The Back Up Plan, starring Jennifer LopezI was watching a trailer for the movie "The Back-up Plan" when I got to thinking. I always had a vague back-up plan in high school: If by the time I was 30 I wasn't married, I decided, I'd have a baby with a gay friend. I think a lot of us girls have had that plan, but how many have actually carried it through? I decided to ask a few friends.

Maybe life doesn't work out exactly the way we want, and yet we still want children, a career, a partner or something else that hasn't quite come on the scene yet. So what are you gonna do? Sit around and lament over what you don't have? No! Life is short. You set a time frame and you say, "If this doesn't happen by this date, then I'm gonna do this, take action, make it happen for myself." I talked to some ladies who know what they want -- and have back-up plans to make those dreams happen.

Cricket Lee is pushing 40, and her back-up plan was career-oriented. It was more about making her dreams come true. If she wasn't going to get married and have children, she decided, she wanted to be a successful writer:

"I'm an actor, editor-in-chief / writer / on-air talent for Girl Gamer and writer for Dread Central and GeekWeek's video game departments," she says. "I meet loads of people (including loads of men, who I date occasionally), have made friends that I love dearly, have the respect of my peers (the ones I give a sh** about, at any rate) and am, for the most part, happy."

Julia, on the other hand, always had a kinky fantasy Plan B: "My back-up plan was always to become a high-priced call girl," she says. "Men would pay $10,000 to spend one night with me." But it hasn't quite come to that. "Instead I live with my hubby and two kids in Studio City," she laughs. But it's always good to know you have something to fall back on.

Renata, a successful writer/producer who splits her time now between L.A. and Portland, Ore., has truly put her back-up plan to the test: "I am 38 ... and have a 3-month-old son who is the product of me having a baby with my gay best friend of many years.

"We jokingly talked about it for a long time," she says, "and honestly, I think there are a lot of women who have these conversations with their gay best friends, but very few who actually jump off the ledge and end up getting sperminated the way I did. I think almost every single woman over 30 has had the thought of having a kid with a gay best friend or just a friend or just going to a sperm bank. It's that creeping 'What if?' voice that fills our brain. What if I don't find the one? What will I do?

"So then I blinked and I was 35, then 36, and then 37. No man in sight, and, by that time, my desire to be a mom was so powerful it superseded my desire to get married. That is not to say I don't want to get married one day or find the right man, but I didn't want to miss the boat biologically in terms of having a baby. I knew I could probably have a baby till I was 45 or so, but the longer I waited, the harder it would be. I also didn't know IF I would be able to get pregnant or, more importantly, how long it would take. It could take two years and I would be almost 40. I decided I didn't mind doing it backwards and that ultimately the right guy would come my way even with a kid."

For me, I don't know. My back-up plan isn't as simple as it once was. I don't know if I want to have children at all at this point. I guess the back-up plan has become the main plan. I think that whatever is meant to be will happen. If it doesn't work out I can always have a gay baby-daddy.

How about you? Living Plan A, or about to enact Plan B? Tell me, I want to know.