Tag Archives: stereotypes

Fuck You, Hollywood.

We’re witnessing the end of an empire at the box office.

Sex and the City 2 is lying there like a dead fish, with all the appeal of a used-up 45-year-old prostitute after a night of chasing 8-balls with gin after running the line for a sex-train at a frat party.

Naturally, Hollywood is CONVINCED it’s because the chicks in it are all old.

“Well, of COURSE Sam needs a vibrator — she’s 54!”

Let’s for a moment forget the ages of the women acting in the show. Let’s forget that they’re all around 50+ now.

Let’s do something wacky and think about the movie itself. And, hey, let’s think about the writing.

First: Have I seen it? No.

Here’s why not.

If I’m watching a show where some lead actor/actress from a flick is out whoring their movie, putting on the charm, and they play a clip — just ONE 30-second clip from a 90-minute movie — and the clip sucks shit? I mean, they’re supposed to be showing the one most appealing, funniest, engaging, COME-WATCH-US clip they have from the ENTIRE movie. And it’s shit? Well, I know the other 89:30 probably isn’t gonna be an improvement.

But if that 30-second clip is from a 2-hour-and-25-minutes-long movie and it still sucks shit?

I’m in favour of euthanizing everyone who views it in the theatres.

The shame!

Everything I’ve seen of Sex & the City 2 looks like has-been writers puked up every failed cliché they’ve ever heard, slapped some pretty weird dresses and shoes I’ll NEVER afford onto fancy-pretty chicks, and spliced that shit together.

Let’s see what some of the critics on Rotten Tomatoes are saying about it:

  • There’s only one thing worse than faking an orgasm: faking laughter. Shame on you, Sex and the City 2, for being a 2.5-hour laughless fake-a-thon that never finds the right spot.
  • Shoes, money, outfits, shoes, vagina, money, shoes, jewelry, outfits, money, shoes.
  • It goes from being what we know and love to… what were they thinking?
  • A flagrant insult to the audience that made the first film a phenomenon. Shame on the writers of this soulless drivel for trying to pass this Canal Street bootleg sow’s ear off as a genuine Alexander McQueen silk purse.
  • Early in Sex and the City 2, I started a list of things that could easily be cut because they go nowhere. It’s a long list.
  • It has no plot to speak of, little in the way of wit or intelligence, and is about 50% longer than can reasonably be justified.
  • A degrading portrait of women through an unfunny story about four Ugly Americans abroad.
  • It’s supposed to be Sex and the City. This is Sects and the Souk.

And that’s what pisses me off.

This movie isn’t failing because of the actresses. It’s failing because a director with shitty judgment had his hands on a shitty script that some fucko chose in a Hollywood office, and Decider Dude’s probably been sleeping with vapid starlets and hasn’t had his finger on the real-life pulse of America for three decades.

YET he thinks he knows what’ll appeal to broad-spectrum women around the world. Yeah. Right.

This movie is failing because it’s nothing of what the original series contained — cynical-but-true jabs at being single, sexy, smart women trying to get by in a big-city life at a changing time in American city culture.

So, it’s got nothing that made it great, except for actresses that play characters who aren’t the characters they were when America fell in love with them. Brilliant. Sure, that’ll be a raging success.

And the problem with these failing movies that have “older” actresses is, they’re usually shit from the get-go. They were shit on paper, they’re shit being shot, and they’re shit when they’re edited together for the screening room.

What’s the deal? Actresses don’t get great money-making projects past 45, so they get all scared about their future, then jump when Hollywood says they’ll slap a couple million payroll for ’em onto this lame-ass “but it’s sure to be a hit, look at all the OLD actresses we’ve lined up to appease the suburban-mom contingent!” movie.

The even bigger problem is with fans who’ll take anything shovelled at them under the guise that it’s even REMOTELY connected to the original story enterprise. Yeah, you know who you are.

