Wednesday, November 16, 2005

The kids aren't alright...

Well, a couple of days ago, I got hit with some extremely big news. My best friend, Alan, is going to be a father...

Of course, I'm very happy for him & his wife; they've both always wanted children, and they've been waiting five years since they got married for him to finish law school to start a family. All that having been said, I, and all of our other friends, are more than a little bit freaked out. Not because we know that things will change & we won't be able to hang out & act like idiots as much as we used to; other friends of ours have been having children for years, so there's nothing intrinsically new about it.

Alan, however, is my best friend in the world, and this time, it will be different. I'll end up as the kid's 'Uncle X', and will most likely be very involved in the kid's life...which in a lot of ways is good, because Alan & Bess, his wife, are completely devoid of any kind of artistic sensibility or creativity...so if the kid wants to be anything other than an accountant, I'm pretty much the only chance he's got. This does not bother me, either; I like kids & I'm pretty darn good with 'em...I'm just not ready for my own. What bothers me, and everyone else who knows them, is that in no way do I think Alan & Bess should be having a child...

The first reason I feel this way is that Bess (I think that's the fake name I gave her when I mentioned her before; if not, adjust), bless her heart, is crazy. I say that with a lot of love, but that's only because I'm not the one married to her; I'm not exaggerating at all when I say she is the single most high-maintenance girl I've ever seen. She needs more constant attention than a newborn baby, and is about as moody most of the time, too. Basically, if she had her way, all of Alan's time would be spent by working 10 hours a day, to pay for a nice house that he could then come home to every night, just to sit and stare at her in awe, waiting on her hand & foot & pampering her like a princess. That's pretty much her dream life. Again, I do love her & I exaggerate for effect...but not much.

Now, you might wonder how & why Alan puts up with this, and the answer is basically that he's the most easy-going, nonchalant guy in the world; nothing...and I mean nothing...fazes him. He's the kind of guy who could see a spaceship crash in his backyard & his first thought would be whether his homeowner's insurance would cover the damages. So, somehow he's able to let all her neurosis pass in one ear & out the other & still love her anyway. In a lot of ways, they're made for each other...but that doesn't mean they're ready to have a kid...

Because of the way they are, they constantly argue, there's constantly drama of biblical proportions happening, Bess is on all kinds of anti-depressants & anxiety meds, and Alan basically spends as much time away from her as he can just so he won't have to listen to the constant insanity (and trust me, some of it is truly insane). Somehow, through all this, their relationship still functions, but there's still all kinds of problems with it, and they both seem to think that a baby will just magically fix it all. I say it's gonna make it blow up like an ACME bowling-ball bomb...

And the reason I say that is, because I know Alan; I know how he is, and I know the reasons he got married. Sure, he loves Bess...but that wasn't it, so much as the fact that he's basically been programmed to marry someone as soon as possible from the day he was born...something with which I cannot identify at all...and I don't think he even really realizes it. I think he does realize one thing, though; that, however much he loves his wife, she was someone that he settled for.

You see, Alan had a 'big one' in his life too; his own personal Kara, and what happened to him was similar in a lot of ways to what happened to me. So was the way he dealt with it afterwards: by latching onto the first woman he found on the rebound. Only difference was...he married her. He loved her, sure...and he still does, but he got married because he was tired.

I'm not trying to trivialize his marriage or anything, but I think it's true...and I think he deserved better. But, that having been said, I understand it, and I'll tell you why.

'Cus we're scared. Men. All of us. Plain as day; we're just plum' terrified. We're scared to grow up. We're scared you'll take our toys away, we're scared that you'll yell at us to come inside if we're out playing with our friends. We're scared that you'll make us wear those icky clothes. We're scared...that things will change. But, we're also scared of being alone...and that doesn't go very well with all the stuff that I mentioned before. And, the older we get, the older that last part starts to tip the scales a little more...

BUT, Caveat emptor, ladies!

Just because life is no longer a 24-hour frat party doesn't mean 30-something Joe Schmo is marriage material yet by a long shot; first of all, he's only now started to have had some semi-serious relationships, and all the things his mother did to him haven't even been discovered yet in moments of passionless awkwardness. In other words, he's still got some oats to sow. He may try to sow 'em straighter this time, and may not spread 'em around so much...but the fear is still there; the fear that things will change...

