By Chris Slater
I’m laying in bed one morning a couple summers ago as my phone rings. It’s my mom. I’d better answer, or I’ll never hear the end of it.
After we exchange pleasantries and get the basic information out of the way, there’s a pause. I fill it with information I learned a couple days earlier: “Did you hear Kelly is pregnant?”
Pro: Tax Break. Depending on how the arrangement works, you could wind up either paying less to the government, or getting more back each spring. I’m a fan of money.
Con: Somebody is always there. When you’re married, you live with another person and share a bedroom with them. Their stuff will be in the bathroom next to yours. Just seems like a lot of clutter to me.
Pro: Wedding presents. There’s going to be a ceremony with all eyes on you. There might even be an open bar. And, people will buy you stuff. Probably not stuff you need, but it’s still better than nothing.
Con: You probably can’t have sex with other people. Most people in a traditional marriage believe in monogamy. ‘Til death do you part (or until you get a divorce). That means you are beholden to that one person for the rest of your life (or until you get a divorce). That doesn’t seem very fun.
Pro: Split the bills. It would be nice to only pay half of my rent each month. Somebody else contributing funds to the overall bottom line is a great idea in theory.
Pro: Continue your lineage. Ancestry dot com is pretty cool to look at, and you wouldn’t want to be the reason your family tree ends.
Con: They’re so loud. Like, really, have you heard loud kids? They’re the worst. Crying, happy, excited, scared, it’s always so loud.
Pro: Somebody to do chores. I’m sure my mom was so excited when I was old enough to start vacuuming the carpets and scooping the cat litter. And, I wouldn’t mind laying back and relaxing while somebody else took out the trash.
Con: Germs. Kids will touch anything, and then touch anything some more. They eventually get old enough to wash their hands regularly, but even that isn’t a given.
Pro: No more prying. People telling you to have kids finally leave you alone.
Con: Responsibility. Kids are a lot of work. And time. And money. And energy.
• • •
In February 2017, I was living in Luray, Virginia and working at the newspaper there. I had applied at the newspaper here in Charleston. So, I came in for the interview – spoiler: I got the job – and then spent the weekend with my mom in Princeton.
She was asking about Kelly and if I’ve seen the baby. I hadn’t seen Kelly since one night in 2014 when we randomly walked past each other on Mercer Street and caught up for a few minutes. We text often enough to know what’s going on in each others lives. She had previously sent me a few pictures of her baby and told me to forward them to my mom.
I send Kelly a text letting her know I’m in town and if she wants to bring the baby over so my mom can see it.
Kelly comes over with months-old Elizabeth. She and I tell old inside jokes from college while my mom holds the baby and talks about how amazing and beautiful it is, even though it’s just sitting there being a baby.
My mom again talks about how she’ll never be a grandmother. Kelly agrees with her. And so do I. I’m going to be a content old man living a solitary, childless life. And I couldn’t be happier.
• • •
Do you have kids and think I made some good points? Married and think my views are insane? Or just an undecided person who thought I made some good points for and against both? Let everybody know. Leave a comment on the blog, find me on Facebook, slide into my DM’s on Twitter, or send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
And, hey… thanks for reading.