This has NOTHING to do with the original series. It’s a bunch of chicks doing stupid, contrived things that only a BAD Hollywood writer would come up with.

We need great indie filmmakers to make awesome movies about women in their 40s and 50s that are edgy, ironic, bitingly funny, and not apologetic about crashing a few stereotypes. (I remember one called The Graduate.)

The movies we’re making for women have NOT improved. This is the same stupid-ass writing that’s brought us horrible, horrible, horrible chick flicks like The First Wives’ Clubs and The Women and The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants and all those cliché my-time-of-the-month films.

Apparently all women have to do in their 40s and 50s is to be unhappy about love, confused about life, and needy about having friends.

The problem here isn’t the age of the actresses.

It’s that Hollywood doesn’t know what real life for women actually entails. It doesn’t know that life’s more complicated than soccer-practice “taxi” trips and bill-payments.

Hollywood doesn’t understand that not every woman gets manicures or pedicures.

It doesn’t get that not every woman is sitting around deviously hatching a plan to manipulate a man.

It doesn’t get that some of us actually love ourselves and our lives.

It doesn’t get that my quality of life isn’t determined by the ratio of man-delivered-orgasms versus personally-given ones.

Hollywood doesn’t understand women. At all. It didn’t 20 years ago, it doesn’t now.

I’ll confess: I’ve never been a real fan of Sex & The City.

That’s more because I’m not a girlie-girl and don’t really get into “girl” shows. I enjoyed some of it sometimes, but I’ve always been annoyed at how much validation its characters received from the male sex, or how much they all had to rally together and prop each other up against the un-validation given to them by male characters.

It always was a cliché — but a really well-written cliché with great laughs and realistic characters, and more true to some of the struggles of women in their 30s/40s than it is about them aging.

Now, though, it’s just another money-grubbing cliché-spewing pathetic example of why the mainstream movie machine is still broken.

And you smart, sexy, intelligent, successful women who are giving your money over to the box office to watch this piece-of-shit movie that stereotypes, demeans, and mocks the modern woman:

You’re part of the problem.

Shame on you.

Superbowl Ad Controversy: ARE YOU JOKING?

00030410Stop the sanctimony, PLEASE.

You know why CBS should have rejected the Mancrunch ad? BECAUSE IT’S A FUCKING STUPID AD.

It’s bad acting, bad writing, cheap filming, lame directing, and zero spent on production values.

The Superbowl is where the best commercials in the world come to play, not stupid frat-boy humour shot for $20 and a bag of Kush, all right? Continue reading

Putting My Foot Down On You, Dr. Scholl

I’m interviewing at an ad agency or two tomorrow. No, I won’t be doing any of the ad copy work or anything, more of a save-the-sanity support office worker, since I excel at that. But advertising is something I’ve always been very, very interested in.

Remember the movie Crazy People, from years back? Daryll Hannah and Dudley Moore? “Jaguar: For men who like handjobs from beautiful women.” Or, “Volvo: They’re boxy, but they’re safe.”

It was a comedy about truth in advertising that emerges when an ad-copy writer has a breakdown and is sent to an insane asylum. He decides to stop lying to the public and tells the truth. He enlists the help of his fellow nuthausers and they reinvent advertising. (My favourite was the Sony one, where the shortness of Japanese assembly-line folks meant better quality control as they were hovered closer to the microchip boards than the tall, gangly American counterparts who were so tall they couldn’t see the fine melds and such. Heh.)

Every year, I go and I see the film of The World’s Best Commercials for that year. I love good advertising.

But I fucking hate bad ads.

Case in point: Dr. Scholl’s for Her.

There’s this new open-toe gel shoe pad made for stilettos and the like, by Dr. Scholl’s. For some fucking reason, there’s this chick in a skin-tight micro tube dress, wearing strapless stilettos (that magically stay on) as her legs dangle off one side of a bareback horse, and she lies back over the hump of this horse, prostrated.

