Why the expectation to breed?

I'm sure that in this overpopulated world there shouldn't be such an expectation to breed. 

My wife and I drove through Molesworth Station over the weekend. Our first wedding anniversary seemed like a good excuse for a break.

One year of marriage is the paper anniversary. I thought writing about our marriage in the paper might save me buying a real gift. I'm sure a symbolic gift is much more desirable than, say, jewellery.

My wife has asked that I don't write about her so much. Since I wrote about her lack of sleeping, she can't walk the street without someone stopping her to check how the Miracle Pillow is trialling.

I've promised that next week I will go back to ranting against CCDU being a mess and making bitchy comments about Gerry Brownlee.

The problem is that in the world of a columnist a spouse is the easiest character to share with readers. One good side-effect of being married is that your jokes become funnier. A wife is a much better punchline than a girlfriend.

The first year of marriage has been great fun. I'm still blissfully in love and, if the coming years are half as happy as the one just gone, they'll chuck soil on my smiling face when I'm done.

I think it helps that we lived together for a long time before getting married. This meant my wife knew what she was signing up for before legally committing. It's best that she knew that I can watch test cricket for five days without dressing beyond undies before signing on 'til death do us part.

The only tension we've encountered is everyone's insatiable desire to see us breed. You'd think we were a couple of racehorses forced into a pen to mate, by the way people sit in expectation of "exciting news".

We've given up telling anyone that we have something to tell them. Anything but the expected pregnancy announcement seems underwhelming. "We've decided to go to Japan on holiday."

It also means that my wife can't go out and drink anything non-alcoholic without a knowingly raised eyebrow.

Maybe it's drummed into us at primary school that first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes a baby in a baby carriage. But I'm sure that in this overpopulated world there shouldn't be such an expectation to breed.

Even my mentor, The Old Hack, has become involved. I thought he was above all this but sure enough after a few scotch and waters he asked: "When are you having a baby, John?"

I say: "I don't know. Maybe one day. Every year I get a year older which is scary. I suppose I'd better make a decision."

He says: "You know your old man thinks you're sterile. That's what people are saying. I'm just telling you that you'd better get your wife pregnant to stop people whispering."

I suppose we will have to make a decision on children before the window of opportunity closes but in the meantime I'm happy to be alive, in love and in possession of a racing car. I know a racing car isn't as rewarding as a child but at least when I go on holiday I can lock it in the shed without CYF showing up and accusing me of neglect.

The Press