When I was in my twenties and thirties I would stroll around the older neighborhoods I tended to live in and admire the houses. I would imagine myself living in some of them, but ultimately I felt a little flat about it. The houses were appealing, but I guess it didn’t seem like all that exciting of a life vision to me, hunkering down with a husband and a couple of kids in a cute house in a nice neighborhood.
I was thinking this week about a few of my favorite authors– Cleo Odzer (Goa Freaks, Patpong Sisters, Virtual Spaces), Lucretia Stewart (Making Love: A Romance, The Weather Prophet), and the male Blake Nelson (Girl: A Novel, Dream School)– and the similarities between them. For one, none of them have/had kids in real life. Two, in their books they present themselves and/or their female characters as women who are independent and somewhat cynical, who are unconventional and like to explore subcultures, who don’t remain wholly identified with any one group in particular, and who don’t believe that going the safe route in life will be fulfilling for them or even all that secure. They are women who just go for it in terms of their relationships with men; they pursue the men they are attracted to with the attitude that if they fail, at least they will do so pursuing their heart’s true desire.
I realized that I have identified myself through those books. I am that woman.
Just a question. Didn’t you say you loved babysitting and being around kids? Or maybe you enjoy that but not other aspects of conventional life? Just a bit confused…I thought you thought all the other stuff, husband, house, home family was very attractive to you.
I do like kids, and that other stuff was attractive to me, but I’m realizing not as exciting or appealing in the abstract as other stuff to me was when I was younger.
Also, I think I would go back and forth in my twenties and thirties between really wanting a family and then being consumed by other stuff and putting the “family” desires on the back burner. The sadness of my past few years is realizing that the family thing is definitely not going to happen. Honestly I think most men approach life the way I did though– consumed by other things much of the time and just assuming the family stuff would happen.