All posts tagged: Tribes

Silly Things People Have Said to Me When I Tell Them I’m Not Having Kids

There will be no children in my future. Ever. Yes, I am married. Yes, my husband knows that I do not want children. Yes, we both realize we’re extremely fortunate to be able to elect to live childfree. He doesn’t want kids either. It’s part of the reason I married him. (That, and he has excellent hair.) He married me knowing that and also because I always clean the litter box. I probably brought up the topic of kids on the second date — it would have been a deal breaker. My husband would make the world’s greatest father. But that alone isn’t reason enough for me to become the mother I’ve never wanted to be, to take on a crushing financial burden or to add more to my already too-full plate. I love my friends’ children. Because I don’t have to take care of them. Their cuteness is there to fulfill my need to see cute things. I don’t expect them to behave for me, and they don’t expect 18 years of dinner from …

The Tribe of Shared Experience: I Think it’s Called Family

We gathered over a photo: a simple mobile snapshot of a house. A stately stone and shingle suburban colonial once owned by my grandparents. In the picture, it’s a beautiful, blue-sky day. Sun glistens off the shutters. Shadowy elm tree branches appear to intertwine like figures on the windows. A row of thick green hedges seem fuller than I remember. Two flower pots sit on the walkway and welcome you with bright red begonias. Last month, my cousin had driven past our grandparents former home in Hatfield, PA, the place where my dad grew up, a place that held so many memories for all of us. He snapped a photo and posted it on Facebook. Within minutes, another cousin posted: “Lots of memories there.” And so sparked a litany of comments: moments, quirks and random stuff that existed in — and only in — that house in Hatfield and in our collective brains. One thought would trigger another. “Do you remember the Plexiglass game pieces we’d play with?” “We still have those Plexiglass game pieces!” “The …

The Best Part Of Divorce? My Ex-Wives Club

When I was newly separated from my husband of seven years, I met a woman who was in the process of getting divorced. We were at our local watering hole — I’d met her through a few mutual friends, so we struck up a conversation. At first glance, she couldn’t have been more different than me. The kind of woman that was intimidating. The kind of woman that all men looked at and bought drinks for. Tall and blonde with a sexy German accent, she was the opposite of my short, mousy brown American self. But we started talking about what we had in common: our soon to be ex-husbands, what had happened to our marriages, and how the divorce processes were going. I asked her how her little kids, who were the same ages as mine, were handling living in two separate places. She said it was going okay except they always came back to her house bedraggled. Tired. Teeth unbrushed. Hair slightly matted. I guess I shouldn’t have been so shocked but wow, …

Online Dating: You’re Doing it Wrong

Perhaps it’s because I met my man of nearly a decade online, or maybe it just appeals to my lazy nature, but I’ve always been a fan of internet dating. Why go out to a bar when you can sit home and order potential penises from the comfort of your couch? Incredibly, I still have friends who balk at the idea of looking for love (or sex) via the interwebs. Perhaps it’s just short-sightedness on my part, but I don’t see any downside. I mean, I’d never had much faith in love, but shopping for dates was more fun than shopping on Zappos or Etsy. Sure, for a while I pursued it with the vigor that others invest in activities like Bikram Yoga or a methamphetamine addiction, and yeah, it cost me a couple bucks (and occasionally my dignity), but after more than 500 or so fruitless dates, I met someone really great. So since I was already proselytizing my face off about this issue to my friends, and had a veneer of legitimacy due …

Park Slope, Brooklyn: A Mom’s Defense

I never intended to be here. I mean, I explicitly did not want to be here. When my husband and I were looking for apartments, we instructed our real estate agent to show us any neighborhood near downtown Brooklyn: Carrol Gardens, Boerum Hill, Cobble Hill, Ft. Greene, DUMBO, basically anything but Park Slope. There’s a ‘Park Slope’ neighborhood in most cities with hip, urban centers, but the birthplace — the ur-destination — of obnoxious, yuppie parenthood is this neighborhood in Brooklyn, NY. Picture expensive SUV-style strollers blocking the sidewalk. Picture mommy bloggers with yoga mats drinking imported teas. Toddlers named Henry and Sophia taking advanced Mandarin classes. That’s the rep. No individually minded person with street cred would get anywhere near it. And yet what happened next is that I moved to Park Slope. My husband and I have two children. We both work full-time jobs. We spend more than a firefighter’s annual salary on childcare. (This is true.) And I have become a Park Slope Mom. When my husband, my 1 1/2-yr-old daughter and I moved to our …

How I Broke Up (and Eventually Got Back Together) with AA

I’ve always had enormous respect for Alcoholics Anonymous. Just the idea that, nearly 80 years ago, two guys, both desperate to stay sober, found a way to help each other, then help others, then write a book and start a life-saving movement — one that now has more than two million members worldwide — is astounding. AA’s history is fascinating, and I will always be inspired by it, regardless of my own relationship status with the fellowship. Because it’s been a bumpy one. Since 2005, AA has been like that boyfriend you love, then leave, then run back to for all the wrong reasons, then leave again, for a long time. Until one day, years later (if you’re lucky), you reunite once more, but only after both partners have had the life experiences they needed to change, to grow, to sort out whatever stuff was getting in the way of a successful relationship in the first place. That, in a nutshell, sums up what my love life with Alcoholics Anonymous has been like. AA is …