Mar 23, 2010

I Don’t Have Children. I Have Shoes. My Shoes Are My Babies.

There’s a species of fly in Southern Louisiana called The Crane Fly.  It looks like a giant mosquito, but it doesn’t bite.  Nor does it do much of anything aside from buzz around your head, your windows, get into your house and annoy you-- either directly by landing on your ear, or indirectly by sending your cats into a frenzy.  Other than that, the Crane Fly has no purpose.

As a matter of fact, I read somewhere that the Crane Fly exists only to mate and then die.

Off the top of my head I could name 20 people in my town alone who seem to be taking their lifestyle cues from this largely unnecessary species of insect.  Out of the 20, I encounter at least 10 on a daily basis.

All ten of them have at least once given me shit about my certain life choices.

You see, around here I’m a freak.  Something ungodly, close to evil. 

I’m 33, I’ve never been married and…

Drumroll please…

I don’t have kids.

By choice.

*cue old horror movie music*


Listen, I’m not about to go on a rant bashing motherhood.  Nor am I an active member of the SSCCATAGAPP.  (Well, not always.)  Parenting is a noble and respectable thing.  Kids are great, what with them being the future and all.  They just aren’t for me.

To my ovaries I’ve said “Thanks, but no thanks.”

Up north I could declare this little fact about my childless status to a round of nods and sounds of “Mmm-Hmmm” from other childless 30-somethings, and even a few mothers.  Having your first baby after 35 isn’t uncommon, and I know a few who waited until 40.  The decision to make sure your life is just so before you introduce new human beings into the mix is totally understood, if not welcomed.  I mean, we’re all packed on top of eachother up there, anyway.  No need to add more people to the crowd.


In the South?  Well, that’s a whole other story.  I can’t answer the “Do you have kids?” question without a round of gasps, pitiful looks and an interrogation about the functionality of my reproductive organs.  I think it’s funny that it’s the only explanation anyone can wrap their heads around.  I must be malfunctioning in some way.  It can’t be possible that I just don’t want to.

Sadly, the same reaction isn’t given to the never married thing.  That doesn’t bother anyone.  But how dare I not fulfill my womanly obligations by not procreating by the time I had my third period!

I even had one girl declare “Pffft!  Well you too old to have chirren now!”

Pardon?  WTF is a chirren?

Or the girl who told me she was done having her children at 27.  Apparently menopause sets in decades ahead of time down in Deliverance country.

I thanked her on behalf of the rest of the country for not subjecting us or our taxes to any more versions of herself.

Then there was the woman whose two children live with her sister on the other side of Lake Ponchatrain who wanted to tell me what a gift motherhood is (while she breathed bourbon all over me).

I’m not even touching that one.

I’ve finally started answering the “Do you have kids?” question with a series of snarky retorts:

  1. Kids?  Oh, I can’t.  I’m allergic.  Whenever I go near a kid I break out into hives. (Almost sort-of true.)
  2. Nope.  I have stuff.  And all that stuff is going to be exactly where I left it this morning… Without a peanut butter and jelly sandwich crammed into it somewhere. (To which the parent entertains me with stories of expensive things that have housed rogue sandwiches… As though that’s somehow going to sell me on motherhood.)
  3. I don’t have children.  I have shoes.  My shoes are my babies. (A quote I heard on Desperate Housewives one afternoon just before I took a nap.)

Answers 2 & 4 once got me a raised eyebrow and an angry “So you’re saying material things are more important?”

Um… Yes.  That’s exactly what I said.

I mean, it’s not like—In the immortal words of Apu Nahasapeemapetilon-- “this country is dangerously under populated.”

So get off my back.


Stacy said...

Haha, did you ever watch Sex and the City? There's an episode where Carrie gets all upset because married/engaged couples and couples with kids get all this free shit at engagement parties, baby showers, wedding showers, etc...and single people get nothing. Why should we be punished for having fabulous lives full of designer shoes!? It's so true. Plus, having just done my taxes...we don't get any breaks! I'm being punished for making "too much money" <---yes, that's in quotes because in reality, I make shit.) and for being single? It's not fair. I know I'm only 23 but still. I relate to what you're sayin!

My Husband's Watching TV... said...

^^^I totally saw that episode and this post made me think of it. Happy birthday/anniversary day to both of us!

Em Static said...

For some reason all the comments are posting upside down.

Anyway, yeah! I remember that episode. Didn't she throw herself a single shower and register for designer shoes?

Jenny Brown said...

