Saturday, February 19, 2011

Leave It To Beaver

[via killbeats]
What's up, gusset-nuzzlers?




Ready for another childhood story?
[via sillyfranny]
Ok then: 


One bright, hot morning, when I was seven years old, my family went to the Wisconsin State Fair.


There's just the four of us, and we all couldn't decide what we wanted to do first, so... as families often do, we split up.

I went with my dad, 'cause I always went with my dad, and we were gonna go to the livestock barns, and the fattest pig in the state was being displayed.  



Shelley, who was 10, went with my mom - presumably to do some kind of boring shit, like look at local artisan handicrafts, you never knew with those two.


Dad bought me some bright blue cotton candy, and I stickily took his hand as we walked through the dust to the livestock barns.  


I remember there were roosters with freaky-looking cockscombs and Budweiser horses champing on carrots and nosing out of their stables. 


The big pig blew. my. mind.

Eventually, though, I began to whine.  I'd been promised a Ferris wheel ride.  

Arcade games. 
I wanted to win one of those giant stuffed dogs.


In a minute, Dad said.  First we had an errand.


We wandered over to a little white wooden building, with a low paddock in front.  


Inside the circle of fencing, lambs - real baby lambs, brand new baby lambs, as bright as jesus's robes - were frolicking.  
OMG LAAAAAAMBS!!! 
There were about twenty other little kids crowded around, chubby elbows hanging over the fence. 


The lambs, little woolly baaing babies, were sticking their wet noses into our hands and trying to gum on our fingers.  


Some girls were inside the fence, holding the lambs and giving them bottles.
Little girl heaven.


Could I hold a lamb?  

I could.  

Dad opened the gate for me, and I went into the paddock, where a stumbling lil' guy, all grey, tight curls and funny long tail, came wobbling towards me. 


A bottle appeared out of nowhere, and suddenly, there I was:  


On my knees, like a real farm girl, snuggling a baby lamb who was sucking greedily at the bottle, getting milk all over his fuzzy pink mouth. 
I was in ecstasy. 
(Keep in mind that I had just finished reading Charlotte's Web with Mom.)  


I was Fern. 
I looked up to see if Dad was watching.  
He was.  I waved.


He waved back.  Then beckoned me over to the fence.
Reluctantly, I let my lamb go. He cantered over to the other lambs, and I lost him in the crowd.


My dad was watching me with that face that grownups get when they think you're being cute.


"Pick one," he said.

Excuse me?


"Pick one." 

WHAT.  
I looked at his face. He was smiling, but I didn't think he was fucking with me.


I dug my nails into my palms to steady myself.  
Took a deep breath.


I got to have a baby lamb.
My dad was going to let me have a pet lamb.


I was the luckiest girl in the whole world.  My dad was going to let me have a baby pet lamb, and I would have a lamb. 


My own lamb. 


And everybody at school would be jealous and want to come over to my house and Jade would be my best best friend and not Elizabeth Hammer's and Alana would be so mad she'd probably throw up. 


And I could tie ribbons around his neck and shampoo him with baby shampoo and sleep with him and he would only love me, not my sister. 
Omigodomigodomigod.


Let me tell you, I spent forever choosing my lamb.  


This one was too big.  This one was too grey. This one was too hyper, and this one didn't want to cuddle. 


Dad was starting to look impatient. And sunburned. 


Worried that he would change his mind if I kept dithering, I suddenly, in one big rush, decided that the lamb I was currently holding was It


The winner. 
Extra small (so he wouldn't grow up too fast), white with translucent pink skin, dainty hooves, and a needy-sounding cry. 

My lamb!  



I carried him over to my dad, with his legs dangling out of my arms.


"This one," I said.  "His name is Fleecy." 


Dad gently took Fleecy from me and gave him an appraising look.

"Good choice."



We went into the white building, where Dad paid for Fleecy
A very tan man with a cowboy hat took the money and winked at me.  He had an Indian maiden on his belt buckle.

We had to pick up the lamb at the end of the day, Dad said, so why don't we go meet up with Mom and Shell?  
We could get some lunch and hit the roller-coasters.  Maybe I was tall enough this year, who knew?


I don't remember anything else about the rest of the day.  I was beside myself. 
Literally skipping with glee.  


I told Shelley I was getting a lamb, but she told me not to be stupid.
JEALOUSY!!


At the end of the day, as the sun was setting, we went back to the white building to pick up Fleecy

The same man with the hat came out with a big box.


"Here's your lamb, sir," he said, and set the box down. He tipped his hat at us and walked back inside.



Shaking with excitement, I pushed Shelley out of the way and opened the flaps of the box.


Inside were white paper bundles, tied with string.
[via royalgala]
"Where's Fleecy?" I demanded.  "Where's my lamb?"

Dad chuckled.  "That is your lamb, honey. You picked a good one."



I looked at him.


Shelley laughed.  Mom looked horrified.


And then it hit me.
I didn't get to have a pet lamb. 
Dad asked me to pick a lamb so we could eat it.


I killed my baby lamb.  I killed Fleecy.
Selected him for death.


I burst into tears.  Stood there bawling in front of the white building.
Mom and Dad were having a heated argument.

"What did you tell her?"



"I told her to pick a lamb! This is a slaughterhouse, for chrissakes!"


"How would she know that?"


"I just - I just assumed she knew that! That it was for eating! We have dogs, why would she think she was getting a lamb for a pet? We eat lamb! All the time!"


"She's seven! She is seven and I can't believe you did this."


"I thought she knew!"
Skanks, for years after this incident, I used to call up this memory as further proof that my parents didn't love me.


Later, I could laugh about it. 
My dad had so obviously overestimated my ability to understand what was going on.  


