I have been reading posts that my father has been making on his his newly minted blog. They are great, they give me insights into what my dad’s life has been like and I can see him how he sees himself via the oft-recounted stories now told in the new medium of the web. Several of his posts thus far have been about his exploits with the ladies. From the Turkish belly dancer, Zeckiya, to the time when he “met three birds and we enjoyed each other immensely” reminding his readers on several occasions that it was the 60’s and a different time.
My dad has varied and colorful experiences, most of which I will not share. I met Jena in high school and have more or less been with her for the past 18 years as of yesterday, 11 of which as husband and wife. An earlier version of myself would have felt a bit sad about the contrast of my dad’s crazy life and my own relatively normal one. And I guess this current version of myself does feel a bit sad, but not for me.
I will be able to write my reflective weblog posts with Jena as my editor, correcting my spelling errors (believe me she will be busy). I will get to write those posts knowing that I have found and shared all that I have experienced with the person who has known me best, who has grown up with me, and who continues to make me so very happy – through a span of time exceeding that of all of my father’s marriages. So I guess I do still feel a bit sad. My dad won’t ever be able to spend time with the person who has known all versions of himself. Then again, maybe that is why he is telling her of himself via the web.
Inspired by a recent conversation Hiromi and I were having about the Matt & Kim video for Lessons Learned, Alt Text has a new post idea. Yay for “Lessons Learned”!
Anyway in the video Matt & Kim strip down to, what appears to be, nothing in the middle of Times Square. Aside from some contention on whether they are truly naked or have some skin-colored skivvies on and the cops being real, we discussed if we could do that, and why or why not. I think the answer starts and ends with unconditional love. Think about it, you can be naked in front of your significant other, or your dog easy enough. That is because they each love you no matter what. If everyone loved each other unconditionally we could all be naked in front of each other without fear or shame.
From time to time, because I have professed to be planning not to have children, articles are forwarded to me on the subject. Then if I read them, post about them, or try to discuss them, I often get accused of attempting to justify my decision. I have written many times before about the subject and I always get mixed comments on such posts.
While support, and good-hearted discussion, is nice I, too often, come away from such exchanges truly feeling like I do have to justify my decision to people, or to be more dramatic, society at large. It (not-procreating) isn’t what organisms are supposed to do (our design makes that embarrassingly obvious) but we do a lot of things we likely aren’t supposed to do. But we have workarounds (or loopholes) for that now. We don’t have to blindly reproduce because that is “what we are supposed to do”.
An American Sociologist Association study from late last year reports findings that I have suspected (and seen proof of in the lives of friends and family) for some time: parents are not happier than adults without children. Here is the full study report (PDF). This information does little for me, but may provide, some bit of comfort for others considering the same path.