April and her new girlfriend Susan picked us up at the bus stop. They'd only been seeing each other for four months, but already it was serious enough that they were living together. Susan was twenty-seven years old and had an eighteen-month-old daughter named Judy. And since -- unlike us -- Susan and April were both gainfully employed (at a magazine in Seattle), they had no trouble renting a car for the weekend.
We set up our things in our hotel room, and then the five of us went out to dinner.
When the waiter came by, we ordered a few simple dinners off the menu. It was Susan's first day ever in Utah, so she was quite taken aback when the waiter asked us for ID when we ordered beers with dinner.
"Obviously I'm over twenty-one. Look I have a child," she said, reaching for her purse and pointing at Judy in her high chair. "And I'm just ordering beer with dinner, not drinks at a bar."
"Now see here, my good man," said Rex. "I'll have you know that all of my wives are of age. I certainly take no child brides. Well, except for that one over there." He pointed at baby Judy and smiled.
The waiter gave Rex a blank look as if he didn't think that that was funny at all, so Rex just got out his ID like the rest of us so that we could have beer.
As soon as the waiter was gone, Rex laughed and said to Susan, "It shows that you've never been to Utah before. Here merely having a small child is not at all an indication that you're over twenty-one."
Susan seemed almost creeped out by the incident. "What kind of place is this?" she asked.
"Welcome to Wonderland," said Rex.
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I was dying to ask April and Susan how Susan had come to have a baby, being as she was a lesbian and all. I wondered if it was artificial or natural insemination, and under what circumstances. I hadn't really talked to April since she had started seeing Susan, so I had gotten the information off the grapevine (from Mom) about her having a kid and about the two of them living together. I figured that this was one advantage of being straight, namely that if I one day had a baby, it would still be something of an intimate procedure, but people would be less inclined to want to ask too many awkward questions about it since everyone pretty much knows how it works.
I asked April "Is it different living in a house with a baby and acting as a step-parent and all?"
"Yes, it is," she replied, "it changes everything. Basically we can't just go out and do whatever we want whenever we want at the drop of a hat like I used to do with other girlfriends. We always have to take Judy into account. But it's wonderful. She's such an amazing little person. And I'm starting to feel like I'm ready to settle down," she said, taking Susan's hand and gazing lovingly at her.
Rex was making a game of making faces at the baby and making her smile. He looked up and asked April "Do you think you might consider having a baby yourself?"
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