He didn't mean to do it - he just thought I was more with it than I was at the age of seven.


Really, I spent most of my time pretending I was a fairy named Whisk, fashioning dandelion-leaf outfits for my tiny alter ego.
Poor Dad. 
While I now have a humorous "top that" story to tell at parties when we're competing to see who has the best fucked-up childhood memories...he will feel guilty about The Fleecy Incident for the rest of his life.


Ahahaha.
[via hellogirls]
Lately I've been thinking it might be fun to have kids around more. 


Now, don't get me wrong, here, hos.


I don't like babies, and watching toddlers eat is the worst thing I've ever seen, and kids smell awful. 


Sarah, the Gayest Straight Girl I Know - the one with the expert coffee nose - has precisely pinpointed the smell of children: it's wet Cheerios. 
Children are a bad idea for me, because, while fairly cheerful about most things, I'm incredibly selfish with my time and I know I would resent any child I had, even if I loved it, just because it was taking up all my attention.


But it might be nice to have regular interactions with a kid.  
A kid I was in some way related to.
This is why I want my sister to get knocked up.  


I'm ready. 
Any day she and her husband have an "accident", I will swoop in with ironic onesies and tiny, useless Pumas, the kind that cost $50 and have cloth bottoms. 
I can't wait.  


I don't want kids of my own, but I'm like a pushy mother-in-law who just. wants. to be a Grandma, goddammit. 


Auntie Mame is my all-time favorite book, and I think it might have seriously warped my ideas of what it means to have influence over a child. 
Anyway! The reason I've been thinking about this so much lately is: 


1) It's my birthday on Monday, and soon I'll officially be a year older, and everyone in the whole universe of Facebook is suddenly using their baby's ultrasound picture as their profile picture. 

I've never been friends with so many fetuses before. 
(hey dawn - this is fucking creepy.)
2) I've been reading Dan Savage's The Kid, a book where he talks about the process of adopting his infant son with his partner Terry. 


Gay men and a baby. 
Sounds like Two and a Half Men


In the book, there's a chapter where Dan struggles to answer the question, "Why have kids?" to all his friends.
  
Among the myriad of answers he comes up with, he says something that chills me to my bones:  "Well, what am I going to do for the next 50-60 years?" 
[via fromme-toyou]
And he lays out the options.  


Dan figures gay couples can:


a) Continue being DINKs (that's "dual income, no kids") and living their amazingly fun lives. Continue going out, continue fucking, continue drinking, continue hitting the gym.  Get old.  Stop thinking those things are fun.  


Eventually,  either you or your partner dies first, and both options suck. 
Either way, distant relatives come to town to take your ashes and sell all the stuff you worked so hard for.
[via scatterhearted]


b) Go places. See shit.  Use your DINK buying power to travel the world, have wonderful fucktimes in Amsterdam, eat beautiful food, make beautiful friends, take beautiful pictures and start some kind of
irritating "I travel a lot" collection, like African masks or deity statues of many-armed gods. 


Eventually, you die, and distant relatives come to town to take your ashes and sell off the collections you spent years combing Indonesian markets to find. 
[via lezdance]


c) Become one of those gays that's really, really into their house. 
Pour all DINK money into the perfect home. 
The perfect armchair. The perfect hand-selected ambient-heated teak planks underfoot. 
Invite all other homos to come over a lot.  Drink wine, feel smug, wear flowy outfits, die. 


Distant relatives come to take your ashes and squabble over your house. 


You guys, this chapter in The Kid scared me shitless.  
I knew, vaguely, that I was going to die at some point, but I've never had things clearly outlined for me like that.


Now, I'm aware that I freak out right around my birthday every year, and I'm aware that children are not a hobby and not a plaything and only something to have if you really, actually like children...but what if Dan is right?


At least if you have kids, you have fun with them until they hit the tween years, and you get to pretend that you're only going to Justin Bieber: Never Say Never because your kids are dragging you there.


I'm just...afraid of being old and alone. This country treats old people like shit. 


What if you were old and alone and you didn't have much money and you didn't have anyone you even knew left to help you?


I don't want kids.  But I don't want to be somebody's old gay somehow-we're-related-three-times-removed relative that they have to invite to dinner. 


If I'm going to be a burden in my old age, I want to be a serious burden.  
The kind you can't ignore.
[via 4dimension]


This one time in 2007, CJ and I moved to Taiwan for a year, where we were each handed a kindergarten class to teach, no questions asked. 

Literally. 
From the time we casually googled "teach english in asia" to the time we got on a plane for Taipei, 29 days had elapsed.  


No background check.  No teaching experience.  All you needed was a degree, a passport, and a beating heart. Which is actually terrible - what if we had been an escaped convicted criminals?



As a completely, shockingly unqualified English kindergarten teacher in a foreign country, I learned that:


1) Kids are smarter than me and I don't like that;


2) Watching a 4-year-old try to put his coat on is literally like being in a time warp;


3) You can make a kindergartner do anything if you make up a song about it first, and


4) there is nothing nicer than having 17 five-year-olds scream "Teacha KRISSA!!!" at the top of their lungs when you walk into a classroom in the morning. 
[Ray Chen]
That must be what it's like to wake up and be Lady Gaga

There are sweet things about kids. 



They climb in your lap and absentmindedly stroke your forearm. They giggle when you make fart noises.  


They appreciate when you use different voices for every character in the story, and they genuinely believe that the puppet is talking, even if they can see your mouth moving. 


They gently poke and prod you, and they say funny shit, like "When you have long hair, then you will be a girl, Teacher Krista."
[Lydia]
I enjoy children, vaguely.  But I'm not so interested in the parts where you have to explode your crotch open and get on an immunization schedule and remember to sign them up for preschool and take them to the ER when they break their arm.  

