You know that “save link” feature on facebook? I use it excessively. I’m constantly bookmarking things to read later, calls for pitches and work contacts or potential idea triggers in there. Every now and then I feel like the saved links get a little out of control. I worry that they may get tangled up and lost in the chaos of their own collective noise, and I wont remember exactly why I’ve saved each of them. So I sort through them – segregating the links saved for work from those saved for just reading. Today was that day, and here’s some things that stood out.
Are dogs replacing kids? I know a lot of folks with children hate the comparison, and I know a lot of folks without children feel chuffed to claim they’d rather get dogs than kids. Some do, and apparently it’s likely that keeping dogs is not the litmus test to check for your capacity to nurture and look after a living being, but may very well be replacing having kids entirely.
I know I’m going to get very judged and hated for this, but here it is. 3-4 years ago when I began to articulate my desire to remain child-free, I was in the minority. We did briefly consider keeping dogs. Not as a replacement for babies, but just to have pets. Talking about it made us feel completely alienated because people mostly reacted in a way that made me feel like it was completely abnormal. But today, I am no longer the anomaly. I know this because even just in my immediate circles, I am increasingly connecting with people who don’t want children. Amongst friends in the same life-stage and of the same age as me, I see this choice becoming far more common, and talking about it is becoming easier, people are free-er and more open. Clearly there’s many of us. Either there always were, and everyone shut up about it for fear of being isolated or we’re all inspiring each other to seek other choices and possibilities. And if the lives of some of these folks I know are anything to go by, being parents to dogs is definitely one of them. This piece made me think of so many of them, because I’ve seen a lot of what it talks about play out in real life.
I was that ‘entitled’ millennial whose parents never said ‘no’. This piece really got me thinking. My parents didn’t refrain from say no. In fact they said no a lot. They said no when we made ludicrous demands, when we asked for things and experiences well before the right time for them, when we behaved outrageously or disrespectfully or when we broke fundamental rules. And yet they didn’t curb our hopes and dreams. Yes, I’m the kid who grew up being constantly told that thing that annoys a lot of people from the generation before mine – follow your dream and you can achieve whatever your heart desires. I know that the balance between letting go and allowing us to roam free, and also saying no when it mattered is what has helped set boundaries, realistic benchmarks and funnily it’s what taught us conviction, safety, strength, caution, empathy.
No is not mean or callous or stingy. No can be as loving and generous as yes. It indicates conviction, safety, strength.
I see why my parents didn’t set limits for my sisters and me. We were inherently cautious, empathetic, eager to please. We were moralistic and obsessed with being and doing good. But not every child, and certainly not every adult, possesses these self-regulating qualities. Flipping the script from my childhood, I have found it is better in most situations to start with no and slowly build up, with time and trust, to yes.
I suggest a chemise. It’s hard not to feel the feels so hard when you read an article that begins with:
Are you a lady who often doesn’t leave her apartment for long stretches of time, living life the way she likes, listening to music, having a coffee, sitting quietly, talking to no one? Tending to her plants that are dying? Watching a TV show she hates? I suggest a chemise.
Replace watching plants that are dying with writing blog posts nobody reads, and replace watching a TV show she hates with guzzling books when she’s ignoring her work, and this is me. Yes, yes, yes, yes. And I love the idea of a chemise.
Did you guys see that utterly bizarre-o article about How To Talk To A Woman Wearing Headphones, describing in detail the correct way to get and hog the attention of a woman who is minding her own business listening to music, in the hope that she will be more interested in you? It was so fuckall, I’m not going to link it up. Many people wrote responses and rebuttals to it, but this one’s my favourite: How To Approach A Woman Wearing Headphones.
THIS piece. Hit me right in the feels. Giving up alcohol opened my eyes to the infuriating truth about why women drink.
And then there was this.