You're too funny! Seriously......what the hecks wrong with not having kids - or not getting married? Who the FREAK cares,'s your life! Live it as you choose! Are you happy? (....if you answer yes, then good for you!) These people who get married because they have a FEAR of being alone are idiots! And people who have 4, 5, 6 kids OR MORE are just downright STUPID - In this day and age!

By the way - I love your blog....look forward to reading it every day! :):)

Amy said...

I find it appauling that people feel they are entitled to have an opinion about whether or not you choose to have children. It is seriuosly no one's business!

I had my first child at 30 and people gave me all sorts of shit! Screw that! I had a blast in my 20's and would do it all exactly the same!

Also? Hate those fucking crane mosquitoes!! They are EVERYWHERE!!!!

Sarah said...

The South is a weird place in regards to marriage and kids. There is actual pressure to do it young!

Monique-aka-Surferwife23 said...

Oh good grief. The South is so bizarre.

Who says you are too old now at 33? I am the oddball around here because I DID have kids UNDER 30.

Not the norm anymore.

Monique-aka-Surferwife23 said...

Oh good grief. The South is so bizarre.

Who says you are too old now at 33? I am the oddball around here because I DID have kids UNDER 30.

Not the norm anymore.

Anonymous said...

So those crane flies pretty much sound like the 3rd circle of hell...
I have a child AND I have shoes, over 100 pairs, which my child frequently likes to tell me she wants when I die. Children are so cheery, no?

Kisha said...

Dude, I think it's awesome. There is no law anywhere that says you have to have kids. Better to not than to pop out a couple you don't really want! There are always days when I am SO jealous of the childless:)

Christine Macdonald said...

"Raising my inner-child is enough" My staple answer to the question as to why I don't want children. Fantastic post.

liz said...

i'm still laughing at the duggar picture. that's freakin' awesome! we live in the South, too, and even before kids, people would ask my husband IF i worked. why wouldn't i work? i have a degree. just because i'm a woman, i need to spend my days at home?? it's a different world down here, that's for sure.

Chelsea Talks Smack said...


MommieDaze said...

LOL! I had 40 pairs of shoes before I had babies. Now I just a few comfortable pairs that I can run after them in. I'm one of those northerners who's nodding in a agreement with you. Live your life. Forget everyone else.

Matthew said...

Love your blog!! I am also 33. Got married about 18 months ago, no kids. Everybody I know who has kids seems really tired and snappy. But me? I'm really well-rested. Like, me and the hubby sleep until noon on a Saturday and read the paper in bed over coffee. It's heaven.

PS- Shoes are just as important as kids.

Living Shallow, Living Well said...

I just wrote the comment from 'matthew' above- I didn't realize he was logged in- AAHH!! We need another computer in this place.

But I have to make one more comment- the Duggers are beyond creepy.

That's it.

foxy said...

I'm afraid it may be some of my relatives you're talking about. NOT THAT I'M OFFENDED. It's freaking true... what can you say? I'm 37, married and no kids - and they all freaking look at me like I have 3 heads. And I only WISH I were kidding about that.

Katie said...

I'm a few years older than you and I sooo understand. If someone ever asks me why I don't have kids I tell them it's none of their business. Simple as that! If they have the nerve to ask such a question I'm pret-ty damn sure I don't want to have anything to do with them. Ever. So if they're offended I really don't care.
I do have some friends that have asked if I ever want to have kids - and that's a different question, different story.
I have a good girlfriend who really wants to have kids and can't. She's been going through months of IVF and she still can't get pregnant. That question just about brings her to tears. Some people just don't stop and think that it's a VERY insensitive question...

Anonymous said...

Motherhood is wonderful for me, but I wouldn't dare judge someone who doesn't want any. Kids aren't for everyone. There are plenty of people out there that I wish would get that message.

Anonymous said...

Oh my god.... here I was beginning to think I was going to have to start my own blog club..."Not having children and fine about it"...
Try this one on for size...:
28 years old
No children
Asked husband to have a vacetamey (he wanted it anyway)
Was done yesterday!
And you think you get funny looks??!!
I want to know where the 'help' group for us is?
I wont go into my reasons, or theoretical concepts of the nessesicty of mother hood for some and not for others...
But, just wanted to say... Im in your club!

Oh and @Christine :"Raising my inner-child is enough" I LOVE this... so using it next time.
I often dont know what to say besides "No, we wont be having children"... often people in Aust are quick to shut up, thinking that it must be because we cant...well... that is technically true now!lol