But what else do people do with their lives??? 



We're lesbians.  We can't have accidental babies. There are no slip-ups.  


Unless I want a kid, the future is an open road of free time, with zero toddler speedbumps.  
[via everydaygay]
Not having children graces you with at least 20 years of extra time that most other people will spend in PTA meetings.

So, what, should I learn Portuguese?



I need options. 
I don't know many older, childless dykes, and I wish I knew what everybody does. 
Do you learn to sail?
Get involved in volunteering for some cause?
Do you get some kind of non-denominational religion? 
Teach sex-ed classes to the local homeless gay youth outreach center? What???

I don't want kids.  

But I do want someone to give a shit when I die.


Deep breaths, y'allfags.Nooooo big deal.
Juuuuuuuust my yearly existential crisis. 

73 comments:

  1. Clearly the only solution is to become a Crazy Cat Lady and leave your estate to the really, really stinky tomcat that all your neighbours hate.

    That lamb story is deeply horrible, but then, my Dad told me in his sternest voice at a similar age: "Darling, we're Apex Predators. We eat animals because we are superior to them. Top of the food chain. Now eat your veal."

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  2. This terrifies me. I long to be a DINK. I long to travel the world and get a bunch of pets that are my children and throw my money at awesome charities and have disposable income galore. But then I wonder who will choose my nursing home. And what I will do with all my Turkish rugs. However, the opportunity cost of children is immense -- perhaps it's worth being old and alone for a life of luxury and happiness.

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  3. I desperately want children, so I can't really relate. However, my aunt is an older, childless lesbian (maybe gayness runs in the family?). She and her girlfriend seem to spend a lot of time obsessing about their dog, obsessing about their house, going out to eat, and tanning by their pool. They seem to be having a good time. Just thought I'd give you this example, since you said you don't know many older dykes.

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  4. Volunteer at a YMCA? They have youth programs!
    Youth group organizer?

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  5. I'm having the same existential crisis Teacher Krissa. Kids are something I enjoy when they're not mine. But kids are also a time suck and money suckers and REALLY annoying. I'm just waiting for my brother and his girlfriend to get married and be the conservative breeder family they're headed towards so I can have nieces and nephews.
    My mom made the counter argument about it all getting old when you're in your 50s, how the couple time with your significant other(s) won't be enough and you'll want something more. I haven't decided yet. I could see foster care as a potential way out, since it's like being an extended camp counselor. I'm working with at-risk youth right now so that's enough of a "leaving a legacy" feeling for me. I'll be interested to see what other people think.

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  6. That is actually the most horrible story ever.

    I've just applied to be a peer educator/mentor for baby dykes (which is not what I will be calling them in subsequent interviews or to their cute little faces) at the local youth health centre. My girlfriend has a weird aversion to pregnant women.

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  7. I'm planning to surround myself with related (or not) nieces and nephews. They are adorable, they love me, and we get to play games together then cuddle before I leave in the morning. If my maternal instincts ever get too loud to ignore, I might adopt. Everyone needs love.

    Krista, your lamb story teared me up! Also, I think Crazy Cat Lady should be Bonkers Bunny Lady for you instead! :D

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  8. There are just never any certainties - and there is so MUCH that has to go into raising kids. It isn't just the money and the time - it is if you are mature enough, if you have your shit down enough to do it right, if you can put their needs in front of your own for pretty much the rest of your life.

    I help with foster care right now, but the thing there is that you ARE still a parent. You're not just temporarily holding the kids - you are their world, responsible for re-wiring the way they were taught really shitty things, teaching them that food is SUPPOSED to come three times a day and that being hit or beat or dragged into bed with a guy when you're four is NOT the way the world is supposed to work. It is even more exhausting, I think, than regular parenting, because you have to defend these kids everyone else ignores and who have been beaten and broken and have bad habits you've gotta re-set.

    But what if you do have kids? One of the reasons that old people are treated like shit in this country is because THEIR kids don't care! And that could easily end up being you, no matter if you do everything right and love them with all your heart and don't deserve that treatment in the slightest.

    I struggle with this - as a lesbian who was raised Mormon, kids were SUPPOSED to be my end-all be-all goal in life... but now? Now I realize that everything is connected. It sounds lame, it sounds stupid, but its the most true fucking thing I can think of. I don't want kids - and for a while, I mourned that I don't want them, I felt so guilty, that I would be so alone...

    ... but then I realized that not having them doesn't mean I won't get a shot at living my life to the fullest. I will die no matter what - people will miss me or they won't no matter what. But if I really follow what I know is right for ME to do, rather than take a very serious gamble like that on the hopes that it'll pay off ten, twenty, sixty years down the road... then I'll end up living all those years with a life that I'm set free as me, as who I want to be, rather than "waiting" for fulfillment later, sometime in the future after diapers and drama and college tuition when I'll be old and scared and I want my fulfillment and my life's work to equate to not being *quite* so scared just then, in those moments, when I'm old and want one of my kids to care.

    I'd rather do whatever it takes - kids not included for me - to focus on living each one of those years as vibrantly and honestly as possible, instead of take a gamble and lose so many years to something I am not fully committed to (and you MUST be committed to your kid's well-being if you don't want to make a fuckery of your life) deep inside in the hopes that I'll prevent loneliness and fear when I'm old and ancient. If I play my cards right, I'll have pictures, memories, journals, and many, many good friends to keep that loneliness away.

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  9. Oh, poor you and your adorable naive self! I'm not real fond of sheep--there's a zoo near here where, for some unfathomable reason, they keep the petting zoo right across from the tiger exhibit, and every time I see that poor tiger staring longingly at the fluffy morsels I have this insane urge to pick one up and toss it at the bars--but the little wobbly-kneed lambs are okay.

