There really is no substitute for the phallic
symbolism of a smoke-spewing steam locomotive
Originally uploaded by Biff Humble
Today, Biff gives us a glimpse into the future
I am getting married soon to a really great guy. We share a lot of goals in life, one of those is that neither of us wants children. We both have college degrees, successful careers, and don't want children to interfere with our climbs up the corporate ladder. On top of that, we are in our 30s and don't want to still be tied down with brats into our late 50s.
Family, friends, and acquaintances are always asking us when we're going to start a family. When I tell them that we don't want children, invariably, they lecture us about how wonderful children are and how much we would be missing.
Both of us love children. There are nieces and nephews which we enjoy visiting, but "visiting" is the operative word. When we are sick of them, we can leave. We enjoy having the kind of lifestyle where we can travel at the drop of a hat, dine out whenever we like, and work late without worrying about child care.
How can we respond to people who question our choice?
— Childless by Choice
Dear Sophie's Choice,
Perhaps your family, friends, and acquaintances simply don't want you to escape from the endless drudgery to which they are enslaved: changing diapers, cooking meals, cleaning up poop, and listening to sniveling little brats whine when they realize they are not the center of the universe.
They call it the crab bucket syndrome: If you go out and catch a bucket of crabs, soon one will try to scale the side of the bucket to escape. Rather than encouraging him, his fellow captives will grab at his legs and pull him back into the bucket to ensure he suffers the same fate as the rest of them.
And, I can sympathize with them. I'm not sure anyone deserves the kind of happiness that being financially successful and childless would bring to a couple.
But, look at this another way: You and your husband both sound like highly-educated, culturally knowledgeable, valuable members of society. A large percentage of couples like yourselves are remaining childless, yet our country still has a birthrate that provides complete replenishment of the population.
So, who then is having children?
A bunch of cousin-fuckin' morons in Winchester, West Virginia and Hollywood, Florida that think Big Time Wrestling, Larry the Cable Guy, and wine coolers are high culture. How the fuck else can you explain that NASCAR is the fastest growing sport in the country?
Add to that the illiterate, uneducated masses that are jumping the fence every day to get here, and you should be able to see the freight train that is looming in the distance, heading straight for you.
If not, let me make this clear: At a time when low-skilled, dead-end manufacturing jobs are disappearing faster than beluga caviar at a meeting of the Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants, you are helping to ensure that the segment of our population capable of only such work will continue to grow.
In that light, don't you think your decision is just an eensie, weensie bit selfish?
I hope this helps.
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