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most of you losers are doing the 'urban tribe' thing, as mentioned… - don't let the bastards grind you down.
most of you losers are doing the 'urban tribe' thing, as mentioned here. it seems very justifiable given the fact that we don't want to screw up as badly as our parents, and we're living longer and we're fertile longer, etc.

but i dunno. maybe i'm just too independent. i think it smacks of selfishness and paranoia. i know people in their upper 30s who've never been married and are just now getting concerned about it. but i can't imagine being 60-something and having my kid just off to college. i can't imagine never knowing my grandkids.

and those folks who are in their upper 30s, they live nice lives and have nice things...but a kid doesn't fit into their lifestyle. they have NO IDEA what it takes to raise a kid. it's worrisome.

also, i hate cisco..they can bite my shiny metal ass.
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citizengwen From: citizengwen Date: October 6th, 2003 02:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
andrew must have read that guy's article because he's been calling our group the urban tribe for a while now. thanks for the link, he never told me where he got the term.

now i see your point, but i also see mine. i'm 24 and frankly, i do not feel like a mom. nor a wife. maybe i never will. but right now i AM still trying to find some stability. i'm not saying i need a nice house, and a nice career and a nice SUV. but i don't want to have student loans. i DO want a house, but just so i know i won't be kicked out by a landlord or something else. i figure, when i stop eating ramen, then i can have a kid. we live in a world where we can choose when to have a child. i'm not saying i need to wait forever, but at least i can prevent against it now so not to interrupt my general plan for my life (which does include a child in the future).

but there's also a lot of social pressure. i know a lot of people that are married at my age or younger. none of them live in my area. i feel pressured to get married by old college friends and family, but when i look at my new friends and coworkers, i am just TOO DAMN YOUNG! we can all say we don't care what society says and all that jazz, but the truth is...yea, we actually do. and in my society (the society portrayed in the article, written in Arlington), you just don't get married before 27. you don't have kids before 29. and you never, EVER have a child out of wedlock. (partially because it's almost portrayed in my workplace that single females don't have sex....ever. if they do, they don't talk about it. if someone else does, it's all the gossip.)

you use the phrase "i'm too independent." i think i am too. i'm not extremely tight-knit with my tribe (hey, they live 20 min. away!), but part of the reason i don't want to start a family now is because of my independence. i don't think it's much paranoia, but i'll admit to some selfishness. but what's wrong with that. it's my life afterall. i fell in love with andrew and to be honest, there was a lot of time spent on if we wanted kids. we at least wanted a large chunk to be just us. i think that's more healthy than getting married because i was pregnant at 19.

anyway, i think i'm rambling now. just wanted to put in my 45 cents.
taumeson From: taumeson Date: October 6th, 2003 02:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
you put a lot of thought into your response, so i'm gonna try and do the same.

let me start with the 'selfish' comment. in a postmodern sense, there's nothing wrong with selfishness. survival trait, etc., or the "it's my life" reason you gave above. but in a very real sense, there's a problem with it, if you think on a global level. i know you hate bush and his policies. don't you think unilateral warfare for the US's motives is a bit selfish? eh, that's a bit extreme...but i'm hoping we can at least agree that sometimes selfishness is a bad thing. another less extreme example is when that lady got knifed in broad daylight in the middle of rush hour in NYC, and nobody stopped to help.

selfishness is not somethign to be envied or duplicated. we can't do this by ourselves....that saying scales from one person to the entire planet...we can't do this by ourselves. we needed parents, we need police, we need security blankets (some of us). we need people to make our clothes and farm our food. make our electricity. etc.

so being selfish in the midst of a community isn't good.

now, i can't speak towards arlington society...that's custom and tradition, so it has its own set of rules. though i think it's a bit dumb.

i'd also like to point out that i have a tribe myself. i know many parents of kids evie's age, and we'll hang out and do stuff together. sure, a lot of it revolves around the children, but sometimes we get babysitters, you know? life hasn't stopped for any of us. in fact, for most of them, life isn't like what this article suggests. they odn't have school loans, they have the house and the SUV, and they're our age. they're the hometown hero sort...football players, cheerleaders, student body president. they're nurses, and contractors, and in fact one is a lawyer (fucking rich daddy, grumble grumble).

now, you're just being intelligent when you want to wait to have a kid until after you dont' have to eat ramen for every other meal, and i wouldn't want to argue with that. i mean, jesus...i wish MANY MANY more people thought like that...but that's not really what i was addressing...i guess i wasn't clear.

true, the article does mention wanting to move forward in the career before having kids, but that's more a selfish thing than a self-preservation thing. they mention the "dinner club" that goes out and eats at carlyles. give me a fucking break. THAT is what i'm talking about when it comes to urban tribes. driving the BMW and eating out at fancy restaurants, etc., with the excuse that "oh, i'm not ready to be a parent yet" or "i'm not ready to settle down yet". "i'm not ready" just means "i don't want to, because i'm enjoying being single".