    I would appreciate it if my straight brother would provide me with children that I can pop in on and corrupt on weekends. Not with, like, drugs and alcohol and toys that make noise--I wanna make them angry little radicals. But if he doesn't want any then I'm going with Plan B, which is sexy lesbian adventuring forever.

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  10. Story time!

    My cousins were raised on a cattle farm, and I was always super jealous that they got to have baby cows to name and cuddle and raise for their very own. Well, my auntie saw that I was jealous and she kindly let me "adopt" one of the new calves. I named her sunshine and everytime we went to her farm, I would go and pet "my" cow. Except, one day, sunshine wasn't there anymore, and my parents took home a big box of butcher-paper wrapped parcels. I was a stupid kid and didn't put two and two together until my mom asked me to go get some veal for supper and I opened the freezer only to find that the packages were marked "sunshine."

    Scarred for LIFE.

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  11. You should try being a kitten foster. You essentially take a little needy abandonded kitten and raise to be slightly less baby. Then you pass it on to a loving home, or you can keep it yourself. Look into it (thank me later)

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  12. i suggest adopting a child on your death bed. this way you can enjoy the perks of DINKdom and still have someone to arrange your funeral.

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  13. The lamb thing? Totally messed up.

    Having kids is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much more work than I thought. Mine are my step kids, and they consume every ounce of extra energy, even when they're at their other mom's house on the weekends.

    You're welcome to borrow them if you want!!

    But... on the other hand, I'm a really good teacher and it makes me feel glowy inside when they do something they learned from me. Like when the girlchild started dealing with me when she was mad by not speaking. Yeah, she totally picked that up from me.

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  14. Oy vey, the lesbian existential crisis. I don't really know many older dykes without kids, but the ones I do know, I like a lot. I think it's okay to be a grown-up kidless dyke. In fact, I have every desire of being one.
    Kids are smelly.

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  15. omg...I'm in the same dilemma...all of my straight friends are either getting married or married and excepting a baby or married with kids. My gay friends on the other hand, they dont give a shit about having kids. The thought of getting older and dying alone scared the bejeezus out of me. I am turning 25 this year and I've been having second thoughts about not having kids of my own. I'm torn but for now I just need to be good to my sister and brothers so that their kids would take care of me when I'm old and dying..LOL

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  16. Here's my plan: be a vegan then you'll be old & fit.
    And support a girls orphanage somewhere poor & crappy so then the little orphans will be grateful, write you long letters & have decent lives.
    And then you can visit said orphanage & be a mentor to all the little girl orphans...& you won't have to change diapers or lead an unfulfilling life.

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  17. I totally had a crush on fern when I was little

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  18. not to be a total trolldickasshole, but the first picture of "lambs" that you put up are actually kids. baby goats. or maybe you knew that, cuz then you wrote about human kids.

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  19. It's definitely my birthday in one week. Im strongly considering a new alternative lifestyle haircut but seeing as i have little hair up there as it is from my last little crisis ive been trying to avoid being bald on my birthday. Babies are not so high on the list of things to consider but my single status that I have been fighting so hard to keep might be up for grabs. I feel like this goes along with the whole "having someone" decision making syndrome so...i get this. The lamb part though? So tragic. Thanks for this!

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  20. Yes, surround yourself with animals. Bunnies and lambs and great danes. Not cats, though, they eat you when you die at home.

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  21. My step-mum ate my pet chook. Killed it herself & ate it. I wasn't actually that deeply attached to it. I mean, it was a chicken. Still, I get heaps of sympathy whenever I relate the story with a slightly forlorn look in my eye, which is immensely satisfying.
    This brings me to the second half of your blog - the solution is to remain emotionally immature for eternity - endless childhood! Who needs to birth kids when you can just act like one yourself?

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  22. firstly, I can totally relate to the Fleecy incident... when I was about 6 I was in bed for a couple of weeks with a broken arm.
    When I was allowed outside again I couldn't find my puppy anywhere.
    Everyone said he must be in the shed or playing in the bush near our house... then my 4yr old brother says "dad shot your puppy cuz we couldn't afford to keep them all so dad shot your one. Your ones dead"

    Stink. I cried my eyes out and decided important things.. like that when dad got old I'd put him in a home, and make him eat mushy weetbix.



    Secondly, I'm queer.. 7 years ago I sexed a guy and now I'm a single mum with the most adorable little kid in the world.
    He's 6, he has autism and ADHD, and I love him more than anything.
    Nothing in the world makes me as happy as hanging out with him, he is soooo cool! having him in my life teaches me so much and makes me strong and happy, and patient, and I think that seeing him growing up free to be himself whoever and however he is ... its... great.
    Hard to put into words.
    I'm stoked that he can grow up with anarcha-feminists, genderqueers, homos, with peeps who love diversity and love him to bits.

    And I like being the change I want to see in the world. I think of our vibrant, radical, exciting family (of friends, whanau, lovers, and comrades) as a big fuck you to the white middle class heteronormative nuclear family value.
    No apologies- we exist, and we rock.

    Teee he.

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  23. I think your Fleecy trauma will haunt me for the rest of the day. I read it, knew where you were going with it but was silently screaming 'no wayyy'... but yep, Fleecy was dead and in a box an' all - I can't say anymore on that as I may shed a teeny, tiny tear.

    Regarding the kids. Always much better to be the supercool Aunt who can get them into all kinds of things, buy the coolest gifts, let them stay up late and then give them back when the temper tantrums start!

