La La How The Life Goes On

It’s Okay To Be A DINK

Posted on: June 20, 2012

Slate has an interesting series of articles recently written by people who do not want to get married and/or have children. The articles are well-written and often funny, but the entire series makes me uncomfortable simply because of the premise: individuals and couples justify to us why they choose to be “childless,” as if such a justification ought to be necessary. And yet, in our society it is, isn’t it? We are obsessed with making, having and raising babies, as if those who do not are somehow shirking some unspoken patriotic duty.

I shouldn’t be surprised, I suppose, that people are too invested in the reproductive status of others. The BabyDaddy and I were married for seven years before thinking about kids. SEVEN years, folks! And you know people were wondering what was taking so long. Well, hello. BBDD was in grad school and he had this quaint notion that one ought not to have children until one had a JOB with which to feed them. I was building my career that involved heavy travel, we were moving a lot, and we just knew (even before all my health drama hit the fan) that our lifestyle was not remotely appropriate for child rearing. And, truth be told, the bottom line is that we just didn’t want to have a kid at that time. We weren’t remotely interested. Until we were.

And please believe that once you decide to adopt internationally you get very used to all kinds of people thinking your family planning decisions are their business. Why China when there are so many needy kids right here? Well, asshole, let me ask you the same question: why your uterus when there are so many needy kids right here? Are needy kids now the sole responsibility of women not having biological children? And since when did my building a family become some kind of charity event? And please tell me why I’m explaining this to so and so’s great aunt–whom I’ve never previously met–at a BBQ?! Why are we discussing my personal business again?

So it must be for those poor, wayward “childless” couples. To be named for their lack of children, in the negative. I mean, we are not a dogless, catless or SUVless family, right? But if you don’t have kids? You are childless. And now you must tell us, to OUR satisfaction, at a random family event, why you choose this deviant path of living a full life without young humans to raise. Don’t worry, though, you’ll change your mind. Just wait and see! Heh heh.

The pressure to not only couple up but to also produce heirs is suffocating, even in today’s “modern” culture. I feel terrible for my single friends and for my DINK friends–not because I think their life is probably anything but awesome–but because of this pervasive sense that a woman not in a relationship or married is lacking something. That couples without kids are lacking something. When the real lack is in our imaginations, that perhaps someone not experiencing what we are experiencing is somehow missing out on life’s special joys.

Well, let’s agree that something can only be a joy if you want it. I have no interest in white water rafting, summiting Everest, doing lines of coke, baking pies, or having my toes sucked by Quentin Tarantino. None of these activities remotely interest me, and I don’t have to explain why for you to accept my position. And yet, if I had added “having kids” to the list it would have precipitated all manner of blowback. I’m sure my life would indeed be “richer” by climbing Everest. But I just don’t want to do that. Much like people who choose to stay single or not have kids. They just don’t want to do that.

So let’s get off the backs of the “childless” and call them what they really are: people who get to sleep all night, have sex with their partners at a time and place of their choosing without fear of interruption, wear clothes that will not be destroyed by grape juice or vomit, finish sentences and complete thoughts, avoid all manner of preschool viruses and bacteria, spend all of their disposable income on themselves rather than on child care and camps, have disposable income, and never have to contemplate why they now sound exactly like their mothers.

Well played, childless rebels. Well played.

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3 Responses to "It’s Okay To Be A DINK"

I agree with everything you said, except for the SUVless part. Because I am purposefully SUVless. It’s part of my identity. 🙂

@Jenny~ Awesome. I’m car-less for the same reason.

That said: awesome post. 🙂

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