Underemployed neighborhood dad, congenial, thorough, available for sweaty yard work while your earner husband (I.E., boring, stressed out, un-handy, limp-dicked) travels to Manhattan for work. So take advantage of this local dad, who has a green thumb on his rough, manly hands and then some. He is good with flowers, has gentle touch with petals, and can make your orchid bloom like it was an 8’X10’ Georgia O’Keefe. But can wrestle with vines and ivy, too, plus, when it comes to fruit, was a prize-winning squash grower before molting exurb self for cool hip version of his persona, which he groomed and crafted here, in the Land of the Gowanus.
Also, has strong back capable of repetitive heavy lifting, to clear out, for example, the unfinished, underutilized, and absolutely aching basement space of your BIG HOUSE. Can manhandle old dressers, half-filled paint cans, rusting bicycles, all the way up those rough and creakingcreakingcreaking basement steps. If you like, you can of course partake in the surely sweaty, straining labor of getting that woeful, mournful, and absolutely aching neglected basement space back into LIVING shape.
Also, this dad is not above so-called “womanly” chores such as turning sheets, or running a bath. In fact, has preternatural ability to make water just hot enough to make you go hmmm but not so hot as to scald or hurt, a nuance your creepy and weird earner husband cannot grasp. (That narcissistic hair-puller.) Can also clean a bathroom like nobody’s business; will get down on hands and knees and work on that grout until it absolutely glistens. That grout will, in fact, glisten so bright that cosmonauts will be able to see it from the steamed-up portholes of the International Space Station.
EVEN MORE TALENTS!: Can also cook you a hot meal and store rest in freezer in serving-sized portions, so during this hectic and hot summer when you will surely have your hands full with hectic and hot and sweaty CHORES, you can, whenever you should desire, simply stick your hand in the icy freezer and get your fill. Your earner husband will be unwittingly and unknowingly impressed by your hot, inspired cooking of fresh and lush meals and, especially!, your suddenly innovative use of those boring old ingredients.
So, for help around the house, for sweaty yard or dirty basement work, for a fresh take on those tired, old recipes, for grout shining so bright the NAKED EYE can see it from outermotherfuckingspace, email:
unitparental at hotmail dot com
Reasonable rates. Discreet.
The Unit Guarantee: You will recommend him to all of your fellow mom friends.
Father's Day means a trip to the Brooklyn Shrine of St. Barbaralletta: Patron St. of Brooklyn Dads. Typical offerings include sheep's balls pounded flat and set ablaze at the fabled statuette's feet.
I won't do anything as cliche as tear this bogus holiday a NEW ONE... Because it's such an easy target, isn't it? This day, vulgarized by the evil empire (Hallmark), on which we pat ourselves on the back for doing what simple decency expects of us. It's so American. Look at me! Look at me! Buy me a new tie!
Still, I must say, when the Life Force Sucker came home from preschool and presented me with a card and a multitude of sweet-mouth kisses, my heart did melt. What sweetness--mouth kisses from my Mini-Me. Mwamwamwamwa!
So, you are wondering, what did Mrs. Unit Parental do or get for me? Did I get mimosas in bed? Was I awarded that elusive bit of conjugal affection all fathers call "The Golden Ticket?" No, I got something better...
Yesterday morning, upon awaking, I was greeted, as usual, by the Life Force Sucker's patented armpit tickles. And then Mrs. Unit gave me my present, wrapped and boxed.
I rubbed my hands together? What could it be! 24 karat golf tees (I don't play!), the new iphone (there's a recession on!)... Oh what! Oh what!
I tore apart the Diego gift wrapper (all we had, apparently) and pried open the lid of the box.
Inside I found a black t-shirt. Okay, I said to myself. A t-shirt. (Boxers would have been better, I started thinking; my collection of Old Navy knickers is in various states of disintegration.) I held up the t-shirt, expecting some cheeky and hipsterish Brooklyn design: like a cherry tree growing out of the burnt out carcass of a 1976 Chevy Nova on blocks... But instead, I saw on this t-shirt the words "self" and "absorbed" printed on the front in blocky white lettering, separated by the cruelest of hyphens...
Good God, dear readers! What a Father's Day morning I had. First, molested in my sensitive armpits by my little sadist. And then shown a most unflattering reflection of myself in what was, unfortunately, NOT a funhouse mirror, not a FAT mirror, but rather, I was shown a reflection of myself in the mirror called love. Because what is love, my dear readers, if not honesty.
Was she right? Was I "SELF-ABSORBED?" I am sorry to say I, the Unit, have been! Guilty! Meaculpa! I am a blogger after all, and therefore, by definition an exhibitionist who wants you to watch as he/she picks at his/her profound navel!
I'll spare you the details of my self-absorption, save to say that it was getting to big-yellow-contractor-sponge proportions.
THE GIST: So, to my dear Mrs. Unit Parental, my Life Force GIVER, the better half in this lopsided three-legged race we're in, I.E., our typical American marriage, I thank you for this gift of bone-crushing honesty. And to the Life Force Sucker, I appreciate the handmade card, even if your teacher wrote all the accurately spelled words inside it--I know you feel love for me in your small, fast-beating heart. And, oh, I appreciate the little mouth kisses! And even the bruising 5:30AM armpit tickles! Extra high-fructose corn syrup for you this week, in whatever highly concentrated and processed form you like!
So, to all, a belated Happy Father's Day! And if you are not one of my international readers, if you are not one of my San Francisco followers, if you are, say, one of my fellow Ditmas Park residents, then you might see me along Cortelyou Road this week in my brand new DUNCE SHIRT...
House porn: She likes her gutters cleaned regularly.
Holler and represent. That's right, we live in Ditmas Park. Take the Q-Train, motherfucker, or the B. Step off, and drop your jaw at the giant houses. Worship at the stately Victorians. Bring your camera, and you can snap off some house porn...
Then, come down to the wine shop and talk to my man the WINERATOR, who'll point you to a fine vintage, the drinking of which will be like "sucking on stray cherry pits as a diminutive nun beats you about the spine with a long chalkboard ruler from high school." Ouch! Sign me up for a case of that fine moonshine!
Yup, that's how the WINERATOR is. Descriptive...
Or traipse on over next door and see the friendly moms at the realtor's office, for some hot real estate action. Now, there's nothing like looking at some smokin' hot real estate with friendly local moms, is there?
Or go next door to the Mimi's and get some gourmet humus with whole wheat pitas! Cuz that's how Mimi's rolls! (Don't ask her for falafel. You've been warned.)
Or go down to The Farm for a world-class meal, or Picket Fence for some of the Life Force Sucker's fave smoked goudamac and cheese. (What a Brooklyn babe, no! He likes his mac and cheese with gourmet fromage! )
Or go visit our Anarchist Cafe for some beer and popping jazz after hours. What, you heard the place was closed? You're dead wrong. It's very open again, and there's a new sheriff in town; her name is Debbie. And word is, aside from managing the Anarchist Cafe, she also manages the Freakin' Mermaid Parade down in Coney Island. Now how capital C cool is that?
