No disrespect meant in any way at all.
Birth and death – why don’t they move me like they do others?
When someone dies – and I’m thinking of someone in the public eye, not your grandpa – people like to talk about it and reflect. Myself, I think, oh that’s too bad that Gary Gygax isn’t going to be a part of the gaming community, but I don’t feel bad in the least. If anything, any sense of loss that I have comes from the fact that the person who has died will no longer be contributing to my quality of life. I felt that way when Edward Gorey died because I knew there’d be no more Edward Gorey books, and I will feel that way when Alan Arkin dies because I really enjoy watching him act. How selfish is that? It may have something to do with the fact that I personally have never experienced the death of anyone close to me. All relatives and friends with whom I had even a halfway decent conversation with are still alive as far as I know. Maybe that’s part of the reason I approach death from a cold, clinical perspective: it’s a natural and necessary part of life – millions of people die every day and if they didn’t Earth would be a living hell.
On to Part 2 of How To Lose Friends and Alienate People – Thank Gawd You’re Raising Kids So I Don’t Have To:
There is a real stigma about not being a fan of babies, despite the fact that a good number of people I know fall squarely within that group. I date women who don’t want children. I have a (childless) friend who had a vasectomy and whenever he and his wife show up to baby showers people are outraged. It puts me (or if I may be presumptuous, us) in a difficult position because as the years go by, more and more friends are having babies, and clearly this is extremely important to them. I want to support them; I want my breeder friends to be full of joy and pep and warm fuzzies; I don’t want to be a downer — but I pride myself on being an honest guy, which often means I come across as an asshole. So while I am happy for their happiness, it’s not important for me to see the baby, or hold the baby, or talk about the baby. I don’t know what the proper questions and answers are. I am a cat owner, and that’s as far as I go. I have never had a baby and I never will have a baby. I feel the same way about cars, except that I have actually owned a few cars in my life. But I don’t know anything about them and they are not important to me. I am part of a group of arrested demi-humans who are not fulfilling their biological and evolutionary function and I am more than okay with that. I guess what I’m saying is: my friends, please do have as many kids as you like – you will be as excellent parents as you are excellent people (you are my friends, after all); but I will never be a parent, and I ask that you have low expectations of me outside of my limited purview. You have friends who will fawn and gush over your baby; I’ll be here when you need a break from that.
Don’t mistake this post for a rant. I’m not lambasting anyone for not being as blase about death and babies as I am. My attitude is not more cool or correct. I’m just trying to do what I always do – express my innermost feelings to a large group of people through a computer.
Hopefully the next blog post will be a treatise on how terrible my tact is.
Addendum: I thought of someone I may actually be sad for when he dies: David Attenborough. We’ll see (if I don’t die first).