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  24. Were you traumatized for a while? cuz that would screw me up. Your father sounds kinda sadistic 0.o

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  25. Hey Molly here,
    I could be totally wrong but those first sheep look a lot like goats.

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  26. I'm so sczred of being a DINK. My family doesn't accept my gayness, yet alone if I have a baby! Oh man. I mean, I'm not sure how old you are, but I've always been told that you want a kid more at around 30ish....
    I'm at that "I don't ever want kids stage" but I'm a little baby dyke, so I know nothing. hmmm if anything be a cat lady, having about 13 cats= one kid if my math is correct.

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  27. It's true kids smell but so do old people. I personally feel the reward for putting up with kid smell for a few years is that they have to put up with you smelling like rancid oatmeal a few years down the line.

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  28. As a straight lady not intending to have kids and relish in glorious DINKness until it eats me alive, I agree. When I was talking to a friend about not wanting kids she offered a question equally daunting to the one you faced in Savage's book, "Well what are you going to DO in your 30s and 40s?"

    Well, fuck! I don't know! Play with the kids she and all my other friends are planning to have? Continue to be their friend even though I don't go to the public library reading hour with my very own 4-year old?

    My friends are going to need a break from their children to talk to an adult every now and then, and I'll need a break from talking to adults every now and then in order to make sock puppets and not feel weird about it. It's not just for the benefit of the kid that it takes a village.

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  29. It might be coincidence that we have nearly the same birthday and that I feel like you understand my blind panic. It's one of those fears that haunts me to the point where I wake up in the middle of the night and jump out of bed trying to tell myself that it's going to be okay. That it's all a figment of my imagination.

    Watch food network. Iron Chef will melt away all your troubles.

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  30. Either I'm a big pussy or everyone else whose heart merely goes out to you is a) lying or b)made of steel. I cried. No shit. HOW AWFUL!!! Okay. I don't have an answer, and have been thinking about the nursing home, who's-going-to-give-a-shit too. Like that epsode of Punky Brewster where she has that horrible dream about being "old and alone" and wakes up from tossing and turning over it? But worse. And I have no idea. I can tell you thayt if my quadripeds had opposable thumbs I'd worry far less, though.

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  31. I hate to be morbid, Darling, but we all die alone,even if we are surrounded by children and loved ones. Sorry, but the last journey is a solitary journey. Also, I have been involved in cleaning out about 5 of my old, dead relative's houses: it's just old crap to other people, even if they're the relatives that loved you.
    So, I think you should stop worring about your legacy and have a fun and, if possible, meaningful life. Do some things that feel responsible and impact-ful, like recycling, marathoning for a cause, or donating to charities.
    I feel I have some insight here because, I'm the only child of the only child of two only children on my dad's side and my mother has been astranged from her family since she was in high school, it doesn't get much more alone then a that. Friends are the family you make and they'll remember you more flatteringly when you're dead!
    I turned THIRTY this year and, yes, it was slightly traumatizing. But like everyone with good genes says, "you're only as old as you feel"...or dress and act. Buy some concealer, some polka-dotted shoes and don't let the number get you down!

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  32. Happy birthday! Be forever young at heart! Gluten-free rainbow cakes, cookies and cupcakes for all!

    Before I realized I was gay but wasn't attracted to guys, I planned to model my life after my cool single aunts who like to take care of their nieces and nephews. Those kids will take of you/visit you when you're older, so long as you spoil/take care of them/vacation with them often.

    I also want my sister to pop out kids but every time I tell her that, she gets horribly insulted and she gets angry at me... No fair!

    Anyway. I guess you could breed your bunnies? If you don't want your family eventually dealing with your possessions, donate your cool shit to a gay homeless shelter (anything gay)?

    For all we know, you'll get a book deal, reach #1 on the NY Best-selling list, get a talk show and be the next Ellen!

    Words of wisdom:
    Live simply that others might simply live. Elizabeth Seaton
    Live your life and forget your age. Norman Vincent Peale
    There are two ways to spread happiness. Either be the light who shines it or be the mirror who reflects it. Edith Wharton

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  33. No one who doesn't really WANT children should have them, ever - there are way too many kids out there with parents more interested in their own lives than in their kids' welfare, and their kids are so fucked up, it's incredible - as the foster mom who posted above can attest.

    And I agree with the other commenter above - we all die alone, chica, every one of us, so if that's what's scaring you, you're screwed - you'd better get over that, or you're going to be really unhappy for a really long time. I'm 60 this year; I've never wanted kids, never had any, and I'm happier than most of the women I know - or at least most of the straight women I know. I'm a singleton, not gay, not straight, I just don't think I'm built to couple, and I realized a long time ago that I would need to find work that I liked and do that for my whole life to support myself, and I've done that. Check.

    My family sucks, has from the beginning, and I thank the powers that be that there weren't many of them and they're mostly dead or three time zones away and can't make me miserable like they did for so long. I've made fabulous friends, some of them single women like myself, some gay, some divorced and done with men, and we've formed a network of support and love that gets us all through the dark and scary times. Check.

    And there are lots of them; it comes from living in a society that only values youth and the willingness to suck cock, so you need to chart a course for yourself that you can live with a calm and happy heart. Don't want kids? Don't have them. But that doesn't mean you can't be involved with them. Teach them, help them, guide them - there's all kinds of ways to have kids in your life if you enjoy that, so go out and find one or two of those ways and start working on them - there are lots of suggestions in the comments already posted, and I imagine there will be lots more after mine. A lot of the kidmania in women your age is really just the hormones pumping, we're hard-wired in the DNA to reproduce, and when we don't by our 30s that message starts to get really loud in your ears. Give it a couple of years, it will pass, you'll be fine.

