Gloucester’s Pregnancy Pact: Not Hard to Understand
Everyone thinks living in a small New England town — especially a small New England town by the water — would be the best thing ever. It would be so safe and homey, everyone thinks, so quiet and rustic, no stress! Just miles and miles of cute little houses and a cute little pier to launch cute little boats from.
Let me tell you something – that thought process is sh*t.
Everyone is up in arms about these Gloucester girls who made a pregnancy pact, and no one can understand why anyone would just throw their life away by having a baby before they can even legally buy cigarettes. But I understand. I totally understand. It makes sense. You know why? Because not every small New England town is picturesque and middle class. Some of them are cramped, poor, lonley, and boring as f*ck.
How am I such an expert? I grew up in one. Not the kind that’s stitched onto potholders and immortalized in cute Cape Cod beach shops — the kind where front lawns are strewn with old car parts, you can hear your neighbor’s drunken fist fights from your living room, and schools barely manage to give out textbooks printed before 1983. A town kind of like Gloucester, Massachusetts.
And while my friends in high school didn’t make pacts to all get pregnant at the same time (we were too lazy for that), I knew lots of girls who had babies in their arms before they had diplomas. Why? Some of them were just plain stupid and couldn’t wrap their head around the fact that sperm can get you pregnantt, but others…others simply wanted something to give their life meaning.
When you live in a podunk town where everybody’s dad is either a fisherman or a permanent lackey for some bigwig who lives in Sweden, and the nearest mall or movie theater is 30 minutes away, — there isn’t much money or action to go around. Nothing really happens. Over and over again. Sure, you grow taller, grow hungrier, and have to buy bigger bras, but the passage of time in these small towns is so nondescript that sometimes you feel like you might go crazy. The world seems so big on your television screen — and yet, none of the stuff you see on your rabbit-eared TV will ever be within your grasp.
So you have a baby. Because it’s the one thing that you can make happen. It’s the one thing you have complete power over. The one thing no one can take away from you. Mothers are revered and honored and people give up their seats for them. People notice you when you’re a mom. They don’t notice some 15-year-old walking 2 miles down the road to her jack-sh*t job, but they do notice a young mother who needs help getting her baby carriage onto the bus.
I’m sure reports will come out stating the “real” reasons why all these girls decided to have babies together, but just in case it doesn’t, just know that when your future is bleak and lonely, your past is forgettable, and your present if full of mind-numbing boredom, having a baby — someone that will actually need and care about you — isn’t really all that horrible of an idea.
I’m not condoning it. These girls are probably nowhere near mature enough to handle a child. But I understand it. I completely understand it.