Monday, April 18, 2011

Pity Accepted

I have heard people say that they feel sorry for childless or childfree people. I have mixed feelings about that. It sounds condescending and patronizing. It sounds like someone saying he knows what’s good for me more than I do. It sounds like an insult disguised as warmth.

But, okay, I hereby accept the sympathy of the childed. I accept that I am a valid recipient of your pity. My life lacks the purpose or rewards that a life with children brings. Thank you. I welcome your sympathy.

Now, let’s see what we can do with that pity. I would now like to explore how far it goes. I hope in your mercy you will be willing to extend the same income tax breaks to me that parents get. After all, the phantom children that I am supposed to have deserve just as much consideration as other children do. I hope in your appreciation for how empty my life is that you will be willing to let me take the same time off work that you do. I hope you will remember my piercing loneliness and not mention your children in every conversation that you have with me. I pray that you understand how much I envy you, so please limit your complaints about how hard it is to be a parent.

Or, as I saw on a postcard recently:
"I don't envy you because of your baby. I envy your maternity leave."

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