    As for being old and alone - be a good person, do good things with your life, and people will love you and gather around your bed when you're dying and send you off with light and love. Be someone who people want to be around - that's the best hedge against loneliness. And your stuff? Make a will. Start giving your stuff away when you get to be about 50 (believe me, it will be a huge relief to divest yourself of some of that fabulous stuf you've spent your life accumulating), and whatever's left when you die, leave to the people you know will enjoy it.

    The very best thing you can do is live a life that other people will enjoy talking about after you're gone - leave some great stories behind, and happy people, and maybe some kids that you helped along the way. Be someone who will be missed when you're gone; that's entirely within your power to do. Start now.

    And Clarice? The lamb thing? Just ghastly.

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  34. Well sweet Christ, do you get enough mail? I simply wanted to say that I can relate to the lamb thing. When I was 8 or 9 I was desperate for a piglet we'd seen at a friend's place. I would name him Wilbur 'of course' and he could sleep under my bed. Dad said 'No'. Thinking back I thank God for that. As for kids I have three. I was a slow learner. But they seem to multiply in the dark, especially when they are teenagers...Three became four when we met one best friend, and then another...etc. Not everyone is built to be a mom, something I learned too late and something my kids still forgive me for. I don't know if I should ever have been a mom, but they are the best part of my life. Its not likely that you will give birth by accident. Think and choose. :)

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  35. Having struggled through my early 30s with whether I should have kids or not, I ultimately decided that the urge to have them was just hormones and I'd be better off without progeny. Instead, I made myself available as a babysitter for friends who have kids and it works like a charm. I also happen to have a sister that definitely wanted kids and has just given birth to her 2nd. This is the ideal situation as my sister and I have a close relationship. I have 2 adorable nieces that I can call my own and spoil rotten. I contribute money to their college savings accounts, have sleepovers at my house to give their parents a break, plan on taking them on adventures around the world, and will leave them everything when I die. It is really the best of both worlds...

    P.S. I came home from kindergarten one afternoon to find that my beloved cocker spaniel puppy, Heather, had been sold to the neighbors and renamed "Popcorn". I've never forgiven my father.

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  36. yeah.. i'm 43 and.. it gets better. so many friends from college did the marriage with two kids thing. everyone in my family has the two kids and suburbia thing. it's ghastly. on the other hand, they have a level of love in their lives that is just different, not better or worse. they would have me think it's better but that's just propaganda. and secret envy.

    i have to admit the world just opens up after all the thirties angst.

    i think it comes down to how you feel about freedom, because that's what awaits you without kids. it's absofucking glorious if you breathe and focus into it. part of it, also, is having a decent income and sort of having figured out the work/material world angle. independence.

    once i accepted that being a parent was not part of this life (time), then life got really really exciting.

    and don't underestimate the power of being an artist and how much what you know now will ripen into other exciting possibilities.. you're really smart. do what you love and let the breeders breed.

    p.s. thanks for the friends-fetuses part. did i friend your fetus? a question for the next election, perhaps.

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  37. solution: die young

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  38. but dying young would just fuck everything up....

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  39. You know what's worse than all of those options? Having a kid you love, and spend time, energy, money on them, as well as sacrificing great opportunities for yourself for their expense; only to have them never love you and appreciate you as much as you do until you die. Then, all will be left will be these weird, distorted memories of who you were, that they'll occasionally share with their kids when they ask.

    That seems much, much worse, IMO.

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  40. Shit like this is why I'm planning to foster (no matter what sort of genitalia my partner has).

    One: READY-MADE CHILD, DOES NOT HAVE TO COME OUT OF YOUR VAGINA.
    Two: You don't have to keep them forever if it turns out you're not cut out to be a parent.
    Three: no matter how long you've got them for, and no matter how much you feel like a shitty parent, as long as your house has books and is pedo-free you're practically guaranteed to be an improvement over ~50% of all the foster homes they could have ended up in.

    in sum: you can be a net benefit in some kid's life without doing weird biological shit or signing up for the long haul before you know if you're capable of it, and if at the end your "pro kids" column still outweighs your "con kids" column you can always adopt them.

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  41. mentor mentor mentor

    chose an organization that serves the most vulnerable kids - kids who know one cares about NOW let alone in their old(er) age.

    if thats not enough, foster (later) if you feel ready - there are a staggering number of homeless GBLT youth that would benefit greatly from a woman like yourself.

    dont doubt your ability to give.

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  42. Well, I don't generally like kids, never thought "OMG I CANT WAIT UNTIL I CAN HAVE A DOZEN KIDS B/C THAT IS MY PURPOSE IN LIFE!" But I have one daughter and she is awesome. I am so glad I had her.

    What I'm saying is, don't count it out just because you aren't a "kid" person. It is different when it's your own child.

    I think you are "growing up" a bit K! I seem to remember a post where you were pretty clear on not wanting kids ever (and that you'd donated a bunch of eggs to get through college, right?).

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  43. I have three kids - from 13 to 2. They're effing fabulous! Really, I make the best kids. I know people say that all the time but I mean it - for real.

    Still, I had my first because that's what you did. You got married and had kids. If I knew then what I know now I wouldn't have done it (note to self: you're a super duper uber dyke!). Even the kids part.

    The most important lesson I can teach my two daughters and one son is that the human race is not here just to breed (in fact it's detrimental to our long term outlook as residents of this planet). Look at life and what you really want/need and make your decisions based on your answer.

    And - if you decide that having children is what you want to do - always remember that they do not belong to you, they don't owe you everything, and you will give everything to help them grow into the best adults they can be. That's the job. It's not raising children - it's growing adults.

    If you want to be remembered forever change the world not diapers.

    PS You CAN do both. Just watch me.

