Create your balance. Design your life.

Musing #18: My DNA Dies with Me (and That’s a Good Thing)

Doesn’t mean I’ll leave no legacy.

I hail from good stock. Nah, strike that.

I hail from GREAT stock.

jurassicpark2504

Truly stuff of the American Dream, my family. Likewise, of the Canadian Dream, if such thing there be. I’m a dual citizen.

House Stenographer: You cannot serve two masters!!!

[Stacy: Watch me, bitch.]

155276_340 Oh, Canada! Urban Dictionary says:

CANADIAN DREAM = Like the American Dream, except you follow your dreams and still help a brother out. And you don’t exploit people.

Hilarious and awesome. Oh, Urban Dictionary. How’d we ever slang before you? But, I digress.

I’m the lone writer on this site who neither is nor aspires to be a parent. And, as discussed in meta-texty Musing #11, I’m tortured by the existence of this blog.

A catalogue of awful bloggish things I tell myself weekly:

  • No one cares about your weird life and contrary views.
  • Blogs are inherently solipsistic and, therefore, obnoxious.
  • People dislike you intensely, and blogging just exacerbates that shit! (See “Blogs are…obnoxious.”)
  • Your “fans” are really eye-rolling hate-readers hurling “Shut UP, foul wench!” cyber-vibes your way.
  • Public biography is bad for a serious actor.
  • Time spent blogging for haters is time spent avoiding your screenplay.
  • The Web is destroying humanity, and you’re a damn party to it!

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 Me, Silently Berating Myself

But chief among my worries is that SSS&C fails to coalesce with the maternal bulk of this site’s content.

To an extent, that worry is within my power to assuage. And I could certainly do with one less thing to stress about. Thus, I hereby join the mommy-blogging WLBPA herd…as the black sheep.

Oh, me. Ever the champion of unpopular positions. (See “People dislike [me] intensely…”)

blacksheep

So, imagined haters, let’s talk “childfree.”

First, foremost and discussed in Musing #14, I’m a staunch believer that language matters. Pursuant to said belief, I call for abolition of the shite term “childfree.” It’s the nomenclature preferred by most of my ilk to the equally-shitty “childless;” implying, as it does, a choice rather than a problem.

For me, the “free” suffix conjures herpes, not children. Terrible.

Just as use of “childless” offends by implying pity-worthy, unrealized want, so use of “childfree” offends by implying disdain. For children.

Make no mistake. I. LOVE. CHILDREN. And they love me. That’s why I still babysit.

So my preferred nomenclature?

No term whatsoever. I’m whole sans kids. I resent the implication that I’m not. And I refuse to be defined by their absence.

Now, my experience of children and family is highly unusual in this day and age. I’m the eldest of six, born to a still-happy-after-35-years-married Baby Boomer couple. I burst on the scene in ’79. The youngest joined her brethren in ’91. Mom spent the ’80s pregnant.

Translation: Whilst the homes of my peers matured along with them, I languished in chronic Baby World.

I first babysat my siblings on January 24th, 1989; the day Ted Bundy was executed.

433px-Ted_Bundy_headshot

Yes, I was very young. But Dad insists I was never a child, and I was/am very responsible.

I, myself, proposed the unpaid sib-sitting. By the time Ted fried, I’d had it with being stuffed into the (vomit-inducing, ass-backward rear seat of the) station wagon with the entire brood just so one of us could get to dance lessons. (Half an hour, round trip.) It sucked for everyone and made sense to no one.

Thus began my tenure as sibling minder, which once involved sitting on a wild brother’s head until Mom’s return. (It wasn’t creepy at the time. I swear!)

I was 11 when, in preparation for arrival of the youngest, Mom had me certified in infant/child CPR. By the time I became a Bat-Mitzvah, non-relations were offering to pay for my services. (Yes, you become a Bat-Mitzvah. You don’t have one. Language matters!) But Mom put the kibosh on that shit.

Mom: If someone’s paying YOU to watch THEIR kids, I’m paying someone ELSE to watch MINE!

babyherman

A fair, if frustrating, point.

Again, make no mistake. I’m devoted and extremely close to my little brothers and sisters. I relish my peculiar upbringing (the topic of next week’s blog). But I’d be lying if I said the pervasiveness of baby in my youth didn’t bother me.

And because I had no youth sans baby, I want no part of baby now. Or ever.

Needless to say, this disturbs my gargantuan Jewish family no end.

But there’s more to it.

Technically, I’m both “childfree” and “childless.” Yes, I’ve opted enthusiastically for lifelong freedom. But I’ve also known since age 16 that I can’t get pregnant without fertility drugs.

Mom: It’s no problem. You’ll just have octuplets!

Stacy: Aw, HELL no.

I’ve had 18 years to think it through. I know what it really takes to raise children well. And I know what I really want out of life: to leave posterity an artistic, rather than biological, legacy. At the very least, the “cloud” is stuck with my blog in perpetuity, right? Haha!!

Oy.

There’s still more.

Mom: But you’re so brilliant! Don’t you want to pass on that brain?

Stacy: I’m not a sadist.

My brain may be razor sharp, but it’s also chemically imbalanced. (I know. You’re shocked.) I wouldn’t wish my brain on anyone but House Republicans. And don’t get me started on my face! Furthermore, I could never, in good conscience, subject a child to the 21st century I so abhor. The information age has rendered people stupid and ruined their taste in music.

In so many ways, I’m a real-life Woody Allen character. Meaning one that he plays. Do you think Alvy Singer should procreate?

Annie-Hall-Alvy-Singer-s-Glasses-5

You do not. His DNA best dies with his neurotic ass.

Ah, but there is yet more!

Along with odious “childfree,” I implore my readers not to say that procreation is “what life’s all about.”

Here’s a sampling of great ladies that shit implies led/lead lives of no meaning:

Betty White
Billie Holiday
Coco Chanel
Dolly Parton
Dr. Condoleezza Rice (who is cool, despite her politics)
Edith Wharton
Emily Dickinson
Eva Peron (greatness admittedly debatable)
Frida Kahlo
Gertrude Stein
Ginger Rogers (personal hero)
Gloria Steinem (though she is Batman’s stepmother)
Harper Lee
Jane Addams
Jane Austen
Julia Child
Mary Cassatt
Queen Elizabeth I of England
Queen Lili’uokalani (last monarch and only queen regnant of the Kingdom of Hawaii)
Sally Ride (personal hero)
Susan B. Anthony
Virginia Woolf
Zora Neale Hurston

and

Edie Windsor (brave old lady who took down DOMA)

Supreme Court Hears Arguments On California's Prop 8 And Defense Of Marriage Act

Yeah. Watch your language. Don’t besmirch these women by suggesting they never lived genuine womanhood. It only makes you look bad.

One last thing!

I don’t have it in me to be as fantastic a parent as are mine. And no child of mine deserves less than I have. So there must be no child of mine.

Tune in next Friday for more on my amazing family, Musing #19: Guam Belongs to Scott (or, My Peculiar Upbringing).

Until then, “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!”

Stacy
@IvyLawEditor#StacyStills

4 comments

  1. I don’t know why women have to have a “term” for everyone. I feel like in defining [defending] our decisions, we always end up alienating our sisters. Sans child works for many fabulous people. It takes a strong and connected person to know that.

  2. I so enjoy your blogs!

  3. That makes me very happy. I know they aren’t all gems, but I’m really quite proud of this one!

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