Sunday, December 31, 2006

And now I succumb

It's taken well over a year. R and sushi boy once prodded me to try. Today, while searching for a birthday present for J, I caved and bought World of Warcraft for myself. WoW.

The tree is down, my fridge cleaned out then refilled from costco. I find myself stretched out at my desk, slowly installing disk after disk. A way to stay in touch with R. A way to kill the hours when I can't curl because of my back.

In a week, J meets Zig for the first time. Should go well. Everyone else seems to think he's great. Perfect for me. Sheila and he got along extremely well at the Cajun House last week. My parents have said "when you come to the farm," not "if." Hell, even the mention of him coming to the farm is a huge leap.

His Mom rushes over to hug me when she sees us, and I bribed his dad with hockey tickets last week so I think he thinks I'm great too. Family. I'm finally part of a second one that is as great as my own.

I laughed as I picked up a Loreena McKennett CD today. Things learned from time spent with Kees. Warcraft = J. T shaped who I am in ways too numerous to mention. B and his RC airplanes. I wonder sometimes what I really gained from G. Perhaps the simple understanding that I was right long ago when I didn't want kids. I thought I'd have to sacrifice that ideal to find someone worth being with. Instead, I have never married, no kids and ready for something long term.

50% installed.

I have my independence - that was forced on me when I decided to prove to T that I *could* survive on my own. I have a great condo that becomes more and more mine every day. I have 2 cats who actually can be on the same bed together now without killing each other. I have my heart, which is strong, true and giving.

There are times I've regretted the divorce, but the growing and learning I've done in the last 2 years has been amazing. I was never happy being married because I gave up who I wanted to be to be with him. I realize now, I don't have to do that. It isn't selfish to not want kids. It isn't selfish to expect respect. It's far from selfish to ask for things.

The knowledge that my lifestyle does not support children is freeing. Even better is coming to terms with the fact that it isn't selfish. I can roam through life without compromising what I want. I can go to Cuba this spring and find a resort that doesn't allow kids. I can make plans for a great night out with friends without seeking out babysitters. I can sleep through the night without changing diapers, cleaning up puke or chasing away nightmares, ghosts and monsters. I don't have to deal with my ex-husband unless I want to.

I have my life. The life I wanted, planned for and created for myself. I have much to offer those around me and my family and the children of my friends will benefit from what I have to offer. I don't have to give birth to be a whole person.

I also don't have to put up with other people's children. Another groovy revelation. Well behaved kids? You bet, bring 'em on. Kids who treat adults with respect...yep. Always welcome in my home. Children with manners? Heck yeah.

I don't have to pander to your kids or anyone's kids, though. See, I don't have any. So... I don't want to hear yours scream in the grocery store line. I don't want to listen to them fight while I'm out for dinner. I don't want to hear another "omg, my kids are so wonderful/smart/perfect!" story, and if you start, you'll be listening to cat stories for the next hour. And let me tell you - my cats are way smarter than your kids any day.

I don't want to hear how your boy Jimmy can program better than anyone who has a degree in computers. I don't need to hear about your daughter Joanie's christmas pageant/dance recital/art abilities that rival the masters.

Sigh, can you tell I was out shopping today and surrounded by a bunch of spoiled rotten brats whining that they didn't get a PS3 for Christmas, etc? The line up at Best Buy sent me screaming back to my car. In the shoe store, I had to navigate around a MASSIVE baby carriage that took up the entire aisle that people should be able to wander down and pick out shoes. At Costco, I was lucky. Maybe parents have figured out they should just leave the brats at home or in the car while they're there.

For years, they divided restaurants into smoking and non-smoking sections. While that was a wonderful idea, it really serves no purpose now that smoking is banned in restaurants. So I propose a kids/no kids division. Even better considering the restaurants that chose to comply to the completely separate seating sections (aka walls between smoking/non-smoking) will now have those walls to block the sound of children, preventing those families insane enough to take their brats out in public from disturbing *my* quiet meal out with friends.

Am I bitter? Yes dammit. There was a time when meals out where a special event. Celebrations. And while the luster of dining out has worn off over the years, the fact remains that I do plan special nights out with those I love. Evenings in which ambiance is important. And holding hands across a table, gazing through candle-light into each other's eyes *will* be destroyed by your snot-nosed, spoiled child singing "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" before bursting out into tears because your other snot-nosed brat dumped mashed potatoes on his/her head, screamed, kicked, or got up and danced the freakin' lambada. Meanwhile you pretend you can't hear anything and glare at other restaurant patrons like *we're* the ones wrecking *your* quiet evening out. Meanwhile, you ignore the third child who barely sets his gameboy/PSP/whatever down long enough to take a couple bites.

*Takes a deep breath*

Kids. Other people don't want to hear about them. We don't want to see them. We don't want to hear FROM them. When I was younger, I was taught to speak only when spoken to. I didn't cry at the checkout line when I couldn't get a chocolate bar. I didn't sit in the front seat of the car, even when no one else did. I smiled when given gifts and thanked people for them because it wasn't an expectation. I laughed, ran and played outside. You know - that place outside your front door that doesn't have TV's and game systems. Just grass and bugs and animals and trees and swing sets and mud. Yes, I made mud pies. I had a tree swing. I crawled around the barn and ran with a dog all day.

I didn't have a DVD player in the car so I'd shut up and not bug my parents. I watched romper room and sesame street and then went outdoors. I didn't own ever disney movie ever made and I didn't care to. I had books. You know, those things with words on paper that kids have to read? I didn't have a TV in my bedroom, my own phone, a cell phone or a CD player. I didn't play sports, wasn't in ballet, gymnastics, karate, basket weaving, soccer, ringette and hockey. My parents didn't spend their spare time catering to my every whim. They raised me with rules and limits and they taught me how to be independent and NOT rely on external stimulation 24 hours a day to keep me entertained.

My brother and I never had a nintendo game system. Nope. Not ever. Not even Atari. And we survived. We fought like brothers and sisters do. We built forts and tree houses and skated on the pond across the road. We even tried building an igloo once. I was horrible at Super Mario, but I type like crazy today because of King's Quest on the computer.

Children today are spoiled. I see it in what my nephew got for Christmas. His aunts and uncles on the other side of the family got together and bought him a pedal tractor. Clothes, games, toys, books. My brother said it was like the kid hit the lottery. Huh? He's 2? I bought him a couple shirts from Vegas and a pair of books. His birthday? Mega blocks. Nothing spectacular. I don't know what to buy him because he has so many aunts and uncles. His parents buy him a ton of stuff and so do my parents. At least mom, dad and I can negotiate that all amongst ourselves.

We indulge our kids every need and whim and our schools refuse to fail them. In fact, schools have stopped recognizing kids for good grades, etc because it hurts the self esteem of other kids who aren't doing well. Huh? I mean...really. Come on. Life isn't like that. In life if you don't do your job, you aren't there the next day. You don't even fail and get to try again, you're fired. Your boss isn't worried about your self esteem, he's worried about the bottom line.

Sigh. I see this growing trend that puts kids in power and it scares the bejeezus outta me. Can they really understand real life when everythign they want gets handed to them with a bow on it? They don't have real jobs, and heaven help those I've seen working in video stores and gas stations recently. They don't want to be there. They barely have the skills to dress themselves (see any teenagers recently with the motor skills to put their hat on straight????) and then they open their mouths and show how dense they really are.

This is the next generation in our society. Kids who's parents demanded they be able to have cell phones in school. Kids who grew up playing Grand Theft Auto on playstation.

And we're worried about global warming? The bigger, closer threat is these kids in power in a few years. Our society will be lucky to live long enough to see another ice age.


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