Thursday, January 12, 2012
In the Life F.C.
I was heating up my lunch today in the office kitchen when an associate (who I do not know well) asked me how I was doing and how my holidays were. We got to chatting about holidays and winter and I mentioned that I am disappointed that we haven't gotten any snow this year so far because I love to ski, particularly on real snow, as opposed to machine-made. She was nodding vigorously in agreement, so I asked her if she also likes to ski. She said, "Yes, I used to... B.C." I asked, "B.C.?" and she replied, "Before Children". We both got a good laugh. I replied, "I like that! So let's see...I guess that makes me F.C. - Free of Children!" She looked a little confused for a moment, but then she laughed.
Exchanges like this are seemingly small and insignificant until one really thinks about the bigger implication of what is being expressed. I like to think of these types of interactions as nice little reminders of just how good we childfree people have it. So often we take for granted our freedoms and our ability to continue doing all the things we love uninterupted when so many of our counterparts long ago bid farewell to their hobbies, their friends, their interests, their free time and adult recreation because they made one seemingly simple decision. If the thought pops into my mind that I might like to go skiing on Saturday, I pack up my skiis, hop in the car and head to the slopes. If a parent decides he would like to go skiing on Saturday, he will most likely immediately decide that it's impossible because it would involve taking the kid, which would not work because the kid does not know how to ski, or does not want to learn how to ski, or decides it would be too expensive to take the kid, or it would be too difficult to arrange a sitter on such short notice, or it wouldn't be possible because Saturday is the day that Junior has football practice. Just thinking about it is enough to bring on a headache.
But it's not just our pursuit of recreation that is so much easier for the childfree. When I go home after a busy day at work, I most likely will not feel like cooking. Maybe I will throw together a salad. Maybe I will eat a bowl of cereal. Or maybe (if I am feeling particularly naughty, which tends to happen as it gets closer to the weekend) I will eat chocolate chip cookies. In any of these scenarios, here's what I am not doing. I am not slaving. I am not serving. I am not rushing. I am not negotiating. I am not catering to picky tastes. I am not making multiple meals to please multiple palates. I am not worrying. And the icing on the cake? I am not spending $800 - $1,200 a month on groceries!
Oh, my poor, pitiable childfree life - such an empty, lacking life - sitting home with hubby at night, relaxing on the couch, reading or cackling over Seinfeld re-runs, talking leisurely about our day, making plans for the weekend, going to bed early and getting a nice, full night of sleep, waking up well-rested, having time in the morning to exercise, browse the internet, have a nice breakfast together, talk and ease into the day. No racing, no rushing, no corraling, no noise, no arguing, no homework, no resentment.
The morale of this story? A life B.C. is good, but a life F.C. is infinitely better.