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  44. Oh sweet Lady... I am 40, childless, and a great lover of woman.

    I had a similar crisis last year. My decision was to change career paths to something I felt was far more helpful to the world than what I spent the first 20 years doing. That made me feel a lot better.

    Other than that...I have a gay uncle close to my age and we have decided to get old together. I am the fun, wild half of us. I will continue to pull him into my many shennanigans. We will and do have a good time.

    Ultimately...That was the descision... To do something worthwile to the world and to ENJOY life. It's too short to worry about the rest of the B.S.

    As one of my many ex playmates told me "BE HERE NOW"

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  45. oh no! D:
    this was horrible! lol
    but a cute story, imagining the look on a childs face.
    not sure whether to laugh, cry, or both.

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  46. I could not stop laughing at the lamb story. Omg.

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  47. This blogs timing was crazy. I had just been freaking out all day about how I need to poke holes in my brothers condoms so I can be an aunt... and how I wanna be a grandma but I would haveta have kids first...

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  48. I work in a nursing home. Trust me, just having the kids doesn't mean they're going to be around in your old age. There's a lot of lonely parents in their eighties.

    Sigh, at 46 I suppose I qualify as an older lesbian with no kids. Life is good!! Disposable income, free time, no dramas and a wonderful niece who has provided me with deliciously naughty behaviour for 20 years with none of the disciplinary headaches. Auntydom rocks!!

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  49. Happy Birthday!! =)
    Mine is only one day apart from yours.

    As for the kids thing, you have plenty of time to decide on when and how to raise/find them. No worries.

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  50. you have so much time! enjoy life and see what comes along. maybe you'll want to adopt at some point. maybe you'll get a random straggler just stroll into your house.

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  51. Caro took the words right out of my mouth. After working for years in hospitals and nursing homes, I know proof-positive that having kids does not mean you will thwart a lonely existance in your later years. I have seen people dumped in nursing homes never to be visited again. It's incredibly heart-breaking.

    You will make friends where ever you go. My grandfather lives a thousand miles from any of his family. He is living it up at 80, drinking a 6-pack of Old Milwaukee, smoking a pack of camels, and shooting pool every single day with 10 of his guy-friends in the retirement community. He doesn't rely on his kids or grandkids for his happiness, but we are definitely a part of it.

    Life is what you make it. Being an aunt is my favorite thing EVER. I may or may not have kids, but regardless of my decision, I am going to lead one hell of an amazing life, and I'll have lots of fantastic stories to bore my kids and/or my elderly BFFs with in the end.

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  52. For a long time my GF and I thought we would adopt, but the financial realities of the adoption process sort of squashed that idea. And, oddly, while one of us birthing a child might be slightly more feasible, we figure that we're being environmentally responsible by not having kids. Or maybe this is all just excuse-making and I never really wanted to be a parent.

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  53. Im gay, and Im WAY, WAAAAAAAAAY too young to even be thinking about kids, but I really dont want to have kids. At least not from MY womb. While on vacation right now my mother keeps bringing up how 'when I have kids Ill know what she's talking about', but I dont want to say 'I dont want to have kids' to her... Id wait a while before I consider adoption too, because honestly, the option of being in a 'DINK' relationship allowing me to travel all over and not have super-duper mortgage expenses, and all this crap following me forever because I decided to have a kid who requires stability sounds like the most amazing, freeing thing ever.....

    ANYWAYS... On a lighter note OMG MY BIRTHDAY IS 2 DAYS AFTER YOURS!

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  54. I know two women who have had kids and their vaginas have not fully recovered, to this day. One has a kid that is six years old, the other has a kid that is 32.

    Think about that.

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  55. 1. the fleecy incident sucks. i had a feeling that is where that story was going.

    2. just b/c you have kids doesn't mean they will step up when you are ready to be a burden to them necessarily.

    3. I love your blog. and will be following you. look out i'm right fucking behind you. i kid.

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  56. that story made me feel physically ill. absolutely horrible. i hate your dad.

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  57. Hello there,

    I really enjoy reading your blog! Just a small detail, the first image you have of the two white critters are goats, rather than lambs. The easist way to tell the difference between a sheep and goat is to look at their tails. A goat's tail goes up (unless it is sick, frightened, or in distress). Sheep tails hang down and are often docked (shortened) for health and sanitary reasons.

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  58. What a fabulous batch of comments you inspired Krista. I knew I was in good company here but you are all so thoughtful, insightful, funny, generous, wise and warm. I am so proud and lucky to be connected to the effing dykes community.

    God or I vastly overestimated MY ability to understand what was going on. I married a guy when I was 21 and then proceeded to do what all the other clueless young gay mormon women were doing....getting pregnant. Nevermind that I had actually said out loud "I don't feel ready to have kids" and the only thought I have ever had a bout child having was "god I would NEVER do that to MY child" when watching a mother scream at her child in the grocery store.
    I had 2 daughters 20 and 22 years ago. I am so lucky I did.

    It was rough, I turned out to be a single parent raising them while working AND going to nursing school and I made mistakes that luckily I have been forgiven for so far. we all do our best.

    Whether you have kids, nieces, nephews, sponsored children, volunteer at boys and girls club or mentor; if you have a change to be in the life of a child that KNOWS you love them, there will be 2 lives that will be vastly better. women come and go, but the love of a child is forever.

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  59. Krissie Baby! Happy Birthday to my little lamb chop. (No pun intended.)

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  60. PFT. YOU POOR KIDS.

    You obviously have no idea what it's like to be raised in a muslim household, the type that actually celebrates Eid-ul-Azha in which you, wait for it, SACRIFICE ANIMALS THAT YOU CAN EAT.


