08 June 2017

Book Notes: Selfish, Shallow, And Self-Absorbed

I read a book of sixteen essays on the choice to not have children. It was pretty interesting, although some of the voices kind of blended together. I obviously made the opposite choice, and I'd bristle at the identity of "breeder" or that having a family is my way of perpetuating the white race (!!). It's a biological imprint and a social construct that really works for me. But man, I'm so tired and some of the arguments laid out for why these writers chose to remain child-free had me nodding my head. (But never doubting my decision for a second of course!)

Anyway, here are few things I highlighted in the Kindle book -- getting them out before I return the e-book to the library.

Perhaps I was kind of a human geode: sparkly and hollow. - Courtney Hodell, "Babes in the Woods" (I just liked this.)

There is nothing more boring for an intelligent woman than to spend endless amounts of time with small children. -Sigrid Nunez, "The Most Important Thing" (I think it might be more boring to spend endless amounts of time with mansplainers, but I certainly get the point!)

I suspect that my commitment to and delight in parenting would be so formidable that it would take precedence over anything and everything else in my life; that my mastery of motherhood would eclipse my need for -- or ability to achieve -- success in any other arena. Basically, I'm afraid of my own competence. -Anna Holmes, "Mommy Fearest" (I've copied down previous Anna Holmes quotes -- she founded Jezebel -- and I think this is true for my approach to motherhood. It's all consuming, and I'm not ALWAYS sure that's a good thing.)

...while life may not have a purpose, it certainly has consequences, one of which is the accumulation of a vast, coastal shelf of uncut, 100-percent-pure regret. -Geoff Dyer, "Over and Out" (a super valid response to the idea that "you'll regret it later" if you don't have kids now/when you're young/whatever)

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