No Kids Coasting

Cleveland-Hopkins: Voted the best airport in the world to be stuck in for 25 consecutive hours.

I think my trip to Florida a while back opened my eyes to a few things.  First, most people who work at airlines are dumb (except pilots and that one gay guy who thought I was hot when we were stranded in Cleveland).  Second, a “two-for-one beer night” – although sounds awesome – is not a good idea in reality.  Third, grown-ups who intentionally don’t have kids are cheating.

Maybe “cheating” isn’t the right word.  Maybe “coasting” is the right word.

I’ve been a BIG advocate for a neutering of the population for a long time.  Here’s what I used to think: “A lot of people shouldn’t have kids and the ones that want kids want them for the wrong reasons; that is, they want little versions of themselves because they’re vain or they want kids because they think they know how to do it right (which also means they’re vain).  Plus, in a time of environmentalism, what is greener than not contributing another person to the system of degradation?”

Those are just justifications.  Excuses.  They’re reasons to argue with people externally because my only real outlook is, “If I have a kid, I can’t do what I want anymore.”  And because we’ve been such good friends for such a long time, this is exactly what my friends told me when I mentioned that The Wife was pregnant.

I listened to their rants about how I wouldn’t be able to leave the house or hang out with them or finish my comic.  The more I listened to them, the more it reminded me of similar arguments I had with people when I told them I was going to college.  People said I’d be spending way too much money and that it wouldn’t be worth it in the long run, my high school friends said I wouldn’t be able to hang out with them anymore, my family said I wouldn’t have time to do anything but study…  And that’s when I came up with this fairly apt comparison:

Going through life while intentionally avoiding children is like going to college and intentionally avoiding work.  It’s like being a philosophy major.  Unless you really like philosophy and can somehow find a job in that field, what you’re doing is simply avoiding the college experience; you’re trying to stay 18 years old for a little while longer.  We all know that one guy who was a film major who did nothing but drink; we also all know what he’s doing now (and it ain’t in the film industry).

I loved college.  I worked a full-time job the whole way through, I took full-time coursework the whole way through, and I graduated with honors.  Every time I go back to East Lansing, I’m filled with nostalgia.  But I’m not in college anymore.  I want that nostalgia to stay nostalgia; I don’t want it to become my life.

If you’re intentionally avoiding children, what you’re doing is trying to be 23 years old forever.  One of my friends told me I shouldn’t have kids because I won’t be able to go out and drink anymore.  That’s what he does; that’s his hobby.  That was also his hobby when he was 23.  Another told me I shouldn’t have kids because I wound be able to go out to eat anymore.  That’s what he does; that’s his hobby.  That was also his hobby when he was 23.

When I was 23, I was doing an internship, working on a master’s degree, working full-time, and driving two hours on the weekends so I could see my thengirlfriendnowwife.  I was a busy guy.

Maybe that’s my hobby.  Being busy.  Maybe that’s what I do.

If so, this dad thing’ll be a snap.

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