Because I do that in my stilettos every fucking day. And other things I do in my stiletto, apparently, include walking my dog on a reinforcing dike in the ocean, playing tennis, and more.

Who the fuck is this ad for? Who’s the guy smoking crack who seems to think THIS is what’s gonna sell these shoe pads to a woman?

How about having a real situation? Oh, I don’t know… maybe an intelligent woman with spring in her step as she delivers a brilliant closing statement in a law court case? Maybe you have a group of men, all sweating and nervous, desperately awaiting a job interview in a crowded, awkward office, as this sexy chick who holds all their fates in her hands strides towards them, with a I-Own-Your-Ass, And-You-Know-You-Want-Mine look on her face?

I’m surprised they didn’t just get to the point and have some chick in clear pumps spinning her way down a pole, since apparently we’re all just whores who use our bodies for advancement in life.

How about we move the fuck away from more of this objectifying, lame-ass look at chicks today, and into the realm where women really are becoming powerbrokers? Remember, sexy and smart don’t have to be oil and water.

They’re only oil and water because the media doesn’t want us to forget that it’s our asses that count, not the grey matter in our heads.

I, for one, will never, ever buy another Dr. Scholl’s product. This ad pisses me off THAT much. I’m sick and tired of seeing women whose bodies you can bounce quarters of, with brains the size of the quarter, as being the ideal that I’m supposed to somehow strive for.

My ass is copious. As is my intellect. How about selling to me, you assholes?

(If you’re looking for an update on my employment woes, I’ve been keeping that shit over on the other blog. It’s been one hell of a week for me, emotionally, and keeping it together’s one of the hardest challenges I’ve ever faced. I’m scared as hell, but I’m proud as hell of how I’ve been dealing. I’ll be glad when it’s over. I hope that’s soon. I’ve earned the reprieve. If I know anything, I know that.)

Sex, You, and Your Kid: How Parents Are Failing

Parents bear so much responsibility for how kids view sex. It’s a shame most of them don’t handle the subject better, and terrible that so little emphasis is placed on sexual education.

Two things caused me to spend years questioning sex and feeling like a whore for engaging in it: the Catholic Church and my mother.

The Catholic Church is a given. I had to laugh when I received an email the other day for a “Sexosopher’s Café” at a local sex shop, where they wanted to do a philosophical discussion of whether “religion is sex-negative.”

Come on, you had to think about that one? Oh, please. What’s the last church you went to that encouraged you to tie your lover up and pleasure them? What’s the last church you visited that said consensual sex could include just about anything under the sun? That’s right, none, ever. Sex, when it comes to religion, is only good when done in certain ways.

Am I stereotyping? Fucking right I am, but rightly so, too.

My Catholic guilt still tugs at my heartstrings now and again, but as long as I live, I will never, ever come to understand how my mother could have fucked sex up for me as much as she did.

I never, ever, ever got the conversation about what sex was from either of my parents. I saw them fucking once, and I still remember the horrified look on my mother’s face – before they realized I was standing in the doorway. Most damaging, though, was something my mother said to me when I was 15 and they had split up.

She commented, quite casually, that the thing she was most grateful for about the separation was how she no longer had to fear my father coming to bed and wanting sex.

My father was heavy then, but he was always a kind and gentle man, so I knew instinctively she didn’t mean in a violent or demanding way. She meant she loathed sex. She told me she’d sleep as close to the edge as possible, so she could more easily dissuade him from making advances. And then she expressed how relieved she was that she could now sleep anyplace she wanted on that bed.

Between her lightly dismissing my question on blowjobs at age 8, her horrified look mid-coitus, and this new complaint about fearing sex, I was quickly developing a perception that sex was something women had to do to satisfy men, and something worth dreading.

I didn’t know sex could be enjoyable. I never learned it was an expression of how much you cared for someone, or a really wild way to spend a night in. I didn’t know it wasn’t (really) painful, and I sure as hell didn’t know I was supposed to love having it.