Park Slope don't got that. Uh-uh. All the women folk over there are doing what? Doing what? That's right, they're running Credit Suisse, New York Division. They're pulling in the bucks, they're the ladies of FINANCE. But they don't run the Freakin' Mermaid Parade, no they do not.
MY OWN HOUSING REPORT: Now, I am sad to report I do not live in one of the big houses. Instead, I live in one of the battleship-like brick coops that, if I lived in one of those houses, I would call a blight on the landscape. But here we are. What are you going to do? It is what it is. At least we got our sun-blasted patio on which the Life Force Sucker can peer down to the street and at his own mortality. (Standing out there with him makes me nauseous.)
But seriously, let's discuss today's topic. To be a cool Brooklyn Dad like yours truly, you got to live in a cool 'hood. Here are formerly cool 'hoods that, according to the nyc.gov website, have lost their designation as cool:
Here are the three cool 'hoods remaining in all of Brooklyn:
Prospect Heights is just cool. Vanderbilt has like mad bike lanes and Soda Bar and Zaytoons and that French restaurant without the real kitchen and no ventilation. Cool.
Gowanus: Anyone willing to live next to the biohazardousGowanus qualifies as brave enough to be cool.
And little old Ditmas Park...
Now, I'll be honest. I wasn't sold on this neighborhood when we moved here X years ago, during the Great Artistic Migration of the Early 2000's, when hardworking folks who, unfortunately were not working in finance or as lawyers, strapped their painting easels and guitars to their backs and fled Park Slope, like refugees getting bombed out of their homes. (But we ourselves aren't innocents swaddled in cottony whites are we? We displaced some local residents as well. Just bowing my head to history, for a second here. To the TRUTH...)
What I miss most about Park Slope is the culinary convenience. I mean, to this day, I find myself craving Red Hot Szechuan like crazy--cheap, filling, fast delivery. In 6 years in the slope, Mrs. Unit and I spent $6,000 at Red Hot, give or take. (Yes, I did the math.) Kung Po chicken. Spring roll. Maybe even a steamed pork bun fresh out the oven... And wonton soup. Hmmmm...
But Goddamn, this place has grown on me. Ditmas Park. Love it. Just glad I didn't pay half a million for 500 square feet. Even if that 500 square feet is next door to Red Hot Szechuan...
Ahhh, the 11218... Represent!
FATHER'S DAY IS ALMOST HERE. PLEASE EMAIL ME TO ARRANGE DELIVERY OF ANY PRESENTS FOR THE UNIT PARENTAL.
The thesis of that post was that San Francisco is full of overgrown, self-coddling perpetual children. Naturally, as is my style, I supported this thesis with rigorous logic and mountains of evidence. Not only was this post my most Supreme Court Majority Ruling-like to date, but, looking ahead now, at that inevitable point in cosmic time, when the universe has cooled and slowed and I have said all there is to say, I believe this yester-post will make the fat volume known as, The Best of the Unit Parental.
Yes, Unit, yes, that was a genius post. But why do we have to go back there, to this post you wrote, like, A Couple of Months Ago, B.C.? Can't you tell us about TODAY?
My dear readers, may I remind you that when you come to my blog, you are stepping into, in essence, the French bistro where I work. Hence, I am your host and can do what I like. I am, therefore, like a cantankerous French waiter who, not dependent on your paltry tips, will bring you water avec gaz when you order a Coke. In short, je suis le roi, motherfuckers.
Furthermore, I am going backwards in time for your benefit. To remind you that before THE INTERNET, there was generally speaking a connection between the past and the present. This connection was called HISTORY. This connection was palpable (that means, it could be felt), undeniable, and profound.
And so, let us turn the atomic clock counterclockwise! Let us hit warp speed and slingshot this glorified tin can around the massive gravitational pull of the sun! In short, let's dial this shit the fuck back!
"I'm sorry," says le roi de SF.
So, onto this post on San Francisco.... To expound further, my thesis was that San Franciscans are overgrown children who fritter away their lives doing arduous arts and crafts for their endless cycle of theme parties.
In this post, I also castigated my college-era friend AppolloniaReflexia, who moved to the Never Never Land of San Francisco like ten years ago and has spent the entirety of that time slurping at the Bay Area's Kool-Aid of Nothingness.
Well, lo and behold, Appollonia has since got wind of this post about her, in which I reprint word for word a heated Facebook exchange between us. And so, months later (e.g., The Other Day, B.C.), she, Appollonia Reflexia, commented thusly:
Dear NYC Mom and Mr Unit.Please stop your jealous whining. I have no sympathy for parents- you both chose a difficult path, becuase it's what you wanted. My path will bring me different challenges. I think I do understand how difficult and frustrating parenting may be,which is why I choose not to do it. You are completley nuts if you think I am interested in babysitting for your over-induldgedchildred in your antiseptic households. I have too much going on, and not a moment of free time.Unit, your blog is pretty effing funny, and you are a fabulous writer, but please stop prostelytizing - I am not likely to convert,With Love,Appollonia
UNIT RESPONDS: (Thank you, Appollonia, for saying I am a fabulous writer. Now, I'm not one to bring attention to compliments paid to me or my highly-regarded prose style (specifically, when you said my writing was "fabulous" and my blog "effing funny"); only the immodest or insecure would go there. But I thought it would be uncouth not to thank you.)
Onto the meat: Yes, you are correct, Appollonia. You are right. Mrs. Unit Parental and I did choose our lot. We chose to have a child. But just because we chose to do it does not mean we have no right to complain about it. I mean, what is more American than complaining!
Ooooooh, I took all the equity out of my house!
Ooooooh, I went salmon fishing in Norway and paid for it with my Visa Card.
Ooooooh, [FILL IN THE BLANK]
In essence, by writing my blog, I am being patriotic.
But let me also be clear: We would not undo this thing we have done, which is to embark upon the diaper-strew seas of parenthood. We love the fucking Life Force Sucker to death! Was not that evident when you saw us recently? He, the Life Force Sucker, is the "over-indulged" king around here. Il est le roi! (It's just that Mrs. Unit Parental and I were hoping that at least ONE set of our friends would have some fucking goddamn kids already.)
Now for the kicker: I no longer believe that everyone should or must have children. Do you hear me? I'll say it again--I've become wiser than to insist that all my friends breed. And so, like a great character in a great novel, I, the Unit Parental, have evolved. I have experienced change in my human soul. Cross out the following from my mission statement:
Shame self-coddling friends into having kids.
This change of heart arose for the following reason: when I am on Facebook, looking out at the wise-ass profile images of my stunted, self-indulgent friends, I become very afraid. I begin to forecast a vast killing field strewn with the carcasses of ruined marriages. I do not believe the fragile bonds there can stand this ultimate test of selflessness. (Reverse psychology! Can you resist it?)