    SOOOOOO if you're in pakistan and your family's able to afford it, it's kinda inevitable that you will see an animal being sacrificed, probably in your back yard. and then sliced up and shit. and then you eat the meat from that animal.

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  61. I can't give you any ideas on what to do. I have a kid. I was very into me for a very long time. I was scared. Now I am overjoyed. I get just enough "me time" that I don't go crazy. Everything else, I am JOYFUL to give to him. If you had told me this 5 years ago, I'd have slapped you and called you a liar. IDK. I guess you never know. On the Fleecy note, holyfuckingshit! I have a rule that if I've seen it alive, I don't eat it. Crazy, I know. But JEEZUSSS! WOW. You win.

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  62. Just have a kid. They can be like a little buddy for a while. Then when thu get old, you can be the funny lezzie moms. Even if one has children, I think they still end up having an existential crisis anyway. No avoiding existential crisises.
    People who I know who have been adimate about not having children and then do have a child, say it is the best thing that has vet happened to them and they canning imagine their life without having been a parent. I think that could be true... But of course to find that one out, you've got to go there.

    Perhaps some do just not want to reproduce but apparently, it's the bees knees.

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  63. You should definitely learn Portuguese. Just saying x)

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  64. you should rent kids. You know like that movie so you don't have to keep them all the time...only when they are useful..:)

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  65. The childhood trauma story literally broke my heart.

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  66. your story about Fleecy made my heart hurt :( and few things make me feel that way for I am jaded as fuck

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  67. I have a son, my wife was the birth mother, and it is the most fab thing in my life. For me it has been a blast watching him grow into this great human. It has never felt like I was deprived of anything, actually quite the opposite. One of the perks on the boy child is that my wife and I share a common goal. Trying to find the most loving way of raising him. It keeps us from becoming that lesbian couple who "process the realtionship" all the time. It gives our life energy instead of taking it away. This is all hard to explain, and while it is the greatest I don't think anyone should be a parent unless you really want to.

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  68. Every day there isn't a new effingdykes post I spiral into a dark pit of despair.

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  69. I agree with the anonymous post above me. And also CONGRATULATIONS YOU WON THE BEST LGBT BLOG OF THE YEAR HOW AWESOME!!!!!! :DDDDDDDDDD

    I don't know about the whole kids thing.. some people do just splendidly without them.. on the other hand, the poster lesbian couple I know just had their second child and I've never seen them smile more. Though, Tim Minchin says it the best: "and one thing they don't mention in the parenting book, your love for them grows the closer to dead they look!" Good luck! (I think you'd make a pretty awesome aunt)

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  70. Congrats for winning the Bloggie for best LGBT weblog!! :D
    How are you celebrating with your 20 big smackers? :P

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  71. Congrats and happy birthday!!

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  72. We have a kid and my wife and I have taken fencing lessons and I take horseback riding lessons (with our DI1K income, natch), we were waiting to sign up for sailing until Spring/Summer, but it's been on the list and lessons aren't very expensive at the Berkeley Marina (just in case you were serious). We go out sometimes but are not "scene" lesbians by any means, we travel, we are gearing up for our first home purchase next year.

    As for the (teenage) petite, she has taken Mandarin, traveled on her own to Nicaragua, has met Hilary Duff (not Beebz, that fucker has said way too much ignorant bullshit lately, anyway), and likes jogging with me after work if all her pre-algebra is done (correctly, we check it nightly). Every week she consults with us on potential careers: is it interesting enough, will it make enough money, how much actual time will she have to spend working, is there a reasonable balance between cost of education and career path payoff, etc.

    We also talk about everything. Just this evening, she paraded yet another permission slip before us authorizing sex ed classes, and I jokingly threatened to quiz her afterward. "MOM!" she screamed, and my wife chimed in, "Well, it's different from the sex ed you got in the 5th grade; this time you'll get to learn about all kinds of STDs!" "Great, you guys," the petite deadpanned, "thanks a lot. Really awkward, Mom." I kissed her goodnight and told her the REALLY awkward thing would be getting a terrible STD. "I know, right!?" she said.

    Long story short: We queers really CAN have it all (except marriage equality, but whatever). As with anything, there are pros and cons. Life is awful and messy and gorgeous and brilliant either way. It's up to you!

    PS. Lamb is so delicious, but you should have been FERN! I felt the same way when my mama made me give back two sibling kittens my idiot BF gave me for my birthday in HS (without asking her permission first). OK, almost the same. You win.

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  73. Here's the thing. Wow, no one has commented on this in awhile. Hopefully you'll read this eventually! Kids are expensive...kinda'. They really aren't that expensive if you're already "comfortable". A few slight modifications and you're good to go. And, kids are a choice you have to make at a certain time in life or else the opportunity vanishes. Can't decide to have one at 60 (a bio child, that is. Unless you freeze eggs. But I know nothing about that). ANYWAYS. If you think you *may* want one- have one. ONE. This way you're really only "tied down" for a few years when its a baby and toddler. Then off to pre-k and school + more independence. Then, with that ONE child....travel the world. Start when that child is young. Teach that one little heartbeat EVERYTHING you know about everything. Culture the hell out of that child. Take that kid to the nice restaurant. Take that kid with you everywhere. Live a full life with luxury and travel and food and culture and art and music and charity and genuine friends/family and all the wonderful things that make life worth living. Its doable. And its the best of both worlds, in my opinion. One child does not remove freedom like multiple children do. One child doesn't suck as much money as multiple children do. And when you are a person with a lot to offer- its almost a wasted opportunity to NOT have a child. The world needs more cool, well-rounded, educated, tolerant, loving, sharing, curious, appreciative, amazing people.

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