Guys who pass this stage without marrying yet (or, as I call them, priors), will, at about the age of 35, begin to resemble that guy you've seen all your life. Mister. Mister so & so. Mister DeGiacomo down at the market, Mister Hays behind the counter at the Fotomat, Mister Chessmore's Cage-free farm-fresh eggs. For better or worse, you're a man at this point. Teenagers no longer see you as any type of sexual being...go to a high school football game & prove it to yourself (its a depressing thought when realized). If you're lucky, you may have an actual job that you don't wear a name tag during, and be on the way up the career ladder. This is the stage where the single man is at his most prized as a commodity. Due to the woman's panic resulting from all her friend's wedding bells still ringing in their ears since about age 25, this may be the single only window in life when women want men more than men want women.....maybe.

Therefore, the man is now faced with his greatest conundrum to date...by now, he's tired of hanging out in bars; sick of all the games people have to go through while dating...thinks it may be nice to have somebody around just to be with. Then again....who's the prize here? The ticking of a thousand biological clocks can be like a siren song to a man, and this is another stage where he may take the plunge, or he may try to swim a little further...but damn that water sure is getting cold out there. Cold enuff to scare a fella'....and that's what this was really all about in the first place, wasn't it...fear?

If we take the plunge, then they'll finally take our toys away, they'll finally make us come inside at dinnertime, they'll do everything that my mom used to do. God, I just want out of all this, you start to think, I just want to go home, I just want.....my mom?

And for some guys, it comes that clearly. They realize what they need. I'm not saying that every man marries to have another mother, or maid, or caretaker, but I AM saying that men do get married for that same sense of safeness & security that only your mother has brought you up 'til this point in your life. Some guys just want to be safe at home again, and this time make it their own. They want to build the treehouse they always planned to build with their dad & never finished, they want to paint the livingroom the color they like...and more power to 'em. I tried to be one of those guys once, or at least I tried to try, but it didn't take. Alan, however, is, and has always been destined to be, one of those guys.

Other guys, they don't settle so easy. They always think the next best thing is going to come around the corner, and damn if their gonna let themselves get tied down before that happens. So, they become professional daters, always looking for mrs/mr right, always comparing, judging, playing games, going nowhere. Still looking for that big score, but not even sure what it looks like any more. By that time, the professional dating market is headhunting younger recruits, and you end up as a professional....well, professional me, I guess.

Well, Alan took the safer route...and I'm not so sure he was wrong to do so..but still, I do worry about them bringing a child into the middle of a relationship that already needs so much work to begin with. I know it's not really my place to say, but it's how I feel, and I told him as much to his face already. Of course, he just shrugged & assured me it would all be ok, just like he does with everything, and maybe somehow it will...but I'm just worried about them, I guess. I know people have children under much worse conditions every day...but I usually don't have to be involved.

So, what's my point after all this, you ask? I have no freakin' idea...but I can say one thing: as much as I love the guy like a brother, better him than me.

Then again, he is the one going home to someone tonight, after all...

18 Comments:

Blogger Beth recalled...

Yep...going home to someone who will shortly become too fat and hormonal to even consider sex.

Then someone who will either put the baby first and totally ignore him, or expect him to take care of the baby the minute he walks through the door!

I think you might be better off single and baby free!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005 12:14:00 PM  
Blogger Pro-Divorce recalled...

X, I'd say you hit the nail on the head with just about every comment you made. Very intuitive for a guy who's never been married, or maybe we just haven't gotten that far in your blog yet.

From a guy's perspective, I think all men should marry an older lady, one who's already been through a divorce. I know, guys get scared of baggage, so try to find one who's not a skank, and has no children.

Divorced women really don't want to have to go through a divorce again, yet at the same time, they want/need a man in their lives. Due to this, they are much more "relaxed" when big issues arise. They aren't as taxing on your toys and generally allow a little freedom.

See, they've been divorced one already, so they realize marriage is a pain in the ass, but it's something they're programmed to want, so they'll try it again, but this time, without delusions of grandeur. They know things won't/can't be perfect, so they accept flaws this time. And that's exactly the "get out of jail free" card we as men need.

We can fuck up, and it's generally expected. But, they realize marriage isn't perfect, so you get away with it.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005 12:18:00 PM  
Blogger Truecraig recalled...

To each their own. Takes all kinds. Different strokes for different folks. No one is ever "ready" to have and handle children. Just like no one is really "ready" face and handle death.

That's a horribly cruel analogy, as comparing children to death should only by made metaphorically (as: death of social life and retirement savings) but I hope you get my point.

Your blog started out as a simple exploration of your past, with the hope that it would eventually say something useful about your present.

