File Under: Phrases That Should Never Be Used

I can’t wait to spend the rest of our lives together.

Someone wrote this recently alongside a picture of themselves with their fiance because they had just gotten engaged (very happy for them, seriously!). My first thought was, “What was stopping you before the expensive piece of jewelry?

Seriously, am I wrong? Weren’t you (not just this person specifically but anyone who says that ever) planning on doing that anyways before he (or she!) started saving and you both decided it was a good idea to have the government involved in your relationship?

A much older (like, 70 years old) and wiser (she should really write a book) cousin is incredibly against marriage (it’s not a good idea to invite the government in bed with your relationship, she says). She’s been married twice, so she has experience with it. She had a child with her second husband at a very late age (luckily, she’s always been in incredible health) in an attempt to make him happy, because he seemed to really want a child (though she did not, but she didn’t mind) and she thought it would help make him happy. She told me recently, “If someone is unhappy, having a child is not going to make them any less unhappy.”

Point taken. 

The one perk of marriage she could think of was hospital visitation rights. That’s valid. Those are important. But the rest of it? Use lawyers to say what belongs to whom; have a joint bank account for bills, but keep your accounts separate. Get a Power of Attorney or something for your partner to have legal rights to sign things over for you. 

I mean, to each their own, duh. If you want to get married, awesome! If not, that’s fine, too. But can you do it without saying you “can’t wait to spend the rest of your life” with said-partner? Because it’s redundant and makes zero sense. 

Unless of course this is an arranged marriage. Then I totally get it. 

This Be the Verse

They **** you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.

But they were ****ed up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another’s throats.

Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don’t have any kids yourself.

– Philip Larkin

A Leep of Faith

A couple of weeks back I had a colposcopy and now I have to have a leep. I had one in 2008 for which I had to be an outpatient in the hospital and also be put under. And pay off a $1000 copay over the next couple of years (fuck you, insurance industry). I made sure to pay it off as slowly as possible as a protest, not just because I was making $26,000 yearly at the time (yay nonprofit theatre).

Luckily, they’ve advanced since then and I don’t need the hospital or to be put under. I had to go in for a “leep chat” with the doctor who performed the colposcopy and I laughed inside when she went over, very seriously, the complications that can come about from a leep if you ever get pregnant afterwards.

I listened, nodded, said I understood, biting my tongue from yelling, “doctor, I told you I didn’t want kids, why don’t you listen?” and then my ears perked up when she said that there’s a chance that my cervix could heal, in later years, and “close up” making it difficult to insert an IUD.

Well, that stinks.

After she was done, I reminded her (because she probably just forgot) that I’m 30. don’t want, and have never wanted, kids, so any complications from pregnancy and not of any concern to me. There literally could not be a more ideal patient for her to be telling all of this to. I asked her if it made it harder to get pregnant. Sadly, it doesn’t. Damn. Then I asked her about getting an IUD inserted and she said it should be fine to get 4-6 weeks after the leep if all of the tests check out.

I’m thinking I should get a new doctor after the procedure. One that will actually listen when I talk. Because it’s really frustrating when one doesn’t.

Why having children is bad for your marriage

Life affirming indeed. I think women probably still say it (the pain and suffering) was “worth it” because it’s what they’ve been conditioned (brainwashed?) to think. I think women are only recently coming to terms with the fact that they don’t, in fact, need to breed and that’s OK (it’s also okay if you want to have kids, but for the right reasons, please).

I’d love for mothers to ask themselves what they would’ve done with those nine months of torture being pregnant and the following 18 years if they’d chose not to procreate?

Couples realizing they have nothing in common after their kids leave the nest is a huge problem, methinks. I’ve watched couples have kids and never again have hobbies of their own. Sad.com.

Will the media please stop reinforcing this untrue fantasy that people, and women in particular, are incomplete if they don’t have children? Please, please, please.

Travel, have dinner parties, spend time with your friends, go take a cooking class, get a PhD… there are a plethora of other options besides having kids.

Why having children is bad for your marriage

More reasons not to have kids.

Last Tuesday night, I met two of my closest friends from my last job down at our usual watering hole: Von (on Bleecker). It’s simple, has happy hour, and doesn’t get crowded until later in the evening. I adore these guys so much and I miss seeing their faces every day and going down to the Calexico cart with them for lunch and waiting on ridiculous lines for burritos. Anyways, I digress.

One friend, we’ll call him D, regaled us with how he’s getting fucked over in court currently. He broke up recently with his girlfriend, with whom he had a child (he’s adorable), and now she’s taken him to court for every last dollar he has. She’s currently unemployed, told the judge she’s applying for food stamps and is going to work part-time. For some reason this sounded OK to the judge and he’s awarded her $4000 per month in child support payments. 

Let that number sink in. 

FOUR THOUSAND DOLLARS. I feel so bad for him. His girlfriend is a psychopath. And what kind of judge says OK when a parent is like “food stamps and part-time employment it is!” Their son goes to daycare, it’s not like she has to watch him 24/7. 

Then our other friend, we’ll call him G, cautioned us against marriage (partially, sort of in jest, because usually marriage is super simple to get out of unless you own real estate together) with the story about G’s friend who was just out of medical school with lots of loans. He’d never worked a day as a doctor, and when his wife divorced him, the judge based the settlement that he owed her on his “earning potential,” and he was now to pay her $1 million. He has medical school debt and he has to pay his ex-wife $1 million.

I think the laws need to graduate a bit from 1950 and get with the times. Women usually have full-time jobs and don’t need to be coddled in court.

That said: still not having kids. And being very careful with whom I marry (if I marry) and making sure there’s a pre-nup involved.