What I'm saying is, if you want to spend the rest of your life engaging in your San Francisco activities, then do it. You have my blessing. It is in the end your precious time on this earth. But please allow me to play the devil's advocate. Do these San Francisco activities really constitute a full life, Appollonia? Is this it?:
SAN FRANCISCO ACTIVITIES:
Tramping into the redwoods with your man the reluctant Sperm Donor, tent and cook stove lashed to your backs, to barter for hobbit tea from that ancient and magical forest's impoverished halfling denizens.
Watching your man the reluctant Sperm Donor celebrate his 41st birthday by spending the entire day in red tighty-whiteys, his ingenious and toddler-like rebellion against his "legal" age. Because in San Francisco, you are only as old as you refuse to act!
Donning a floppy hat, an unnecessary monocle, and dangling an unlit pipe from your lips, all to go to a friend's backyard brunch! (Good God, it's three props too many!)
Paying some artiste $350 dollars to tatt' your own genitalia on your forehead, because you are so bloody anti-corporate and different!
Having your burly friend, the one with three Ph.D.'s and who is also a blacksmith, hand hammer you a replica of Princess Leia's S&M regalia from Empires Strikes Back. Because, goddamnit, this Halloween you will... not... be... outdone...
And throwing those damned San Francisco themed parties.
Why have children when you have each other. Not Appollonia. But actual Oakland wanker friends of the Unit Parental. (Photo digitally altered)
Appollonia, do you not see what an empty life you are leading? I say, abandon San Francisco. Or rather, abandon its war-torn suburb, Oakland, where you live. Go forth from there! Free yourself! And leave behind the unnecessary monocle, leave behind the virgin pipe, the stingy-brim fedora, and the rest of that crap in your CLOSET OF MEANINGLESS PROPS. Be YOU!
Now, of course, I realize that the city in which I live, New York City, is not without its faults. If San Francisco is infested with self-coddlers looking for ever newfangled ways to prove their individuality... Then New York City is full of self-centered careerist TOOLS... ...like you, dear reader, and me.
But in terms of lifestyle, I prefer it here, on the East Coast. I guess I will take drudgery over soul-crushing frivolity.
Now, I'm not saying that, if I moved to San Francisco, you would not, in five very short minutes, find me at some barbecue to which everyone brings their own stuffed quail and favorite Chardonnay, and I would of course be dressed like some cast member from Hair. I would also be unbathed and pretty much blotto by 10:30am and practicing free love with whatever inanimate object is interested or nearby... all the while the Life Force Sucker would be playing in the compost bin just to my right... My God, Appollonia, it sounds tempting! ...
But there, Appollonia, I've said it. Have children, or not. But please, please, as a wise man once said, consider this: the unexamined life is not worth living...
Ponder that the next time you sit at your window, in your quiet house, sipping at a steaming cup of hobbit tea...
Can we stay with you when we visit next year? Drop me an email...
Wikipedia is not all that. I mean, sure, you can look up such pop cultural tidbits as "Snake Plissken" and such literary beacons as "Milan Kundera." But I dare you, dear reader, to look up "micro-affair of the heart."
Well? Is it there? Is it... ?
No, it fucking is not.
This goes to show how so far out on the bleeding edge I am. It's lonely work out here, classifying cultural flora and fauna that social scientists haven't even imagined yet... Oh, my dear readers, if I may wax Homeric, I am like some long-line fisherman out in the cold reaches of the Atlantic, hauling in the night's prized catch by moonlight--swordfish, say!--and throwing back such bug-eyed and whiskered freaks that ichthyologists haven't even dreamt about!
Oh, Unit, quit dazzling me with your linguistic pyrotechnics!Just tell me what a "micro-affair of the heart" is?
My answer... Ask your wife. I'm sorry to say that she, like all women, is master of this act of infidelity. What, she won't admit it? Surprise surprise...
So, in the end, it's up to me, the Unit Parental, oracle and truthsayer, to enlighten your clueless, Original Pengiun-wearing ass:
The micro-affair of the heart is, to put it bluntly, the only affair you will allow yourself to have, if you value your wife and Life Force Sucker. It goes like this...
You are in your respective Brooklyn neighborhood, Prospect Heights, say, pushing the Maclaren along Vanderbilt, passing Bicycle Station and then Zaytoons.
Heading towards you on the cigarette butt-littered sidewalk, you see a mom you know from the tot lot. She approaches you, in her sleeveless black cotton dress, a gold rope-style belt at her waist, the cherry red John Madden flats on her little white feet. Her name is Bethany or Hope or something like that.
Now, you and this blond Bethany or Hope have always been friendly. You two chat while your Life Force Suckers run around the tot lot. You exchange Life Force Sucker snacks and, on occasion, a cool moist wipey travels from her sweaty hand to yours. Or visa versa.
So now, as you approach her, you tip your head back in friendly greeting--you can't wave, because both manly hands are occupied with the dudely task of steering the Maclaren. (And let's just make this clear; you'd never be caught dead with a Bugaboo, because those are so Manhattanite and gauche!)
And then, when you are close to her, face to face, your Life Force Suckers looking disinterestedly at each other from their chariots, THE SHIT GOES DOWN...
She gives you a look that unmans you. It lasts less than a second--a stare that's bashful and naughty, fey and aggressive at once... Yes, you weren't mistaken. There was something there... It was fleeting, and it is most definitely GONE...
BUT in that dust spec of time, in that flutter of her butterfly-wing's lashes, entire worlds have collided. In that thin sliver of time, you two have done no less than boarded some time-warping future cousin of the Concord and... ...absconded to Paris, sans respective spouses, sans respective Life Force Suckers, and in some small walk-up studio apartment in the 9th arrondissement, you two committed all sorts of coital piggishness, right there, under the shadow of that windmill thing on Pigalle.
To be specific, in that aberration in the space-time continuum, you two did the following:
Dined by moonlight on a riverboat on the Seine, the river breeze pulling at Bethany or Hope's blond tresses
And, later, back in that little 9th arrondissement apartment, Bethany or Hope grabbed massive dollops of mold-ridden unpastuerized white cheese and spread that creamy stuff all over your under-exercized urbanite chest
In the morning, you two split an eclair over espresso
Tourisme Francaise says: Consider Paris for your next virtual tryst
Shut up, Unit. How can all that happen, right on Vanderbilt, by the Zaytoons restaurant-front?
Yes, fellow unit parentals, it happens countless times a day. In front of Zaytoons. Or in the Unit's own neighborhood, Ditmas Park, in front of the Anarchist Cafe, in front of the Dollar Store cum veggie stand... It's like Secret Wars 1-12 (think back, Brooklyn hipster, to your nerd-cool comic book swilling days)... And what seemed like a 12-month battle between good and evil happened in the blink of the Beyonder's eye...
