in one basket

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, or in some weed-induced belief that we’re still in the Clinton administration, times are a little tough.

The dollar doesn’t really go as far as it used to, does it? As I said to a good friend of mine the other day when lamenting about my own deteriorating financial situation, “I feel like everything on this safari has cost me twice what it should have.”

Of course it does. Welcome to Washington. We hope you’ll be here a while.

A couple of weeks ago, I was sitting outside on the balcony reading the City Paper while Brandon was smoking. In addition to snickering like a 12-year-old boy at various “service” ads, one caught my attention.

Its slick language was something along the lines of “Get great financial compensation for giving a family hope.” Doesn’t that just make you feel warm and fuzzy? Like you want to hug your Grandma?

But this wasn’t giving a family hope in that “Vote for Barack Obama” kind of way. This was about giving an infertile couple a chance to have a baby. Yours. From your egg.

For $8,000.

“Brandon!! Look! I can totally sell my eggs. It’s not like I’m going to use them,” I said excitedly as I jumped up to hand him the City Paper.

My enthusiasm was not met with similar enthusiasm, which isn’t an oddity in our relationship, but I was surprised nonetheless. I had totally come up with a beautiful solution for recovering the expense of moving and I was going to help a woman who truly wanted a child of her own and couldn’t have one.

“Could you handle that?” he asked. “Would you really be able to NOT think about how somewhere, your child is out there.”

“But it’s not my child,” I countered. “It’s just my equipment put in someone else’s body who carried it. It’s not like I’m giving birth.”

My argument was not easily accepted, and the more I thought about it, he’s right. It would be odd for me to think about, in say, 16 years, that I had a kid driving a car somewhere, probably just as bad at making left turns and parking as I am — and they’d have no way of knowing why they couldn’t make left turns or park. They’d never know how they got that part of their genetic makeup.

But, apparently, I’m not the only person who entertained that thought.

I saw on CNN.com this afternoon a story about a woman who sold her eggs — because of the economy!

Dim economy drives women to donate eggs for profit

OK, if I was on the fence before, I’m off the fence because this is NOT an easy process. And for someone who hates doctors as much as I do, I’m not sure going through all of this is worth it. And, as much as I hate to admit it, Brandon’s right — I never would be able to get out of my head the thought of someone who may look like me, act like me, be afraid of mushrooms, etc., being out there roaming around.

But it’s an interesting moral question, isn’t it? I don’t know if I’ll ever have children. I likely won’t. Compared to some of the dirtbags out there who do have children, I’m top-shelf breeding material. I’m reasonably attractive, I’m moderately intelligent, I’m painfully humble (ha!). Could the argument be made that I should help populate the world with people like me? (God help us all. That may be a really, really bad idea.)

On the other hand, though, isn’t it kind of amazing the choices a crappy economy can force people to make?


15 Responses to “in one basket”

  1. August 6, 2008 at 5:31 pm


    I’m just getting started with my new blog. Would you want to exchange links on our blog-rolls?

    BTW – I’m up to about 100 visitors per day.

  2. August 6, 2008 at 5:31 pm

    I could almost see doing this.
    I mean, if it came down to paying my mortgage, I could see doing this.

    Of course, now that I am in my mid (on my way to late) 30s, no one would want my shriveled up old eggs anyway.

  3. 3 girlofwords
    August 6, 2008 at 5:38 pm

    Stacey: Sure. I’d be happy to list you in my blogroll. Good luck!

    Cali: I’m almost 30. And you’re right — I mean, if I was in such dire straits that I had no other way to really come into that kind of money, it wouldn’t be hard for me to do it at all.

  4. 4 Ann
    August 6, 2008 at 6:21 pm

    This made me think of two things.
    First was over the 4th of July weekend, when everyone in the family was of course talking about children, and Rebekah said she tries to pick my brother’s brain, and gets to exhausting questions just to know where he stands. One of which – “what if something’s wrong with one of us and we couldn’t have kids?”
    A few beers deep, I happily volunteered to host her egg and his boys, as long as they were shot in to me, like Phoebe on friends-style, but we couldn’t convince him that it wouldn’t be incest. With a clear head, I still don’t know if that’s a good idea.
    And as much as I love making money, I just don’t think I could sell my eggs.
    But my second thought took me to the Beavis and Butt-Head movie, where they wander the desert and stumble on their fathers and don’t realize it.

