? In addition to all the other things that are obviously critical. Not a serial killer. No criminal record. College degree. Height, etcetera, etcetera.”
“Absolutely,” Penny says, setting her wineglass down with a resounding smack. “How are you possibly supposed to say a green-eyed, five-foot-ten, college-educated man with no murder convictions is
“It’s like online shopping without seeing what you’re buying,” Delaney adds. “Who buys anything on the Internet without seeing a photo? You don’t shop for shoes just by the size, color, and style. You need to
see them. Try them on.”
“I don’t think trying on is an option.” I wink.
Delaney sticks out her tongue. “But you need to see the goods. You can’t fly blind.”
I reach for my water. No more chardonnay or mojitos for this mama-to-be. I’ve had all my health screenings, too, and my doctor sees no reason why I can’t get pregnant. All I need is the other half. “I
just wish I knew more about these men.”
Penny peers at the site’s latest offerings once more. “This is crazy. You can select whether someone has skills in auto mechanics, plumbing, or kickboxing. You can choose if your donor has detached earlobes, a
particular kind of eye spacing, and his favorite subject in school. You can even opt for someone who’s a good cook. But you can’t see if his jawline is actually square, if his lips are truly full, or if he’s as handsome as you’ve dreamed.”
I scrunch my forehead and imagine my dream candidate. Briefly, my mind is blank, but then an image pops into my head. “I just wish I knew the guy was going to be a Ryder Lockhart level of hot,” I say, matter-of-factly.
“Oh, he is a hottie,” Penny says, and Delaney nods her agreement. They’ve both met him at my work events and the occasional group happy hour.
“He’s gorgeous. Just the other day I found myself cataloging his features. He really does have it going on. Plus, he’s smart and funny and good to animals.”
Penny hums mournfully. “Too bad he’s not a donor.”
“Ha. Yeah, it’s a bummer he hasn’t made a deposit at this sperm bank.” I tap the screen. “I’d order up one serving ASAP. Get that turkey baster inside me stat,” I bark as if I’d be saying that to the nurses
while I tell them to shoot me up with Ryder Lockhart’s DNA.
Ryder Lockhart’s DNA.
The clouds part. The sun rises. The bells ring. Never have three words sounded more like a perfect solution to a problem.