Thursday, March 09, 2006

natural woman

Do you have something in your life that everyone wants but you just don’t care about? Maybe everyone loves Desperate Housewives and you just don’t have any interest, the world is insanely in love with KanYe but his music bores you, your whole family craves vanilla and you are perfectly happy living with just chocolate?

I was a tomboy growing up. When I was young my lack of femininity caused me insecurity and doubt in myself. It wasn’t until I got older that I learned that I not only am okay the way I am, I am pretty darn terrific. (I’m good enough, smart enough, and gosh darn it, people like me…)

Eventually I learned the skills and bought the products (oh, the products) to become girlie. Or at least cute. I learned how to walk in heels, became comfortable in stockings, even occasionally wear jewelry. But by nature the most definitive instinct that supposedly exists for a female is still lacking. I am lacking a maternal instinct.

You know how someone comes into a room with a newborn and all the women start cooing at the baby and touching the baby and want to hold the baby…yeah no. I don’t love the baby smell, I don’t sense a longing for a child of my own, I do not wonder at the miracle of birth.

When I was in my late teens and early twenties and people would ask about kids I would always say “I don’t want children. I’M NOT SAYING I WON’T CHANGE MY MIND… I’m saying I have never wanted any and have a feeling I never will. AND I KNOW NEVER TO SAY NEVER.”

I had to 1) add in the defensive bit and 2) to yell because they inevitably would say, quite condescendingly “Oh, you’ll change your mind.” They just never could believe I could know myself well enough to make that kind of a statement.

Lordy, I always hated that.

Now that I am in my thirties my lack of desire to have children is easier to discuss in the open. Occasionally people still misinterpret my disinterest as a loss of hope in ever being in the right situation by the time the ole’ biological clock runs out. These days the doubters are much less common. Possibly because as I have gotten older I have so much going on and my life is so full. Maybe too my situation is a little more readily accepted because of prominent women figures that are admired despite their childlessness. (Gloria Steinem, Oprah…)

Who knows. All I can say is I never understood the allure of vanilla, but sure do love my chocolate. And I am so glad to be alive in a day and age where I am not burned at a stake or stoned to death for my “unnatural” views.

Oh, was that a bright side? Doh.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i have the same feelings about marriage- most construe it as a lack of hope. it's not.

but kids? i love them. in fact, sometimes watching them walk so funny makes me cry. with happiness.