Anyway, in one scene, one of the main characters makes an interesting comment. He is feeling badly about himself for being what he considers a loser and says something to the effect of, "most people at my age are married and have kids and look at me".
It strikes me as curious that people equate marriage and children with success.
As you know, I am happily married and childfree. I also consider myself a successful person, as far as living a pretty happy and fulfilling life. Yet, I do not consider myself a success because I am married, nor do I consider marriage a necessary component of a successful life, although my particular marriage is a very big component of the happiness and fulfilment in my life. I am married because I happened to find a wonderful and compatible man with whom I want to spend the rest of my life in a committed relationship. Had I not, I am fairly confident I would have had a happy and fulfilling life as a single woman. Would my life have been as happy as my current life is? I guess we'll never know, but I can tell you I certainly wouldn't have married any old guy just so I could feel I met some adult success requirement.
I also do not consider myself an unsuccessful person because I do not have children. What does it say about our society that children are used as status symbols and tools measuring adult success? Is this their purpose - to make us feel accomplished? (Don't get me started. You know how I feel about childbearing being touted as an accomplishment). People are often touted as having it all if they have a spouse and children, yet there are so many unhappily married people and also so many unhappy parents. Is this the all that everyone is so desperate to have?
This subject brings back to mind a comment one of my brothers made to me back when his girlfriend was expecting their first child. He said he really wanted to have a kid because "when you look at life, what else is there, really?" and he looked at me as if he expected me to agree with this. The sadness I felt for him at that moment was palpable. How unsatisfying must his life be that he looks to fatherhood as his life's one salvation - the only worthwhile endeavor that will save him from a completely meaningless life? What a huge burden to put on a child.
I didn't respond to his question - I figured my feelings on the matter wouldn't be at all helpful to him. What else is there in life? There is so much in life that my biggest worry is about time going by too quickly - before I've had a chance to experience it all...enjoy it all...explore it all...learn it all. Life is such a wonderous adventure, like an intricate flower with so many unfolding petals, each one more beautiful than the next.
It's interesting when you think about it. My brother chose to have a child because he perceives there is nothing else worthwhile in life, and I chose not to have children because I feel there is so much worthwhile in life that having a child would keep me from.
We obviously have very different perspectives on life.