don't call it another phase of development. it's just a perfectly capable adult putting money and possessions before family. and THAT is what my rant is about.
(Deleted comment)
taumeson From: taumeson Date: October 6th, 2003 02:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
because they still plan on fitting kids in, somehow. or that it seems that being selfish is a trait to pass onto your kids, instead of telling them to share and help out.

good example: this past weekend i volunteered at evie's school. we painted playground equipment and distributed sand around to meet state guidelines for playground safety. i was one of maybe 15 people there, even though there are about 110 parents with kids at that school.

i even talked to some afterwards, who didn't come ot help out, and they just shrugged. it's like, it wasn't a concern to them. last year i missed it, and i felt bad and apologized. but these people didn't even feel the need to verbalize a reason or excuse.

tamisevens From: tamisevens Date: October 6th, 2003 02:25 pm (UTC) (Link)

in this post, you come off sounding like a bitter old man.

in your next post, you sound like a horny 14-year-old.

you're an interesting guy, nate.
taumeson From: taumeson Date: October 6th, 2003 02:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
you're an interesting guy, nate.

that's the end goal, so ...thanks!

hopefully somebody'll find it interesting enough to stick around a while.

as for sounding like a bitter old man....yeah prolly...though it bothers me that articles like this make me think that people don't realize that life doesn't end at 30 or 40. there's a whole lot more to life.

i understand that people don't know what they want to do with themselves, but putting life on hold isn't helping.
katsby From: katsby Date: October 6th, 2003 10:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
dude... my dad is 65 and my mom is 53... and i'm 20. i think it's great! young people can be good nurturers and good parents... but what could make a better parent than an experienced person? i think it's a great idea to wait until later in life to have kids... it helps thwart overpopulation (to an extent... i guess it just makes it slower), it allows the parents to save up more money to provide for the kids, and it gives the parents a chance to have a life before giving it away to their kids!

and what could be less selfish than being secure with oneself before committing to the welfare of another? i'm not even sure where paranoia even factors in.

and how can you say that a person in their 30s has no idea how to care for a kid? did you have any idea of how to care for kids before you have one? how can you make such blatant general assumptions?
taumeson From: taumeson Date: October 7th, 2003 08:33 am (UTC) (Link)
and how can you say that a person in their 30s has no idea how to care for a kid?

well, i didn't say that. and no, you don't really know how to care for a kid before you have one. but that's not the issue i was talking about.

paranoia factors in because of the number of people who are just afraid of settling down and/or having kids. that's a large part of it. they're scared of not being good parents or not being able to provide. but they're not DOING anything to avoid that.

let's think....what actions can a person really take to become better prepared for "growing up" which, it seems in this thread, means having kids. so there's financial preparedness. how many of us, who've already graduated college and have careers, are doing it? and, as i like to say, how much is enough? is anything EVER enough?

about being "secure with oneself". good luck. like vince said up-thread, it seems there aren't a whole lot of people at 55 aren't real happy. there are scads of women who are still depressed about their bodies, etc.

it allows the parents to save up more money to provide for the kids, and it gives the parents a chance to have a life before giving it away to their kids!

so....money, i can understand (kinda...i understand it, but think it tends to be selfish)...but "chance to have a life"...so kids are the end of it all? its' the end goal of life? why have a kid at all before you're 50, 80, whatever? fuck...i didnt' get to go to europe (a major life to-do for me) until after the kid was around. i had more women this year than i had in previous years, and that's pretty much "living" for a man, you know? i've got a new car, i've got a nice place, i live near the beach, have friends with jet skis i can borrow, etc. i fail to see how i'm not currently having a life.

perhaps that's the point of this all. i get to share it with my baby girl (and it was supposed to be her mom, too), and i don't understand why people would put it off. it's not easy, but for those looking for the easy way out then....good luck. if that's what you truly want, then you'll need it. and don't have kids, cause TRUST ME, it's not easy.
citizengwen From: citizengwen Date: October 7th, 2003 09:57 am (UTC) (Link)
worrying about money is NOT SELFISH. see my ramen noodles argument. i mean, seriously. i avoid going to the doctor like the plague (haha) because it can be too expensive. i have student loan debts of $14,000 which is actually NOT BAD, though i'll be paying them for a good while. i don't own a house. add baby bills and diapers and a hospital stay and now i'm FLAT BROKE and moving back in with mom and dad to help me take care of myself and the kid. how that for irresponsibility.

i don't want to over step my bounds or anything, but i want to point out the stress that children cause in the lives of the parents. i don't know the details of your relationship with the mother (or i know very little), but a lot of marriages break up over that stress. and yes, that is a worry for me. and if you want to say that is selfish, that i'd rather stay childless with my boyfriend then raise a child by myself, than so be it. i can easily throw back that it is selfish to have a child in our overpopulated world in the first place. or it's selfish to give birth instead of adopt.
tamisevens From: tamisevens Date: October 7th, 2003 09:58 am (UTC) (Link)
perhaps that's the point of this all. i get to share it with my baby girl (and it was supposed to be her mom, too), and i don't understand why people would put it off.

