I’m a woman in my mid-20s. I’m as single as that cold, last slice of pizza you remember on Sunday mornings (as in, I’m a joy) and I have an affinity for occasionally fleeing the country on impulse with no one but me, myself and I. So it wouldn’t be 2016 America if people didn’t relentlessly ask me when I’d get over it all and chase the dream—a house in the ’burbs, a man and some minions.
Sure, I’d eventually like to grace the world with mini-me’s. (And, no, I’d rather die a tragic, apocalyptic death-by-zombie than move to the suburbs. But, who knows? That, too, could change!) The point is: People just assume I want to pop out babies like it’s my duty as a woman incubator.
They’ll say, “Keep traveling while you’re young and you don’t have any obligations—like kids!” Or, “Do you think you’ll want to raise your kids in the States? What if you meet someone abroad?” Or, “New York City is great while you’re young, but I’d never raise my kids here. Would you?”
Soon after watching this I began an apartment hunt in Manhattan (where, MAYBE I will raise my hypothetical children), with a broker—a single dude in his mid-40s with no children. He doesn’t want ’em, which he said almost robotically without my inquiring. And it got me thinking about that video: Guys must get it a lot, too.
You’re not a real man before spreading your seed, as if you’ve got some inevitable void that can only be filled with a son who shares your name. Men are expected to intrinsically want to be the super-dads tossing some pigskin around their front lawns, because it’s projected on them to keep the family legacy alive.
But what if you’ve got other plans for yourself? If you’re tired of explaining to people why you don’t want kids, here are some things you can say that might make them go away…
“I’m busy digging my great escape to the new settlement on Mars, because I’m tired of being a prisoner of the world.”
“I know deep down that Santa Claus doesn’t exist, and I’m terrible at keeping secrets.”
“I’m old enough to know that there probably is shit in the closet and I’m not checking for anyone.”
“I can’t stand to be around people who don’t care about current events or the state of our democracy.”
“I have no fucking filter. Fuck, see. FUCK, I did it again. Fuck it.”
“All of my plants are dead.”
“I like to try—often—to have kids, and then fail to actually succeed. I just relish in failure, if you couldn’t tell.”
“Good to see you, too. Is that a double chocolate cake you brought, Grandma?”