The beach was only sparsely populated. There was actually a vacant umbrella, so we set up there. We spread out the double wide towel. I shed the sun dress to my bikini and planted my butt in the sand. We only had time to remark that the weather was great, not to hot, not to cold when I was set upon by a man in navy slacks and a white button down shirt. He was not dressed for the beach.
“Excuse me, but do you have children?” he asked.
“Ah no.” That’s a negative. Nope. Nope. Nope.
He was a reporter for Kare 11. He turns disappointed, shoulders slumped to his cameraman and repeats, “No kids.” He staggers off in his oxfords across the sand, the cargo shorted cameraman on his heels.
Then I begin to ponder the ethical or moral dilemma of lying about having children. I don’t have children and I choose not to, but damn it. I bought a new bikini this year and I want to make the purchase worth it. Not to mention all the spin classes.
Instead once again I remain omitted, because I somehow do not feel the need to pop out a couple of monsters. In my age group, everyone is married and so excited to propagate. It’s all they ever talk about. Oh gee, a baby shower, what are we celebrating, the last time we’ll ever be able to have an uninterrupted conversation? Oh, another birthday party for the little tyke? Is there free wine at this event? Buy something for Junior’s fundraiser? IS THERE WINE IN THAT BOOKLET? No, but there’s dark chocolate? Oh, okay, perhaps I could take a little from my cat’s inheritance and buy some waxy chocolate or I could just go to Godiva, buy some truffles and not have to wait a month for my order to go through.
Just because I don’t have children doesn’t mean I don’t have an opinion on water safety. I have nieces and nephews that I love dearly, but I also love dearly the silence at the end of the day.
This issue received some attention this week from an article written by Jennifer Aniston. I have to agree with her. There is more to aspire to than being the thinnest, getting married and having kids. We don’t have to Lean In to have it all, because we can define what ‘having it all’ means to ourselves as individuals. The collective society however has drilled into our minds that there are hurdles that must be accomplished throughout our lives. If I pulled out of my memory box the timeline I made of my life in third grade, you would see the traditional aspirations. Graduate, go to college, get married, buy a house, have kids, achieve fame and retire etc. What isn’t on that timeline is: who the hell is going to pay for all of this?
The problem of the majority of the nation being in debt to achieve the American dream is another essay for another day.
Right now, we’re talking about children and a woman’s right to chose motherhood. To not have it forced on her and not to be shamed for her personal choices. We need to stop expecting people to get married and live happily ever after. And if they do get married, we need to stop expecting them to spew forth screaming gremlins. Honestly, you have no idea what their financial situation is, if they’re struggling with an addiction or honestly, if they just don’t like snot-monsters.
I would also like to ask that since I don’t know you that well: Please stop posting A) pictures of sticks you peed on B) Ultrasounds of the inside of your uterus C) Updates on how big your nugget is at x amount of weeks. I don’t need to be doing a spit take with a mouthful of wine over my keyboard every time I log on to social media. That is your deal. All you. Congratulations and TMI.