And here's the exact physics of it: It happens because women have something called imagination and using this power to see things that aren't there, they can get all the passionate succor that is missing in their Life Force Sucker-enslaved lives, just by dreaming it up. Add to this the fact that women have wisdom, that they can see things and people as they really are, and well, there you have it. She knows that imagining an affair with you is going to be approximately 1 mega-trillion times better than the alternative (I.E., getting embroiled in your manchild shit).
This being the case, this Bethany or Hope or whatever her name is is sated by your micro-one-night-stand of a Parisian micro-affair. And out there on the sidewalk, within breathing distance of her kid, she's already lit up an imaginary Pall Mall or American Spirit or Lucky Strike or B&H or whatever cool alterna-smoke she used to indulge in. Scandalous!
As for my own Mrs. Unit Parental, I know she has her own micro-affairs with a certain someone I'll call Studmuffins. And I'm okay with that! Really! I'm even a little flattered. Because Studmuffins is very much a spitting image of myself, save that he has all his hair, is slightly taller, and has a full-time job.
But what can I do about Mrs. Unit Parental's virtual strayings? I believe the First Amendment extends to a woman's filthy imaginings, does it not? I mean, if the First Amendment can't protect that, then throw the whole Constitution out the window, a la Bush W.
And that's all I'll say about micro-affairs of the heart. I've said it all.
But just let me point out again, Wikipedia ain't got nothing on me. They ain't even registering in my rearview at this point.!
I KNOW WHO YOU ARE STUDMUFFINS. I GOT MY EYE ON YOU, MOTHERFUCKER. KEEP IT IN YOUR HEAD. OR ELSE, AS WE USED TO SAY AROUND HERE IN DITMAS PARK (before we gentrified the shit out of the place), I'M A HOUSE YA SORRY ASS!
Holy shit, right? Motherfucker! Three letters for you... L ... S ... D ...
The Father-in-Law, whom we shall call The Matrix! from here on in, made this in Photoshop and posted it on his fucking Facebook. That's him, and my mother-in-law, like three Jurassic Periods ago, when they got married. And he put this space-age organic white arboretum around them and set them on another planet, the planet, FunnyPixel, and he's like, YUP, A DAY'S WORK IS DONE. (I'm waiting for a version with Montana Wildhack in it!)
Look out ghost of Rauchenberg... There's another mad genius down in Florida making some kick-ass art. I mean, you bring that shit up to New York, and I swear, he'd be making serious dough and banging some serious art groupies (YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE..., YES, YOU...)
I mean, look at that thing!!!
And The Matrix! is doing all this sans LSD. For reals. This is just how his motherboard is wired. This is natural. I mean, sure, I think he's taking the Lipitor and whatever else old folks take to keep themselves practically immortal these days.
But I mean, is that not the coolest motherfucking thing you have seen in a while.
There's no day I dread more than the day, sometime in his 15th year, when the Life Force Sucker comes home from some kibbutz in Israel and tells me he has found GOD. And then says, "by the way," just as he introduces me to his new Jewhoney, Tova. ( I picture her with a pretty face, suntanned shoulders, and big feet. I don't know why!)
That's right. I dread the day that my son becomes a SETTLER, one of those damn, intolerable Brooklyn Jews who goes to Israel and finds GOD and throws their Uzi-armed body on the tracks of the PEACE PROCESS, derailing the PEACE TRAIN...
...But back to this Tova girlfriend of his. She will look and smell like a flower child, braids in her hair, leather sandals on her aforementioned biggish feet, she will wear some kind of woven hippie purse. Eau de Patchouli will waft from her unshaven armpits. But her peacenik look will confuse me, because she will actually HATE PEACE. She will do things like call Palestinians "animals." She will be loudly thankful for the support the US gives Israel, which allows the Jewish State to amass one hell of a motherfucking Defense Force.
How embarrassing, no! To have Jews behave like this! Why can't all Jews just be funny like Woody Allen! Or be sex maniacs like Philip Roth! Why do some have to be such rabid Zionists? Oy vey!
Now, here's the God's honest truth, I would rather the Life Force Sucker come out to me as a post-op transexual than have him come home sporting paes. This is the truth! Good God! Have mercy!
So why do new fathers need "religion?" Here's why... You need a little bit of religion to innoculate your respective Life Force Suckers early on in their little life force sucking lives. Otherwise, you risk them going off and "finding" religion themselves... But if you forcefeed them some GOD early on, then they'll see how shamtastic religion is, and they'll develop the antibodies to defeat any and all would-be messiahs or prostylatizers.
So remember that new fathers. Just a dose of God... a weakened strain.
Now, I, the Unit Parental, am a fan of the director Darren Aronofsky. On the plus side, he is making films like no one else on planet earth... His films are always interesting and thought-provoking. However, I'm not a blindly loyal fan. I can see his film making blemishes. For example, on the less-than-plus side, he tends to clobber you, his audience, over the head with his THEMES. It is like, either he thinks we are idiots, or he is so insecure about 100% of his audience getting it, and thus, he errs on the side of a good ol' 2X4, like the legendary Hacksaw Jim Duggan.
Let's look at one example from his oeuvre:
REQUIEM FOR A DREAM Okay, what a weighty title. Whoa. Something not so good is going to happen here. And lo and behold, Darren gives us a holy trinity of addicts: Jared "Indie film hunk" Leto, Jennifer "Look into My Eyes" Connelly, and Ellen Burstyn. Leto and Connelly are the most attractive and hip heroin addicts you will ever meet. Ellen, meanwhile, is addicted to prescription drugs... to uppers. Darren draws the parallels so clearly, that he succeeds, as always, to clobber us over the head with his moral: AREN'T WE ALL JUST A NATION OF ADDICTS...
I mean, yes, we are. Yes, Darren, you are right. I mean, dear reader, be honest with yourself: Just count the number of family members you have who are on some kind of CURE FOR SADNESS... It's alarming, is it not? The numbers are enough to make you wonder what's wrong with the family members who are still, in this state of the economy, of the nation, still experiencing life aunaturel. (I, the Unit Parental, wish I could take some kind of drug to quiet the voices... but I'm afraid it would get in the way of my clear-seeing blogging. Drugs would dilute my message...)
...But even though Darren has a point, having a point is no excuse for inelegant film making, is it? No, it fucking is not. That's all I'm saying.
He's just a broken down piece of meat, and he doesn't want her to hate him.
And now, let's look at his latest film, THE WRESTLER.
Here, too, Darren wields his cat-o-nine tails with something less than subtlety, imprinting on your flesh, and on the flesh of Mickey "Career Comeback from the Dead" Rourke, what the moral of the story is: That we as a society have a voyeuristic and exploitative relationship to sex and violence. That we are sadistic and cruel and that we, perhaps like all societies (maybe it's just human nature, from the Ancient Romans and before...), are little better than screaming, braying animals who love to take part in ritualistic killings. Randy the Ram is a modern day gladiator if you will.