For me, sex has been a long journey to where I am now, and there’s still road to travel. There are new destinations I’d like to reach, particularly considering my traveling companion of late, and the idea of sex is still something I’m ever curious about.

It’s a far cry from the girl who was terrified to sleep with her boyfriend shortly before she turned 18, who was sure it would hurt like hell, who was adamant she was doing him a favour and it wasn’t something she would be benefiting from.

Today’s kids are in a strange, strange world. They’re bombarded with sexuality from the moment they emerge from the womb. Cartoon characters (Disney in particular) are sexier than they’ve ever been, clothes are more provocative, and MTV borders on porn most days. When they’re not getting hit by sexuality from the world at large, they’re playing on the internet, surfing at random, probably landing on smutty sites like this or worse, (don’t read this, kids), or still worse yet, engaging in cybersex.

Am I a conservative? Not by a long stretch, but I’m sick and tired of seeing kids being raised in a Fuck Me Now world, where sex is the only currency that counts. I think sex is important. Hell, it’s crucial to my quality of life. A day with sex is better than a day without it, and that’s just how I feel. I’ll never be a sex-negative person, but it doesn’t mean I can’t be objective about this oversexed world we’re living in. There’s a fine line, and I think we’ve crossed it of late.

What kills me are the conservatives, the true conservatives. It’s so fucking ironic, their POV. They can’t control the endless stream of sexuality pouring in from media and marketing today, so instead they want to limit sexual education and birth control. Does it make sense? Not in the least. To pretend kids are not surrounded – bombarded – by images of sex and sexuality is akin to confessing a belief in the Easter Bunny. There’s no question that it’s out there, that dirty s-e-x thing, but to ignore it and hope that sticking your head in a hole in the ground will somehow make the world around you more palatable to your moral beliefs is delusional.

(As an example, Kansas has adopted opt-in sexual education. Meaning, if the kid doesn’t show up with a note from the parents that gives permission to teach them about sex, the kid can’t take sex ed. Isn’t it precisely those kids who are most in need of sexual education? Christ. Can someone, anyone, teach these people how to fucking connect the dots?)

How is ignoring the fact that we live in a world that doesn’t respect sex the way it should, doesn’t portray it the way it should, going to help anyone? That’s the perfect reason why kids need to learn more sex-positive education both in the home and at schools, so they can negate this overwhelming pornification of sexuality seen constantly in the media.

I’m not saying I want to do away with any images of sexuality, I’m just saying I sure as shit wish there were more sex-positive images, because there aren’t many.

I’m tired of knowing that I’m not the only person who never actually learned about sex from my parents. Sex isn’t biology, people. It’s passion, it’s emotion, it’s mind games, it’s exploration, it’s creativity, it’s dangerous, it’s satiating, it’s intense, it’s anything you want it to be. But it ain’t biology, and it ain’t all reproduction, and kids need to learn about what it is, and what it isn’t. They need frank, honest discussion, or else we’re going to continue having young adults who need to get past wrong perceptions of what sex is.

Considering all the head games and mind-fucks that come with courtship and relationships, dealing with mixed-up, backwards perceptions on what sex is, is probably the last thing any of us needs to waste headspace on. In the face of AIDS and other STDs, ignorance is a pretty horrifying prospect, but one that’s rampant as I type.

By teaching kids the realities of what sex includes – from the wet spot to day-after pains and aches to STDs and emotions – a little of the allure might be swept away, but so too will the unrealistic expectations and the fear, and maybe even the blasé attitudes most kids today have about getting shagged.

Here’s a very, very simple consideration for parents to take under advisory: Imagine your kid has come to you and asked you about sex and all the things that happen during it. Imagine your discomfort. Imagine the awkwardness of trying to explain it. Imagine the weirdness of divulging to your offspring about how you essentially created them. Imagine sweating under the pressure you would feel to do a good job. Imagine you cut it short and explain instead just the biology of what happens, and not how to be a good lover, or the emotions that come with, or the potential fall-out after the fact.