  5. 5 girlofwords
    August 6, 2008 at 6:31 pm

    That’s what I’m talking about, Ann! When my sister lost her baby she naturally worried that something was wrong and she asked me if she was unable to carry a baby if I’d do it for her. I reluctantly agreed because she’s my sister and I love her. Fortunately, I don’t think that’s the case. I also only agreed under the terms that it was a surgical procedure. Herb’s cool and all, but WOOF.

    The second thought was one of mine, too — if I stayed in the DC area, how would I feel seeing someone in their teenage years who looked remarkably like me at Target? You know? It’s just odd. There are a whole host of questions you just have to ask yourself.

    I still maintain that if I was truly hosed, and I had NO other options, I’d do whatever I could to stay afloat. Fortunately, I don’t have a mortgage, so I won’t ever have this problem. 🙂

  6. 6 Paige
    August 6, 2008 at 8:59 pm

    Oh come on, JJ. Men donate sperm all the time without a care in the world as to whether or not they have a mini-me walking around.

    And sometimes, they even do this at clinics and get PAID for their donation. Ba-dum-bum! Thank you, I’ll be here all week!

  7. August 7, 2008 at 3:37 am

    A truly interesting debate — to sell or not to sell.
    Personally, I’d do it. Producing the egg is about the only thing my pipes can handle successfully. I know TONS of women just like me — want ’em, can’t have ’em – and the reasons are varied. If someone could use my ‘equipment’ (nice use of the word, btw) — I say go for it – glad someone can 😉

  8. August 7, 2008 at 8:27 am

    I agree, an interesting debate. For me, I would have no problem donating an egg. I think of it more or less like donating blood. which I do frequently. Yes, there is a difference… instead of saving a life, I’m giving a life. Interestingly enough, I would not want to be paid for it. For whatever reason, receiving payment is kind of tainting my act of kindness. I can’t shake the notion that I’ve just “sold” a part of myself to the highest bidder. Weird.

  9. 9 girlofwords
    August 7, 2008 at 10:26 am

    Paige: Try the veal. It’s delicious.

    Cookie: That’s what was driving my “pro” line of thinking — I highly doubt I’ll use these eggs. Someone could use these eggs. These are high quality eggs!

    Erin: Very, very good thought — you’re right. It’s like being paid may cancel out the good deed. I’m curious (though I haven’t found in reading) whether you’re responsible for all of the medical costs through the procedure. If you are, I don’t think I could do it for free. I’d need to recover that money somehow. But it is weird to think of auctioning off part of yourself.

  10. August 7, 2008 at 1:58 pm

    I’m gonna keep my fat yap shut on this one . . .

  11. 11 girlofwords
    August 7, 2008 at 4:13 pm

    No “male perspective”? 🙂

  12. August 7, 2008 at 4:40 pm

    Joe’s lost some ground since that Women’s Studies class back in college 🙂 Actually, Paige kinda covered the male perspective already, even if she did include a dig at us. The male half of the baby-raw-material equation is a lot easier to, umm, donate (and a lot more fun to donate too :)) I don’t think we get as sentimental about the stuff, because we pretty much replenish the supply as needed. It’s like that Doritos slogan: “Crunch all you want, we’ll make more”…

    And I don’t know if the typical guy would make the connection between his, umm, output and actual children, unless he knew the mother in question. (Being present at the conception also helps, as you would imagine.) I once heard a male comedian make the comparison to confetti after the party, and that sounded about right. And I’m probably a bit more in touch with my feminine side than the typical guy, so who knows what kind of response you’d get from some other member of my gender (more er recusals? 🙂 )


  13. 13 Paige
    August 7, 2008 at 8:53 pm

    A note to JJ’s male readers: If, in fact, you find that it gets crunchy, please go see a physician immediately.

  14. August 7, 2008 at 9:52 pm


    Is that like the warning about things lasting four hours or more? 🙂


  15. August 8, 2008 at 10:19 pm

    I would guess that you don’t pay your own expenses for that type of thing.
    Seems like the buyer would pay for the procedure as well as the merchandise.

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