Taking this critical approach, we can argue that our sacrificial lambs here are: Marisa "I'm now into being naked" Tomei, the stripper with a genuine heart, at least; and Mickey Rourke. The latter is our Christ figure, of course... How do we know this? Well, we know it because Director Aronofksy TELLS us so. At one point in the movie, in the strip club, Randy the Ram links himself with Jesus, in dialogue, for Chrissake! I mean, talk about clumsy storytelling. I mean, could Director Aronofsky have spoon fed us his Jesus and Mary Magdelene analogy any more obviously? I'm gagging here... The tale of the tape: We, as a corrupt, foaming-at-the-mouth society, love to see Randy the Ram take punishment, be it from staple guns or 2X4's... (I have it from a source who worked on the film, btw, that Rourke did his own stunts, including having staples REALLY stapled into his bod'... The thespian...)
I could go on critiquing Director Aronofsky, whose films I actually like (to clarify). But I won't.
I will, however, give Rourke props. He was the bleeding, steroid-stressed heart of this movie. This movie would have been a lesser thing, I'm sure, without him. I felt for him. I was rooting for him. I wanted him to come back all the way from the dead... He made me care about Randy the Ram like the washed-up fuck up was some good friend from high school who had fallen on tough times.
But to my point! What does all this Film Criticism 101 pretentiousness have to do with Life Force Suckers and new Brooklyn Dads?
The point: Get yourself this movie on DVD, and watch it at least once a week. Or at least watch the scenes between Evan Rachel Wood and Mickey Rourke, that whole father/daughter drama. Because that is the kind of relationship you will have with your kid if you FUCK IT ALL UP. If you let your Life Force Sucker/s down now and damage their little souls, your children will cut you off, even if you have money.
Do you want to be forever trying to bridge the gap that you, errant father, created when you did whatever fuck-up thing you did early on in his or her childhood? Do you want to be going to some thrift store hoping to buy some present that will salve the hurt, because you kept going to bars and hooking up with New Jersey floozies and missing your Life Force Sucker's birthdays! Like Randy the Ram...
So there you have it folks--keep a copy of this movie, this not-so-subtle cautionary tale of men in tights, close by. Swear by it, and most importantly, live by it! Do not be Randy the Ram!
So, having a Life Force Sucker has been hell on your marriage, hell on your self-esteem, hell on the carefree, self-centered Brooklyn life you had built for yourself. Ditto goes for your Mrs. Unit Parental. But alas, at some point shortly after the Life Force Sucker's second birthday, the CALL OF THE WILD will ring out loudly in your Mrs. Unit Parental's soul.
And thus, therefore, ergo, she will, after spending two years fawning over the little one, and neglecting you... she will suddenly give you come-hither eyes again.
Yes, she will want another Life Force Sucker. She will want a sequel. And oddly, so might you, my fellow Brooklyn daddy (how do you think we became TOP ROACH on planet earth?...). Hence, I suggest a preemptive strike against this all-too-human desire to have more kids ... Hence, I suggest a secret vasectomy. No one has to know except your physician. Sure, after a few anguished months pass, you will be forced to take that little test entailing a private room and the specimen cup. But the results really will only go to you. You can tell Mrs. Unit Parental all is A-Okay.
This may sound deceptive and dastardly. But really, what choice do you have!!!??? Otherwise, suffer the fate of one of my neighborhood friends, Ahab (name changed). Ahab is your typical Brooklynite; he came from elsewhere; he has gentrified our fine neighborhood with his post-grad'umacated presence. You can find him on any given Sunday, going to our local Anarchist cafe, with his two kids. He has the older one in a stroller, and the younger one strapped to him like a bandoleer. Look at his stooped and defeated gait. Look at the sheer and utter hopelessness that pervades his countenance. He is, in common parlance, a total freakin' GONNER.
For months he has been volunteering to write me a guest blog post that "will destroy the myths about having more than one kid." For example, he has told me that the biggest myth about having multiple offspring is the belief that "the kids will watch each other." But really, he says, a three year old can barely be trusted to watch his or her own bladder! How is he/she going to take care of a younger sibling. He also brings up the very good point that, once you have more than one kid, you are basically switching defenses--from zone to man-to-man. And with two kids, you can no longer "take shifts." One parent cannot cover for the other if, for example, one falls ill, or sustains some kind of injury. You have to, in other words, play hurt...
I was so looking forward to Ahab's guest blog. But get this: the poor soul doesn't have time to write it. Because if one child is a vortex of TIME, two is a super mega colossal black hole of time and energy.
Yes, young father, you need a ringwraith army of your own, a la Lord of the Rings fame.
Why oh why could you possibly need a Nazgul Army of your own? Simply put, these soul-sucking dreadnoughts of evil are the only beings powerful enough to actually deal with all the Gandalf's in your life.
You know them, these Gandalf's. At certain points in your life, you have been surrounded by them...
Perhaps you first encountered one on some beach in Bali, when you were over there after college "discovering yourself." And one muggy afternoon on the beach, as you were putting the moves on some tattooed marijuana-besotted beauty from Italy, there he appeared, silhouetted blindingly by the Southeast Asian sun. There he was, cutting in on your Eurotrash action.
F'ing Gandalf. With his flowing technicolor robes, the white ponytail, the white goat-tee, the frickin' silver toe ring he got in Deli. This dude was, inevitably, from some rosy part of the West Coast. He was, also, full of shit and, predictably, full of himself. Perhaps he made his money on some lucky investment; perhaps he got in early on Microsoft stock; more likely, he inherited it. And well, there he was now, ruining your party.
Emaciated, a dope-addict, a yoga fanatic, with a grizzled white mane, he has spent his empty childless life watching sunsets and doing fuck-all. And now, he was going to regal you with his life story. For the next nine hours on that beach, he would also tell you how the world would be running much better if only he, Gandalf, were made benevolent emperor of ALL. But alas, here he is on the beach, toes in the sand, renting some shack for $.50 a day because material things aren't important to him anyway.
Go to any Third World beach where the hashish is cheap, from Goa to Ko Pha Ng, and you'll find these self-righteous shit-for-brains Gandalfs. These big-talkers of NOTHINGNESS. These experts on following every whim of their infantile souls.
You might, dear reader, not even have to travel far and wide to run into a Gandalf. You might even be related to one. Perhaps your uncle is a ne'erdowell never-married-nobody perpetual adolescence kind of guy. And now, because his life has revealed itself to be an empty and shallow pool, he talks your ear off whenever he sees you... He complains about all his free time, about how he's got no one to spend his millions on, about how he's sick and tired of taking vacation after sunny vacation with his on-again off-again physical trainer girlfriend.
Why is life so empty?
And you sit there during Thanksgiving dinner, biting your tongue and not saying, Your life is empty because you CHOSE to make it empty, because an empty life is an uncomplicated life for the three most important people in your life: YOU, YOU, and YOU! ...
So you see, young father, you need a ringwraith army, to chase away these knuckleheaded Gandalf's, these aging preening queen-men of perpetual childhoodocity!