And now imagine your kid going out into the world with barely even an understanding of the biology, let alone the rest of the sexual happenings. Imagine them going into a sexual experience clueless about what should go down. Imagine the panic and worry they’ll feel afterwards when they wonder unnecessarily if one of them has gotten pregnant, and how pregnancy really works. Imagine they can’t figure out what way a condom goes on or how careful they need to be when pulling it out. Imagine the guilt and shame they’ll feel for doing what we all inevitably experience at some point in our lives. Imagine the self-loathing they’ll feel when they suspect they’re a bad lover. Imagine the awkardness of trying to fumble towards ecstasy without your help.

And now own your failures as a parent. So, I say this to every parent out there: Get the fuck over yourselves, and do your jobs. This is too important to continue letting kids learn by bump in the night, and the price paid for it is far too high.

You can’t explain it? Then buy a good book that explains about sex and give it to the kid. Better yet, pick up a pack of condoms and some lube and grab the book, and give them to your kid, and then tell them you hope they’ll be mature and responsible enough to wait for someone special when it comes to sex, because if they sleep with the wrong person the first time, they’re probably going to always wish they’d decided differently.

You may not appreciate the idea of your kid fucking in the back seat of a Ford, but the reality is, it’s gonna happen, whether you’re on page or not. You’ve done so much for your kid over the years; is it really worth abandoning them on the issue of sex so you can save yourself a panic attack?

Think about it.

Curiouser and Curiouser

As is my custom on Tuesdays, when I’m home, I’m watching television. I had planned to write, but my smarts took the night off, so you’re stuck with a question — or is this an observation? — instead. (Okay, my smarts are fine, but I didn’t feel like ‘writing on demand.’ Sometimes it feels like a job, so I’d rather assume the position until inspiration kicks me hard in the ass.)

Tonight’s menu has included one of my guiltiest pleasures, Boston Legal. During the course of the program, there are a couple escorts included in background banter as William Shatner and Freddy Prinze Jr. chat in a bar.

I watch TV with the closed captioning on, for a few reasons. One of them being that I’m hearing impaired. Yes, you heard it here. I wear hearing aids. Always have. Itty-bitty in-the-ear ones, but they’re there. Such is life. Genetics, they fuck you every time, my friends. The loss is not overly severe, but enough that it cramps my style.

Anyhow, I also have worked in closed captioning, so I’m not deaf by any stretch. Back in the day when I did caption, we always would refer to unnamed persons by their profession first, if known, and if not, then by their gender. These identifications would be used in off-screen IDs for speech when a person wasn’t seen, and in character-specific SFX occurences.

So, there was this sound FX caption — done when action occurs off-screen that is distinguished by sound and is plot-pertinent — of [women giggling]. It was the escorts giggling. Their professions were known: They were escorts.

My question to you is, why wasn’t the caption reading [escorts giggling]? I mean, it was a crowded bar. There were other women. These women, the escorts, it was their giggling that was pertinent to the plot, not that blond ditz hanging off the bar with a Mai-Tai in hand.

Now, fair enough, my captioning house was one of the finest on the continent. My above-average grasp of grammar and such is evidence of that, no? Snicker. Right. Captioning styles vary from house to house, but when you have many, many women in one area and only two of them are pertinent, the tradition is to distinguish them. “Escorts” was the only way to do so, particularly when they had just been introduced to the viewers as “They’re not girls, they’re escorts,” by the always sharp-tongued Denny Crane (Shatner).

I find it interesting that the captioning house in question (the rather uninterestingly named “Closed Captioning Services, Inc.”) has opted to sanitize things for the viewers, when the producers of the program sought specifically not to do so.

But that’s the world we live in. A battle of ethics on every corner, a moral war written on every page. Only who is it we’re protecting from what, and why? Why not call a spade a spade when it is, evidently, a spade indeed?

