So as I was eating dinner tonight (it's where I get my best thoughts, I swear) I said to myself: "Wow, it's great eating as a single person. I can eat what I want, when I want and not have to worry about someone complaining about my cooking" which is true. I don't have to worry about the carrots being too hard (it's a salad), the chicken being too spicy (it's Shake n' bake; don't blame me) or being told that I should make more things from scratch (HA!). I can just decide, cook, and eat. If I blow something up or burn it then it's my own fault and the only witness is my cat.
As per normal my mind began to wander. It strode to a conversation I had a while ago with a religious relative who could not understand why I wasn't married with at least one kid by now. Then came the explanation: I don't want to get married or have kids. Of course, that's the wrong thing to say to anyone who's religious and over 50.
But children are God's gift. You can't be alone forever. That would be wrong," etc, etc, etc. Oh poor deluded religious relative of mine: I don't believe in the same things you do. Which is fine. She is entitled to her beliefs and I respect her for believing in them as strongly as she does. But (contrary to popular belief) I am not a horrible woman for not wanting to be married or not wanting kids.
I am simply a woman of the 21st century. We don't have to be stay at home moms, we don't have to get married, we can have careers, we can be successful, and *le gasp* we have choices.
It's not all cut and dry: find your true love, get married, have 1.5 kids, live in the white picket fenced house, and cook all day so when your manly man comes home with the pay check he can eat well. It can be more like: wake up, go to work, come home to your cat, feed said cat and self then write until bedtime.
Is either woman better than the other in those instances? Not really. It's their choice and if they're happy with their choice then it's good enough. Who are we to tell people what they can and cannot do? It's not the right of anyone but the person who's making that choice. Pressures from family, friends, coworkers, and society should not dictate who we are or what choices we make.
My choice is not to pass on my genes. Why should I allow a being that fed off me like a parasite for nine months dictate the rest of my life? Why would I want to give up the freedom of doing what I want, when I want because I have to bend to the needs of a being that's only goal in life is to make me worry? Sorry, that's not for me. BUT KUDOS TO ALL THE PARENTS OUT THERE. You folks are awesome for taking on that responsibility. Me? I'll stick with my cat. Maybe a dog later down the road and a few fish.
Of course, when you pose those two questions to said religious relative the answer is: "It's fulfilling." Bullcrap. Fulfilling is getting to laze around in your pjs all day doing whatever the living heck you want. There is no fulfillment in knowing that a mini-me will be running around until after I die then produce mini-not-me-but-genetically-close-to-mes. Well unless one of them dominates the world. That might prove to be cool. But that is not enough to sway me to produce the mini-me.
Then of course: "What if your parents thought like that?" Well, then I wouldn't really know now would I? I mean I'd still be a body-less soul hanging out with other body-less souls doing whatever souls do before they get a vessel. Don't get me wrong: I'm happy my parents made me and all that but if they hadn't then I wouldn't have known, right?
"But you'll love kids." Uh, no. I barely stand my cousin's kids. Plus, why would I want to bring a little girl into a world that pressures her to look a certain way and act a certain way then makes fun of her if she doesn't? Why would I want to bring a little boy into a world where a boy can't have long hair and God-forbid he act feminine? I can preach that "gender roles don't matter, be yourself, be unique, F the haters, just be you" all I want but that doesn't mean they'll have the strength to listen.
Why do I want to bring any child into a world where despite our best efforts racism, sexism, war, hate, famine, and all that other ugly stuff still reign? And don't forget about the persecution if you're gay, want to be the opposite gender, or don't share any beliefs with the "norm." Our world sucks. I don't want to subject a child to the true suckiness of the world. Why do I want to bring a kid into a world where we're told to be ourselves then are ridiculed for not being normal? Whatever normal is. Has anyone figured that out yet?
"You're over-thinking things." No I'm not. If my hypothetical little boy wants to keep his hair long then you're going to tell me to get his hair cut (and don't lie; I saw how you reacted to a fictional character's little boy's long hair). Then you're going to slyly insult him enough (without coming off as truly insulting unless I say something, which I will)that he'll feel like crap and tell me to get his hair cut. And I'll do it because I want him to be happy, even if he's not happy and he's just conforming to society's belief of what a little boy should look like because he wants to please you and strangers.
And therein lies the problem. I know my kids will be different because I was different. I didn't push the barriers until I was in my later teens and even now I'm not pushing barriers simply because society doesn't want me to. We can all pretend that we'll teach our kids to be themselves and be strong but eventually the need for acceptance from peers (and people in authority besides us) wears them down until they morph into something a tad more acceptable.
There are very few people who can be exactly who they want to be without fear and my genetic dice are not strong enough to produce that type of person. Frankly, I don't want to see my hypothetical spawn hide their true selves like I did for so long and not realize their dreams because of it. Also, I know, deep down, those people who seem to be living exactly as they want without fear have all ready conformed so well that they think they're free. Or they've conformed another way. I don't believe that anyone is truly free from society's rule.
"Well that's just depressing." I know, trust me, I know. But, there is one more point. "What?" Why should I bring another child into the world when one: we're over-populated as it is, and two: there are over 150 million orphans in the world? "150 million?" Yes. One hundred and fifty MILLION. So, ask me again why I'm childless by choice. Go ahead. "*silence*" That's what I thought.
And another thing. "There's more?" Yep. One more thing. "Okay, what?" If I'm going to subject myself to children it'll be one of those orphans. If I'm going to try and raise a kid to survive in this Battle Royal we call life I'm going to make sure it's one of those poor souls who through unfortunate circumstance came into this world without the love and care of their biological parents or who can no longer experience their parents' love. "What's the difference?" Well, I'm not bringing a child into the world, for one which means no over-populating the planet for me. For two, I'm simply helping a kid who's parents checked-out unwillingly. It's the least I can do for the poor kid. "You're strange." I hadn't noticed.
But seriously: I choose not to bring a child into this messed up world for the sake of passing on my genes. I'd rather help, nurture, and protect one of those kids who were brought into the world then dumped into an orphanage for whatever reason. If it ever comes to that which it might not solely because hey, I had fish and salad for dinner tonight without having to consult anyone first.
Until next time: Comments, questions, rants, rage and everything in between can be directed to the comments.