Wow, savage! I live in Perth, Australia and a friend living in New York forwarded me your blog, and I read it all in one sitting. It was riveting reading – the same sick fascination as watching a car crash! I do have a question. Has your wife read it and is she still speaking to you? And have you thought about the fact that it will live on in cyberspace and that your son (the Life Force Sucker) will almost certainly read it some day? When’s the next installment?
It is very spot on with observations which most people would have trouble admitting to themselves let alone the world. Most people cope by rationalization. They delude themselves that having a child is great and they’re not missing out on anything and ignore any evidence to the contrary, happy in their self-delusion. It’s a great human adaptation for coping with bad situations that you can’t change. I lived in Canada for two years, for example, and I remember some Canadians who wear shorts in subzero weather. They’re actually catching hypothermia but their brain refuses to admit it. There’s also this other great evolutionary adaptation which causes your brain to preferentially remember the good things about child-rearing and discard the bad memories as you get further away from them – otherwise no one would ever have a second child.
I hope you don’t mind a little advice, but I think you have to move to the suburbs. It’s a lot easier to maintain the self-delusion when you’re surrounded by a whole bunch of similarly deluded people, than when you’re hanging out with a bunch of self-indulgent wankers in Brooklyn!
Thanks for the compliments. I am, if nothing, an honest man. Some folks say this makes me a true NEGATRON. But I think I am just calling it like it is.
Now, to answer your questions... Yes, my wife has read my blog. Thankfully, Mrs. Unit knows I am infinitely capable of being a huge ASS. She knows I am what astronomers call a Class-A supernova SHIT-TALKER. She loves me despite all this.
Regarding the Life Force Sucker one day reading my blog... Because I do love him, I might, when he gets about five and can really read, delete this whole thing. This is because children have no sense of irony. They are very literal little beings. For example, if you are wearing Carthartt and work boots and a flannel shirt, you had, in the Life Force Sucker's worldview, better be working for Bob the Fucking Builder and not just styling yourself blue-collar despite the fact you have a graduate degree. (Having worked construction one summer way back in college does not make you blue-collar. Capiche?)
Regarding your analysis of the situation, of people deluding themselves into believing having children is pleasant, I wholeheartedly agree with you. Why do you think so many people get divorced? Why do you think parents are always taking shifts with their kids, so that each can get some "me time"? Because it ain't easy.
But that's not the same as saying I don't love my kid.
Let me describe to you one of my favorite rituals with the Life Force Sucker. It is Saturday morning, the crack of dawn, or even before that, and the little guy starts screaming from his room that he is awake. Soon, I hear the patter of his little feet and the rattling of the zoo-like gate that cages him in. I get up, grab him, give him milk and let him drink this milk in our bed. Then, he and I go to the living room and play with his cars or trains or whatever. After he eats some of the oatmeal I have microwaved for him, we then lie on the sofa. I am, as he puts it, the daddy bird, and he is the baby bird, and I make a nest, a hollow, with my arm. He settles into this nook, snuggles there, and proceeds to suckle my life force from the permawounds--the daddy STIGMATA--in my side. And we watch TV. Sesame Street or Thomas the Train or that little trollop Dora.
Now, is that not love?
Regarding moving out of Brooklyn, I don't know. I don't think I could do it. As much as I go on about the wankers I am surrounded by, I also love this place. I think it is "real." I dig it. Or maybe I am just a pathetic creature of habit and there is a recession on and it's probably not the right time, if you are still employed, to uproot yourself and move off to some Never Never Land like San Francisco.
But maybe you're right. Why am I raising my kid in a Third World City? Why? Why? Why? I mean, sure, ever since we got the Fairway in Redhook, it's become more bearable, less insufferable and hard. There's something about being able to get good French salad dressing at a decent price that makes life easier. But still, sometimes, when Brooklyn or Manhattan is doing nothing but getting on my nerves, I can't help but think: L'Enfer, c'est les autres wankers...
So, the 'rents screwed you up royally, huh? They unleashed such a wicked suburban upbringing on you, you had to run all the way to Brooklyn and remake yourself into the hippest, baddest, urbanest Dad on the planet. They messed you up GOOOOOD. As you and your shrink have concluded, THEY are the reason you're like Chip in The Corrections. In fact, you're convinced your upbringing was criminal... You wish you could, like Gary Coleman, sue the crap out of them for parental malpractice. But that would be too gauche. It's better just to immerse yourself in your artsy career, in your alterna-clique, here in the land of the Gowanus.
... Or are you just imagining it? Do you just have a persecution complex? Are you running away from nothing?
Either way, here's the thing... You've been thinking about your parents more and more lately. Because you are coming to realize that, well, raising a kid in New York City is hella expensive. I mean, sure, you make good money, even great money... And before you had your Life Force Sucker, you, like me, the Unit, had mad disposable income. You tried on hobbies like they were T-shirts at Old Navy: You tried snowboarding, guitar playing (did you need that Les Paul?), art collecting; you even adopted a Vespa that refused to run no matter how much money you poured into it.
But now you are spending your wad on diapers, on DAYCARE. And unlike in First World countries like France, where daycare is subsidized, you're spending after-tax dollars for your nanny or your daycare center. (...I know childless folks have no idea what I'm talking about here; after tax wha wha wha?...)
Look at the facts. Here's your monthly budget:
Daycare = $2200-plus a month, depending on how many DATE NIGHTS you and Mrs. Unit go on, in a vain effort to reignite the dying embers
Milk (organic, Fairway) = $30
Mood stabilizers = $20 copay
Gore-Tex Italian shoes from Peek-A-Boo, for the Life Force Sucker's fast-growing hobbit feet: $80
Lulu's haircut = $20
Speyburn (1 bottle/week) = $103.73
Diapers = $555,555,555.00
multiply by a factor of 3.2 for every additional child you ill-advisedly choose to have
You get the picture! Parenthood is SAVAGING your bank account. Parenthood is giving it to your bank account in the wrong hole.
That is why it is good to have your own Parental Units back in your life. So what if they are hopelessly sub-urban. So what if Dad is unhip and wears Dockers and shit? So what if Mom is as toxic as an 80-year-old nun who's just starting to ask herself, What have I done with my life? So what if your parents are the reason that, despite having spent the last ten years of your life on Paxil, you are still hurting all over?
Well, it's time to forgive them, for they knew not what they were doing. Remember, unlike you, they didn't wait until their near-forties to have kids in New York City. They started having kids in their early twenties, as was expected of them. They were but kids themselves--petty, self-centered, irresponsible. How could they have handled it, right?
Ultimately, what I'm saying is, they have a lifetime of savings and retirement funds that they can share with you; they might also live somewhere warm, where you can visit them (beats this staycation thing, right...)...
They were young, and they tried their best.
What I'm saying is, there's nothing like a Life Force Sucker to reunite you with your parents' estate.
