So many things to rant about, so little time. I'll just stick with the above as the topic for today I saw a forum post about marriage, and it compelled me to write my thoughts on that topic, and "families" in general.
From a very young age I remember I wanted to be married by the time my mother had me (at age 26). It seemed like a good age. I pictured going to high school, meeting a girl and taking her to prom followed by me getting a job after school, settling down and eventually getting married and having kids. None of those things really happened. I dropped out of high school, I didn't really get a full time job until a few years later and I didn't even date a girl (let alone have a relationship or settling down and getting married) until I was 25.
Even though the fairy tale story arch had to be modified, I still very much wanted to as they always say "settle down and have a family". Especially when I was still a Christian. After I left Christianity, I wasn't against marriage or kids so much but my passion for those things waned a bit. I think what really sealed the deal was thinking about why I wanted those things. What was driving those desires. What good reason was there to marry, let alone bring children into the world?
Marriage nowadays is just a sort of cultural relic. People do it because it's nice and everyone expects them to do it. Aside from that, there are not a lot of differences between that and being de facto. I mean, after living with someone for a year or two here, you kinda have the same legal rights and protections a married couple does but with the more of an ease when it comes to breaking up.
Having kids is just as conditioned as getting married, but inherently more selfish. People don't have kids for the good of society, to better mankind to help it prosper and succeed. They have children because it makes them feel good. That's what confuses me when I heard people say that not having kids is selfish. It's just amazing. People who have to live with the consequences of their actions are not always selfless. Just because you decided to have kids and now have sleepless nights, are stuck in a dead end job to make ends meet and have little to no personal time does not make your initial action any less selfish - you're simply paying the cost of the decision you made.
My friend's wife was absolutely amazed that I didn't want kids. Don't get me wrong, I have a stance that's hard to explain but simply put I am not against having kids so long as I have what I consider justifiable reasons for doing so. When I told her this, she immediately said so you don't think we had justifiable reasons? Isn't that a good question? She then began asking me questions like who would look after me when I'm old and things like that, and I thought what a horrible reason to have children. Anyways, I am not really anti having kids, I just have no desire, I'm more apathetic to the concept than I am fuelled by the desire to not have them, and the same goes with marriage.
The only thing that pisses me off about the whole family topic is the judgement that occurs when you don't fit in with social norms. I'm getting into my late twenties only recently, but you know I've had people asking me if I'm married or if I have kids since I was maybe 22 or 23 and when I tell them that I'm not married or something along those lines people always feel awkward. I don't understand it. It seems once you have children, so many people's lives seem to just revolve around that topic and if yours doesn't you're some fucking leper. And that's the other thing that pisses me off as it reminds me of Christians.
You see with Christians they attack you for not being a Christian, accuse you of insincerity, of not having enough Bible knowledge or wanting to sin or some such thing and then when you finally have enough of being attacked and lash out, they have the gall to say you're bitter and hold a grudge and so on. I notice folks who have kids are kinda the same. For me it's not really a topic I think all that much of, but when it gets brought up and I'm treated like a pariah and I react to that treatment - the fault is of course with me. Argh!