All of my friends are engaged, married or are having a baby back home in Minnesota. Like, all of them. And me? No, I don’t have kids. Here in Los Angeles, it seems the average age for people to even start considering the idea of having children doesn’t transpire until after age 35. When I come across people who are only in their early 30s and have children already, even I have started to give them a suspicious look because it’s so uncommon. Although younger parents are making a bit of a comeback as of late, the general consensus seems to be “No kids till 35 . . . 35 plus!” Being of the culture here in L.A. where people wait to have kids, then visiting home where people are barely waiting until after high school to start a family is bizarre to say the least. I feel like the same outcast I was when I was in high school — except instead of not liking the right music or not wearing popular brands, the reason I have trouble connecting with people is because I’m not gushing over the sweet blob strapped to the front of my body. So as you can imagine, every trip home I’m poked and prodded with questions like “When are you gonna finally get married?!” or “You could probably get away with having kids out of wedlock out there, would you do that, maybe?” I take it in stride and usually laugh it all off, but c’mon guys! Gimme some breathing room! It’s gotten a little less invasive over the past few years, but that just leads me to believe they’ve given up hope on me finding someone and having kids. Even though they are well aware I’ve been dating someone for five years and want 9,734 kids. They just don’t see it happening for me anymore, I guess. The upside to all of this, though, is that I get some great practice in when I visit Minnesota. I get to hold cousin’s babies, friends’ babies, friends’ sibling’s babies, friend’s parents’ babies (people are just constantly creating new people in MN) and hanging out with little blubbery kids is one of my favorite pastimes so bring it ON! Plus, for future reference, I can watch other’s mistakes or hardships and learn from them or have a better understanding of how to maneuver through them. So, yeah, in Minnesota, 26 might as well be 42, while in L.A., 26 means I am a baby. But, at some point, when the time is right for ME, I’ll do all that fun marriage and baby stuff I’ve been pushed toward and away from in both my respective homes. It might not be when everyone else thinks I should, but it’ll be when I think I should.