Loving Like a Cicada: All It’s Cracked Up to Be?
Sometimes when I leave my house for a hard day’s work and see my cats settling into a splash of sunshine for a relaxing day of nothing but napping, munching vittles, and napping some more, I think how easy my life would be if only I were a cat. As it is with cicadas and mating. Sing, mate, die … as the cicadas scream their beady-eyed heads off from the trees overhead, I can’t help but muse how easy our love lives would be if only we were cicadas.
Because if we were cicadas …
*We’d get serenaded by lusty males wherever we went, making us feel appreciated (or like we were on the streets of Italy).
*We wouldn’t have to guess if he’s into us, because he’d make no bones about this.
*We’d get to shed our skin and feel shiny and new and beautiful in the sunset of our lives.
*Three words: No. Internet. Dating.
*We wouldn’t have to struggle to achieve our own identities and work-life balance as modern-day cicada chicks. Our sole mission: have lots of babies. (Heck, we wouldn’t even have to raise the little brats.)
*We wouldn’t have to fight over those arrogant quarterbacks and prom kings … the humble choir geeks would be the catch of the day.
*Sing, mate, die … so Romeo + Juliet. Sigh.
*Who cares if he forgot to put the toilet seat down or snored louder than a freight train? All we’d ever know is the rose-colored-glasses beginning stages of the relationship.
*No blind dates, speed dates, singles events or dating services.
*No discovering three years down the road that he’s a commitment-phobe.
*No bemoaning the lack of eligible bachelors … they’d literally be crawling all over the trees.
On the other hand, if we were cicadas …
*We wouldn’t get to share a front porch with our mate in our golden years.
*Two words: No. Foreplay.
*We’d have really ugly red eyes in every photo.
*No chocolate, no red wine, no macaroni and cheese, no sea-salt-flecked potato chips to comfort us during our 13-year bout of singlehood … nothing but tree sap.
*Are we nothing but baby-making machines? But what about our brains? Our dreams? Our careers?
*Seriously, dude, can you just shut up already?
*No second chances if we picked the wrong guy.
*No love letters, holding hands at the movies, or walking down the aisle.
*We wouldn’t get to see our children grow up.
*No time for Internet-stalking to make sure he’s trustworthy.
*After 13 long years buried in the dirt, our glorious rebirth and finally meeting Mr. Right, we’d keel over from natural causes or get gobbled up by a dog.
Hmmmm. Perhaps the roller coaster ride that is human dating appeals more than the insta-mating that is a cicada’s destiny. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to preen, sing, date, love, mate, fly, break up, cry, eat chocolate ice cream, get over it, declare independence, celebrate singlehood, bemoan singlehood, preen, sing, date and date again, and, all the while … live.
“I dreamt my whole life about being a mother,” says Heidi Jellison. “I never dreamt about a big wedding, honestly never even dreamt about the husband part.” Jellison, a 35-year-old concert harpist and harp teacher, laughs at this last bit, but then her face settles into a quiet solemnity.
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