But... and correct me if I'm wrong... you didn't plan to have Evie, right? It happened when it did, and now you love being a father, but it's not like you were TRYING to bring a child into your life at that point in time... right?

So maybe having Evie forced you to grow up and become a mature adult at a good time in your life, and that worked out well for you. But I don't really think you have much of an argument going for why other people should follow in your footsteps... from the way you talk about her, Evie sure didn't seem to do anything for your ex-wife's maturity level.
dravenfrost From: dravenfrost Date: October 7th, 2003 10:32 am (UTC) (Link)

Some highly questionable passages.

life doesn't have a goal other than death.

it's the entire idea of "never growing up" that bothers me, and the avoidance of responsibility.

i'm talking about people who have no reason to delay being adults.

and you know what? they're right. we ARE ready. we just don't believe it.

i understand that people don't know what they want to do with themselves, but putting life on hold isn't helping.

I find it interesting that you can judge so many people so easily. Each person's life is different, so I don't see how you can make blanket generalizations about how "growing up" represents the same specific set of criteria to everyone.

According to you, the goal of life is to follow the set path of procreation that has been laid out before us. According to me, life only exists to be enjoyed. The difference is I don't presume that my way is everyone's way.

A couple good points were made, that I'm curious to see your response to, such as when Tami brought up the lack of a decision on your part to have a child. You could very easily never had a child, if things had been just a tad bit different. Also, I'm wondering what your opinion is about adoption, as Citizengwen makes a good point. Isn't is absurdly selfish and irresponsible to bring another child into existence when there are so many ones here already, that aren't being taken care of properly? In fact, you could probably afford another child or two if you tighten your belt. Why are you putting this off? What are you waiting for? Stop being so selfish and adopt immediately!

P.S. Take the tone of this as being only mildly antagonistic rather than extremely.
taumeson From: taumeson Date: October 7th, 2003 08:00 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Some highly questionable passages.

According to you, the goal of life is to follow the set path of procreation that has been laid out before us.


Isn't is absurdly selfish and irresponsible to bring another child into existence when there are so many ones here already, that aren't being taken care of properly?

interesting philosophical point of view. perhaps, but i wouldn't feel the same towards a child that wasn't mine, so really, i'm not somebody who should adopt. so no, not absurdly selfish when i wouldn't be good at it. i'm also not responsible for those other children brought into the world (even if i wanted to be), so whether or not i want to take care of them is a moot point as far as selishness/altruism goes.

to look at it another way, it'd be selfish of me to adopt, because i wouldn't be giving all my attention to my natural children.

In fact, you could probably afford another child or two if you tighten your belt.

true. i can't wait. but like i said upthread, not having a stable relationship is a valid reason to not have kids yet. i'm not saying "everybody breed asap!" i'm just saying that some people's reasons are circumspect. everybody's taking it pretty personally, though, and that's pretty cool :)

if you look back to august/september 2002, i posted some about margi. margi's a model/actress and makes good money as head of a couple rehabilitive therapy ards. she's perfect, except she can't have kids. we fooled around a bit, but i couldn't continue the relationship because i need more kids.

but as far as "tightening my belt", the level of comfort we're used to as middle-income suburban sheep is a bit excessive. you and i and steve and christian grew up together...christian had the most, and i would say steve had the least. but all of us had a lot more than many many people. if we were to live "normal lives" (defined as 'average', i suppose...) we could all have a couple kids, even now.
swolfe From: swolfe Date: October 8th, 2003 04:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
because i'm getting the vague impression that i disagree with you, i would like to argue against you. would you mind going through all of your "arguments" and list them here for me? i've been trying to read through and figure it out myself, but you tend to fill up a lot of space with nonsense that doesn't really say anything...and i wouldn't want to miss any of your "points". :)
taumeson From: taumeson Date: October 8th, 2003 06:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
well, i've just been having a zillion different conversations, one with each commenter. :)

there's no real bullet points here. in general, i dislike that people aren't involved in their community more. i guess it stems from there. i think that people who are in the position to have children (and we have about a million different definitions of that ... but i'm using mine) should have children, if that's what they want...like, they shouldn't put it off for selfish reasons.

so, legit reasons include meeting the right person and developing a relationship, making sure you don't have to eat ramen for every other meal, that's kinda about it. most any other reason i would term as 'selfish'. but it's not really anything we can quantify...everybody has a different life, and everybody has various things happening to them, which is why it's important to keep that article that i cited in mind.

in it it lists an urban tribe that is well-off, and has even started to branch out with spouses, etc. they're enjoying their youth...not necessarily being single, or saving money, or anything...they just don't feel like having kids yet. and i think that that is a selfish way of being, and loses sight of the fact that not only does life not end after having children, but that life itself is a process and is unpredictable. and because of the inherent nature of living, performing risk management when it comes to children is soulless and ... selfish.
From: quelque_chose Date: November 19th, 2003 03:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hi, you don't know me and I realize this post is old but I was perusing your journal and my whole problem with what everyone is saying is that they think having children is some how going to destroy their life. It's like there is this whole stigma that your life STOPS when you have children. No one has bothered to think that it might enrich their lives.
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