One of the many reasons I never wanted to get married was because I didn’t see how marriage changed anything; that is, I never understood how signing a slip of paper makes things any more stable. When I would talk to my dad about it, he would always say something like, “Family is the glue of society.” I never really understood it (my dad was never what you would call “a wordsmith”) until I had my own.
Think about how annoying you were at 20. You had a simple solution to every problem, you were vocal and protesting everything, and you weren’t scared enough of anyone to really back down. So anything that came across your field of vision – marijuana laws or downloading music or the price of food – you had a loud and precise opinion on. You were willing to write letters and call people and attend rallies and focus groups; or, if you were a bit lazier, you were at least willing to go get a fake ID and tell everyone at the bar all about how you thought the legal drinking age should be lowered by a year because, “I mean… c’mon!”
Without a family, that attitude never goes away. You’ll be 40 years old screaming about driving a Prius, talking about your homemade windfarm and how you use it to power your ‘shroom distillery and if everyone would just follow your example, they’d be a whole lot happier. You’d be screaming about healthcare and cable TV and immigrants. Basically, you’d be the same as you were at 40 as you were at 20, but now you have a whole lot more money, you’re a whole lot smarter, and because of those two things, you’d think whatever you’re bitching about is more important than the 20-year-old you talking about “no one ever died from a pot overdose, man.”
As a man with a family, I couldn’t give a shit about any of that. I don’t care enough about the environment to go and protest on the capitol lawn. I don’t care enough about social security to form a community group. I don’t even care enough about movie piracy to tell people that I don’t care about movie piracy. I just want to raise my kid. And that’s what family does; that’s the glue.
Imagine everyone everywhere complaining about everyone everywhere. Everyone from 20 to 100 would be complaining about everything because they don’t have something better to do. Nothing would get done.
Instead of saying, “Family is the glue of society”, what my dad should’ve said was, “Family makes you shut up and take care of your kids.”
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