Every father needs a way out... A secret tunnel through which he can duck the smothering, tentacular embrace of parenthood... You know it's true. But let me be clear: By "escape hatch," I don't mean some namby-pamby MAN ROOM in the basement--no, I don't mean anything so prosaic and so STRAIGHT OUT OF A SITCOM like that.
...What the hey-hey do you mean, Unit?
Let me explain. A worthwhile escape hatch must be in the massive, life-altering scale of the following:
A one-way plane ticket to Brazil
A secret inheritence
An acceptance letter to the Cordon Bleu, which is tucked away in that suitcase in your JFK lockbox.
Or, if you are really freaking delusional, your ex-girl friend from high school with the MAD SKILLZ... That girl who is, you are 99.88888% sure, willing to drop the life she has built up over the last fifteen years for you, her one and only true love. All you have to do is send her one Facebook private message, and love is reborn...
Nothing less than the above examples will do. No Man Room! No yearly golfing trip with your shitty buddies. None of this I-wanna-be-in-a-Seth-Rogen-movie-because-I-am-pathetic type of crap. Because, for God's sake, you are a Brooklyn hipster parent, and any such moronic crap is beneath you. Got it? Understand? Okay... Now, BRACE THYSELF. Because here comes the hard part: Just because you have this escape hatch, it doesn't mean you should or will use it. Just because you have squirreled away a little money, or just because you friended her the other day... it does not mean you should ABANDON YOUR FAMILY. I mean, really, do you want to make your kid a victim of divorce just like you? No, I didn't think so. You want to do better. You want to raise your child with less irreparable soul-crushing DAMAGE than was done onto you. You believe in progress. You are an optimist.
They love you not
In this case, then, you must think of your escape hatch as a parental pressure release valve. It is enough to know it is there. Take, for example, that ticket to Brazil. When, at the end of a bad day, in which you have performed whatever menial and intellectually degrading task you have to perform in order to put FOOD ON THE TABLE (like a circus animal)... When you arrive home dreaming your small fatherly dreams--of MAULING your half of the Fairway rotisserie chicken, and chasing it down with a Guinness--when you come home with your lowly expectations... And all that greets you is a messy Brooklyn apartment and a spouse (who perhaps works, who perhaps does not, whatever) who is equally as tired as you... When you get home and the baby is eating ice cream and watching TV and you think to yourself, I am raising a fat, indulged TV-addled child, and I'm too tired to do anything about... When you reach that hopeless point in your day, just stick a hand into your breast pocket, where that plane ticket is. Yes, it's right there, next to your heart and within easy reach, like a new lover. Pat it, feel its papery surface, worry its corners. My precious... But for God's sake. Do not use it, man.
So you see, this escape hatch is really a deterrent, like the nuclear stockpiles of the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, and today. Rattle the sabers, but keep your fingers off the button.
If you prospective fathers out there have been paying attention to me, you now realize that fatherhood will change your life like nothing else that has come before... The carefree existence you take for granted today (like the wormy ingrate that you are) will seem like a distant memory...
If I, the Unit Parental, can wax poetic for a second, your former life will seem like the following: A faraway forbidden planet whose orbit and mass, whose very atmospheric makeup, you can only deduce through inference and convoluted calculations!
This being the case, I have put together a list of things you will need to survive physically and mentally. Start saving up for them now... Sanity ain't cheap.
Here it goes.
Number 1:Speyburn Single Malt Whiskey
There are the extremes: The Slutkaya Kranberry Vodka your Manhattan friends are drinking... And then there's the Pabst Blue Ribbon your fellow Brooklynites sip as they lounge about in some dive bar, dressed, of course, in their ironic Carthartts.
Somewhere between these extremes of self reinvention is, well, REALITY. And these days, REALITY comes bottled as Speyburn Single Malt Whiskey.
I, the Unit Parental, can vouch for Speyburn's effectiveness. Ever since the Life Force Sucker was born, I have tried other drinks--gin, wine, beer, even other brands of whiskey. But this is the only brand that is capable of filling the hole in my man-soul.
Plus, Speyburn is reasonably priced. And it will get you crocked faster than a case of PBR. You're a dad; you're on a tight schedule; you don't have time to fool around. Directions: Keep close at hand at all times. Apply liberally.
Number 2:A new boy's toy
Disclaimer: Girl definitely not included.
You deserve a new toy...
I mean, sure, it was your wife and not you who performed BLINDING FEATS OF HEROISM in the delivery room. But as a father, you are still required to make considerable contributions to this whole parenthood thing.
For example, one of your tasks involves, ironically, "life taking." Specifically, I mean the following: Now that you have the UNBEARABLE HEAVINESS OF HAVING TO TAKE CARE OF A HUMAN LIFE on your shoulders, you must wrap your fingers around the neck of your own inner child and throttle the living bejesus out of him. You have to, in other words, grow the fuck up. So before you choke the life out of this vital part of your CORE BEING, buy him one last thrill.
Disclaimer 2: You will have no time to use your new toy.
Number 3:MMA Training
May I suggest mixed martial arts.
I myself am not an ULTIMATE FIGHTER, but I enjoy watching it on TV. Mrs. Unit says ultimate fighting is "so totally gay." Looking at the picture above, she may have a point.
But still, just because entering the Octagon seems a little gay doesn't mean you are necessarily gay. It just means that the sleep deprivation of fatherhood is making you doubt you actually exist. This is because there is a cold numbness to your face all the time--a symptom of lack of sleep. And this cold numbness is making you doubt that you are actually alive.
In short, you want to feel THE BLOOD PUMPING. And your life--of crowded subway cars during weekdays, of Fairway runs on the weekend--isn't doing it. So, in order to achieve this "alive feeling," you are willing to go toe-to-toe with some missing-chromosome nut job who spends eight hours a day in the gym practicing how to gut a human being with his index finger.
The gist of it: I can't feel my face. Am I alive? ... POW! Roundhouse kick to the temple...
Yes, I, the Unit Parental, have a protege. He is a dude who lives in my neighborhood. His name is Boris (name changed). Boris is a new dad... Condolences, my man!
I met Boris in the heady two months before his wife gave birth to their very own Life Force Sucker. He was the picture of impending fatherhood--flushed in the cheeks with optimism, talking about painting the room, setting up the crib, and all that crap that keeps you too occupied to realize what is happening to your life.
Once, in those dreamyy days before he became a Unit himself, Boris asked me how being a father was.
And I told him the truth: I believe I used the words, completely fucking emasculating...
He looked at me in an appalled way. Then, I could see him narrow his eyes and take new appraisal of me--like he was some FBI profiler and I was a psychopath or, at least, bipolar.
And I heard the wheels turning in his clueless little head. He was deep into the four most popular delusions expecting fathers have:
Fatherhood is gonna be fucking awesome.
Fatherhood is the pinnacle of all it means to be a MAN.
My little Life Force Sucker will complete me.