I like how the present is starting to creep in, bit by bit, amongst the ongoing analysis. Kudos good sir. Kudos.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005 1:00:00 PM  
Blogger Frankie recalled...

Gosh. It amazes me that someone can be so dysfunctional, yet so insightful, Ex. Ha!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005 4:39:00 PM  
Blogger True recalled...

I agree with the man stuff. Men do seem awfully scared these days and it is aggrivating. Women seem to have to take charge. And tons of people have children who really shouldn't, but what are we to do. At least you know how you are. So many men and clueless.
I can't stand high maintenance, insane women who have to have it all their way.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005 5:38:00 PM  
Blogger Jhena recalled...

Is being "professional" happier compared to the "safer route?"

Don't be so freaked out. Who knows? Things happen in a number of ways, each one totally different from the other. A child is a gift and it does give magic.

I just think you're afraid Alan won't be there most of the time for you and your gigs.

Just an insight, though.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005 6:52:00 PM  
Blogger Manda recalled...

hopefully she'll become a lot less high-maintainence after she gets pooped on a few times. hehe. :-)

and anyway... you ought be happy. they'll get some sense knocked into them when the baby comes. and they have nine months to prepare. plus you get to be an uncle!!! and LIFE has just been created! so smile, okay? everything's gonna be just fine..... :-)

Wednesday, November 16, 2005 6:53:00 PM  
Blogger cjay64 recalled...

EXBF...i see a little of myself in Alan and his wife. Pro-Divorce also hit the nail on the head in many ways. But, not to worry...Alan and family will make it through....like myself.

C Jay

Wednesday, November 16, 2005 11:32:00 PM  
Blogger mad recalled...

Things do change when children come into the picture, sometimes for the better. If Alan and Bess feel positive about the baby, you should too. He/she may bring a new dynamic to the relationship....keep us posted.....

When are you going to continue with you and your relationships...we want to know more.....please:)

Thursday, November 17, 2005 12:21:00 AM  
Blogger Charlotte recalled...

children. the one sure way to ruin a marriage that is already on the rocks

Thursday, November 17, 2005 12:23:00 AM  
Blogger Mint Tulip recalled...

We're supposed to make you get rid of all your toys? Does that mean I have to get rid of mine too? And you have to come in at dinnertime? Again, does that mean I have to as well? Seriously, BW and I both pretty much come and go as we please whether NB is going with us or staying home with one of us. As for toys...BW has his own room that is home to his bass, amp(s), recording equiptment, 4 acoustic guitars (3 of which I bought), 3 electric guitars (2 of which I bought), his weights, his huge toolbox, and various other musical paraphanalia. I'm also getting him a keyboard for Christmas, so add that on too.

Also, babies change people. Though it is sometimes for the worse, a lot of times people do adjust. So, Alan and Bess will probably be fine once they get adjusted to a new lifestyle...and, at least here, there's also still plenty of time for playing around with friends.

Thursday, November 17, 2005 6:49:00 AM  
Blogger LOSTINTRANCE recalled...

Simply Brilliant!!!

Thursday, November 17, 2005 3:05:00 PM  
Blogger Joe recalled...

Dear Mint Tulip..I couldn't help but notice that you buy guitars for your man. Lots of guitars. Are you the perfect woman? Just wondering.

EXGF. There can be no thinking when it comes to marriage and making babies. It's like putting the cat in a box. If you try and make it go inside the cat will maim you. If you leave it alone it will go in, all by itself. If you cut it into small pieces it will fit in a much smaller box.

Friday, November 18, 2005 9:39:00 AM  
Blogger Mint Tulip recalled...

Dear Joe...I also bought him a motorcycle for his birthday last year. ;o)

Saturday, November 19, 2005 10:47:00 AM  
Blogger Joe recalled...

Mint tulip I think I love you (sung to the tune "Wild Thang")

Monday, November 21, 2005 7:40:00 AM  
Blogger Brooklyn recalled...

you can always come to texas and spend christmas with me... we can mope and pout together.... while watching the grinch that stole christmas..... the cartoon of course... not the movie

Tuesday, November 29, 2005 3:39:00 PM  
Blogger ExBF recalled...

I do love the Grinch....

Wednesday, November 30, 2005 1:32:00 AM  
Blogger Brooklyn recalled...

SEE - THE HOLIDAYS ARE LOOKING BETTER ALL THE TIME!

Wednesday, November 30, 2005 11:46:00 AM  

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