« on: September 25, 2010, 07:28:07 pm »
This one is with a particular conversation. It goes like this:
Childless person: "Hey, want to come to this marginal-sounding event tonight?"
Me: "Gee, thanks... but I'll be home with my children."
Childless person, smugly: "You see; that's why I didn't have kids, LOL"
What? The hell is that? No one has ever said to me "You see; that's why I don't have a sex life" when I've turned down an invitation because I had a date. It doesn't even make sense.
1. If I am genuinely bummed about missing the event (which 99% of the time I am not) that is a dick thing to say.
2. I am not bummed. The children are an all-purpose convenient excuse, and it's built right in to doing what I wanted to do anyway, which is stay home. If I'd wanted to go out, I would have made plans to go out. However, I don't want to go out. I want to hang out at home with my kids. I like my kids, and enjoy spending time with them. In fact, I went to significant lengths to acquire them in the first place, and I want to get to see them a little before they move out.
So when someone asks me if I want to go do something later on a day when I have kids, I have several factors I need to weigh. They go like this:
Will this get me laid? (Y/N)
Will this cost me money? (Y/N)
Will this make me money? (Y/N)
Is there free food? (Y/N)
Is this person a close friend I rarely get to see? (Y/N)
Do I have a social obligation which I can discharge by going? (Y/N)
Will this be more fun than hanging out with my kids? (Y/N)
If it weighs in heavily enough to my benefit, then I'll go. But most likely I won't, because I don't really want to.
There are a few people in my life who will be butthurt if I post this where they can see it, because they will (I know, it's weird) take it personally and interpret it as my saying that I like my kids better than I like them, and actually would rather spend time with my kids than with them. Which is true of almost everyone, but I never just outright say so because that would be rude. A lot of people assume that kids are just something that happens by default, kind of by accident, and that's true sometimes. Maybe a lot of the time. Not all of the time. Among our peer group of highly educated hipsters it's probably not even true very much of the time.
There are advantages to not having kids, advantages to not having friends, not having a boyfriend, not having a house, not having a career, not volunteering, not having anyone relying on you, not having responsibilities. Sure. These things are not for everyone, and many people make different decisions about their lives based on what's important to them. I would never tell anyone that they would be better off without something that is very important to them just because it gets in the way of my entertainment for an evening. It is like someone telling you that you should just drop that education thing because, man, it really gets in the way of their good time. There are advantages to not having to show up at class.