And last but not least: I will not repeat my parents' mistakes, and therefore, my kid is gonna grow up DAMAGE FREE...
Well, that was nine months ago, and I saw my protege the other day. We were at an event at our local bar--family day. Beer + Face Paint = The Time of Your Life...
And what a difference a couple of months makes. Boris, you see, had gotten over the honeymoon phase... That magical time when his little Life Force Sucker looks like perfection (i.e., a juicy rib-eye) on a plate.
And what Boris said to me was, "I completely don't matter anymore."
He was, of course, talking about his wife. And how she has now focused all her energy on their own Life Force Sucker... He cannot get a word in; he has lost his claim, legal and otherwise, to both her breasts... And, of course, ironically, his wife's breasts are at their picturesque fullest and finest... Their ripest! (...Boris, my man, I am speaking generally about new mothers' breasts here... Not speaking specifically about the breasts of Mrs. Boris... Okay? ...Give her my best... And to the little one!)
Parenthood = less of the above...
But more of the following:
So, to Boris, I would officially like to say:
I FUCKING TOLD YOU SO!!!!!
But I am not without a heart. I will give Boris some advice.
The advice: Lower your fucking expectations, man.
Or else... End up divorced... End up in treatment...
Don't try to get as much as you were getting before... Don't be a big baby about it.
Just try to get a decent night's sleep. Because there is something about the sleep deprivation and your crushing financial obligations from here on in that will bring out the best and the worst in both you and the Mrs... And you two will really see what kind of person you have married... Because you will be looking at each other through the opposite of beer goggles. That's right, you will be looking at each other with sober goggles...
So, Boris, lower them got-damn expectations right bloody now!
Somewhere out there in CYBERSPACE is a server overstuffed with pictures of Facebookers and their own beloved Life Force Suckers... All the Life Force Sucker pics in that Facebook server is testament to the human need to breed.
Do you hear that, New York City? It's okay to want to reproduce. It is not a sign of weakness...
Facebook is also a great place for me, the Unit Parental, to get my message out to friends who live far away. And as you know, my message is: dear aging friends, please reproduce ASAP! Join me in the bacteria and love-filled jacuzzi of parenthood... You don't know what you're missing.
Here is one example of my proselytizing: A Facebook message exchange I had with a dear friend in San Francisco. This friend of mine, Apollonia (name changed), is frittering her youth away on all things San Francisco, and so, I thought a little wake up call was in order.
You, of course, understand my concern for poor Apollonia. Because, if New York City is full of SELF-CENTERED, CAREERIST TOOLS like you and me, then San Francisco is full of BIG, LAZY SELF-INDULGENT BABIES.
That's correct. Let's examine the evidence.
Your average San Franciscan likes to engage in the following:
Throwing or participating in THEMED parties
Dressing up extravagantly for Halloween
In fact, preparation for San Francisco themed parties can take weeks if not months of arduous arts and crafts. The way some San Franciscans talk about it, you would think they were throwing mardi gras in their living rooms. But whatever. In short, what I'm trying to say is the following: San Franciscans like to engage in "make believe."
And, let's think about this a second now: What other segment of the population is totally way into "make believe?" Well, let me give you a clue: the Life Force Sucker, god bless him, is part of this segment of the population. That's right! ...
Children! The answer is children! Children like to engage in "make believe."
He also likes to dress up and "make believe."
Don't take my word for it. Read what the great novelist Jeffrey Eugenides wrote about SF in the great book Middlesex: "San Francisco is the place where young people go to retire..." That's right. San Francisco is like a Never Never Land Ranch by the bay.
And so, you can understand my concern for my friend Apollonia. I did not want her to fall deeper into the trance of San Francisco's Cult of Nothingness...
Do you want to be one of those old people who never had kids and are forever trying to wear hip clothes and hang onto a youth that has long passed you by because that is all there is? Do you really want to be THAT aunt to all your friends' kids? Do you want the stories you'll be telling ten years from now to be the same stories you're telling now? About how so totally wasted you got that time? About how you went to see this band and it was rad? Think about it! Is that what you want forever?
Plus, children are the BOMB! They love you like crazy and smile at everything you do.
You are just jealous and or discriminating against me because I don't subscribe to your judeo-christian values. Just because I don't have children, doesn't mean I am going to turn into an old hag that's hanging on to her youth, continues partying into her fourties, or otherwise has nothing interesting to talk about.
In fact, I can barely stand hanging out with some of my friends with children, because they cannot have an adult conversation, they have have absolutely not attention span, and most times, hanging out with them is 100% on their terms. " I can't come over until...only if we meet at my house..."
Maybe in ten years, I'll be talking about my world travels, philanthropic endeavors, new inventions, exciting career and wonderfully rich full life.
Meantime, you'll be talking about TV, whining about the babysitter, tuition and eating spaghetti for dinner - again.
Hmmmm, if The Sperm Donor isn't into it, and you've talked to him about it, there's nothing I can probably say to change his mind. I say it's time for action; just stop taking the pill and announce the accident when it happens. Then you'll find out if The Sperm Donor can shed this whole Peter Pan thing he's got going, or whether he'll forever be a self-indulgent manchild (if I can do it, anyone can). Either way, you will know, which is a good thing.
Re: parents you know hanging out "100% on their own terms," it's really one of the gifts children give you--learning selflessness. There's this small helpless human being totally dependent on you. And your old habits have to go, or else the little person suffers. I have friends who are just "thinking about" having children, and it's so clear to me they have no idea what they are talking about. "Thinking about" having children? That's like saying you're "thinking about" having gastric fucking bypass surgery. They just have no clue what a game-changing--no, what an extinction level event--having kids is. Even when we go biking or something, I'm always like, I gotta be back at 2PM so Mrs. Unit Parental don't have to take care of the little tyke all day by herself. And they're like, well, okay, like I've just said something completely unacceptable. But just wait. Then they will find out.
And it's not about Judeo-Christianity or whatever. I'm a SHAMELESS HEATHEN. I just think there are phases you have to go through in adulthood, one of them being a parent. It truly is amazingly fulfilling.
You could of course go the Oprah route and do philanthropy instead of having children. But I think a lot of people who push it off just don't want to grow up; I don't think that's the case with you. And of course, it's all up to you. But I think you would be a great parent, a great mommy.
ApolloniaReflexia October 30 at 3:30pm There is no reason why I cannot be an adult without being:
a. married b.with children
IMHO adults who are not married do not have children face institutionalized discrimination all the time. At work, in their families, amongst their friends and when receiving medical care are a few examples.
It has nothing to do with not wanting to grow up. I am grown up. Children and marriage just may not be in the cards for me...
Oh, Apollonia, San Francisco goddess (well, actually, Oakland, which I hear is like the Jersey City of the Bay Area...), may the gods of fertility visit your home, may the ticking of the biological clock grow loud in your soul, may the need to breed suffuse every cell in your body!
To this end, I will sacrifice a live and genuine New York City subway rat!