The scriptwriters call it a spade. After all, the “escorts” are referred to later as “hookers.” A spade is a spade is a spade, it seems.

Is the reality of sex being so readily for sale so offensive that to see the suggestive words themselves written outside of dialogue is somehow even moreso?

Ah, who the fuck knows. We’re going to hell in a handbasket people, and the neocons are doing the navigating. Take a Right up here, folks. There ain’t no turning back now.

RANT: Kids? Don’t Have ‘Em, Don’t Want ‘Em

I made a pretty quick reference to abortion in my last posting, simply stating that an inadvertent pregnancy on my part would, with absolute certainty, end in an abortion.

I have fairly strong views on abortion, and it’s one of my particular irks with America today. Sitting across the great divide, as a Canadian, it’s baffling seeing the land that’s so hell-bent on separation of Church and State on its quest to be its own Holy Land.

I swear, I think that if Bush accomplishes nothing in his time in office other than the radical reversal of Roe v. Wade, and brings about the elimination of abortion as birth control in America today, he will believe he has done his job as a leader. (Never mind that small matter of Iraq, the erosion of personal freedoms, information leaks, etc.)

But this is not the time for my soapbox.

Okay, well, yeah, all right: Any time is soapbox time.

But here, now, I want to talk about this myth of 2.4 kids, a dog, and a picket fence.

I’ve written in the past about the cultural objectifying of relationships – that if you’re single, you’re incomplete. Insert cheesy Jerry Maguire scene here: “You complete me.” [/swoon] Barf.

Not in a relationship? What’s wrong with you? You say you don’t want kids? Oh, give it time! You’ll meet the right person! You’re just being cynical. Everyone wants kids. You don’t know what you’d be missing!

Um, like, YEAH.

I’d be missing spending the rest of my life worrying about what’s gonna happen to my kids if anything happens to me. I’d be missing the complications of trying to find time alone with my lover. I’d be missing the ability to take time out for myself any time I need it. I’d be missing years of diapers, debt, spilled drinks, debt, crumbs in the sofa, debt, heavily soiled clothing, debt, kids crying about playground bullies, yada, yada, yada. Did I mention debt?

I’d also be missing the shaping of a young mind. I’d be missing the direct imprint of my values on another human being. I’d be missing the journey from embryo to adulthood, with all its zany stops in between. I’d be missing the endless surprises and laughter brought about by having kids around the house. I’d be missing the pride I’d feel as I watch my progeny take the world by storm, one small accomplishment at a time.

Don’t you think I know what kids add or detract from a life? That’s the thing that pisses me off. The smug, patronizing, “Oh, give it time, you just haven’t met the right man” bullshit I hear every time I have to explain, “Um, no, I don’t want children.” As if being a woman and shunning my birthright to bear kids is antithetical to nature itself. “Um, NO, I do NOT want children,” I have to say yet again, slowly, as if speaking to a brain-damaged psych ward lifer.

Fuck that, people. I don’t want kids because I’ve already spent too many years of my life patching up other people’s arguments and caring for a sick mother and forgetting who I was in between it all. I don’t want kids because I want to experience my life to the fullest, on my terms. I don’t want kids because, deep down inside, I know I’ll one day resent all the compromises I will have had to make in order to raise them well. I don’t want kids because kids deserve something better than some parent who’s only half-wanting to be there.

I don’t want kids because I have carefully considered all the ramifications, and I simply know I’m not willing to do what needs to be done to raise them well. And kids deserve better than being shipped off to boarding school by some prima donna parent who’s tired of the compromises.

When I was a teen, I was babysitting a fair bit. I had a great attitude, was fun to be around – because I love kids and think they’re an absolute hoot. They crack me up. And I always, always crack them up. I remember two women who made me really, really think about the whole parenting thing.

One had taken extreme measures to make her home a learning castle for her kid. She did everything for her kid, so much so that I wondered how in the hell she ever found time for herself. My guess is, she didn’t. The kid was doted on, and it showed – he was bright, funny, happy, wonderful. He really was a terrific kid, and I knew his mother and father were huge – HUGE – players in that reality. I realized how much then a woman had to forsake (and in theory, the man, too) in order to properly raise a child. I realized then how much my mother put into raising my brother and I. It was daunting, to say the least.

The other woman took the “Well, it’s my life too” method of parenting to a whole new level. I was hired as a babysitter who would come over three to four nights a week at 8:30. I would put the kid to bed, and the mother’s partying would begin. The mother had a one-way radio in case something happened to the kid, but she was in a separate wing of the house, and for all I knew, would never look in on the kid. I’d return at 7am, get the kid ready, and take him to school. I would be paid for 12 hours of work, despite doing only about five – and I was only 17 at the time, and still going to school. This woman was doing blow, drinking like a fish, and sleeping with other men, despite being married. I didn’t need x-ray goggles to figure that much out. I saw what was in the kid’s future – anger, resentment, aloneness, despair, and a lack of self-esteem. Oh, and boarding school. Mom might have been around, but she made it pretty fucking clear where her priorities were.

Having kids is not to be taken lightly. Children deserve love, attention, nurturing, fun, and every kind of support imaginable. I’m a fan of parents who invest in their kids – who are so proud of their kids’ works of art that they frame them. I admire parents who expose their kids to new worlds, who don’t let their tykes crash in front of the TV and remain. I can’t get over, and never cease the admiration of, parents who are actively involved in all areas of their children’s lives, who establish trust and openness at a young age, and who stay plugged in as long as possible, who put their kids where they deserve to be put: First.

But I’m not willing to make the sacrifices in my own life to be that kind of parent, and I’m not going to do a half-assed job, either. The last thing any kid ever needs to know is that you’d rather be lying in a hammock in Bali, working on your novel. No kid needs to know you wish you’d made different choices in the past, and I know that’s how I’d feel, regardless of the highs.

So how in the fuck does my knowing where to draw the line in my sand make me some sort of crass, unplugged woman who doesn’t get what she should be? Society judges chicks like me, still, and I’m tired of it.

Hell, I was watching Oprah the other day and Kirstie Alley was on, talking about dating, and she insists that any man she sees be previously married and even have kids. “If you’re over 40 and you’ve never been married, you’re a perv!” she shouted. Oprah just laughed – but I wonder what went through her mind. She’s over 50, has never been married, and has never had kids. Why? Because she feels she has a different role to play in life, so why limit her potential by being a mother?

And before you get up my ass about the “limited potential” as a mother comment, think about it. If your first priority is NOT raising your child, you’re probably not doing it as well as you could, or should, be doing it. Those are the sacrifices you’ve elected to make. So make them.

Me, I’ll have no kids. I watch my nephew and my friends’ kids with great love and respect. I try to play an important role in their upbringing, as I know I’ll never play that role for kids of my own. I have “kids” out in the world now, going to university, who I taught how to write when they were only 8 or 10 years old, and they still remember all the things I taught them, and they smile at me, and tell me stories about the way I made them fall in love with writing. I cherish the knowledge I’ve been that for those kids, and that I still am that for others, since I’m still having the same powerful experiences I used to have… yet I go home at night, alone, and have a long, lingering bath, a meal I’ve cooked and can enjoy in silence, and I watch what I want to watch on television, and I go to sleep and wake up whenever the hell I want.

Life is about balance. And I have achieved mine, moreso of late with the acquisition of a great relationship, and I have no regrets about my definition of “balance”, and no intention to change it.

If kids are on your list of must-haves, along with item H on page 62 of the latest Restoration Hardware catalog, you better fucking check your motivations and know, with certainty, that you’re able to make the required sacrifices to give that child all the attention and love it deserves. Otherwise, kindly outsiders like me are the ones who’ll be picking up your fucking slack, and really – I’ve got better things to do.