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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

An Open Letter to DINKs Everywhere

Dear DINKs,

Thank you.

Thank you for uploading your gloriously childfree vacation pictures to Facebook. When you do this, I can "vacation" myself after my lovely little noisemakers have gone to bed. Fiji, Costa Rica, Miami, you go. You go to those places. You do it.

And the fact that it only cost you $800 and took only one day to plan? I love it. I do not hate. Because you deserve it. Everyone deserves it. Some of us cannot have it. As DadCamp writes in Babble, for the married-with-kids, a vacation like that would cost $1,500.

He complains about the necessary room sizes, and about the price of dinners. (This is a piece about why people without children suck, and, honestly, the man spends the whole time wishing he was without children. Maybe it's a satire?) But, yes, DadCamp. Dinner for five does cost more than dinner for two. Sorry, but I'm not sure how that is the fault of the childless.

The one thing he doesn't mention is that "a quick getaway" with kids sucks. It's all, "I miss my toys, she's on my side of the bed, I don't want dinner here, I want to stay at the beach, why do I ALWAYS have to take a bath." They're completely unreasonable on vacation, much as they are at all other times of their existence. They're kids. It's what they do.

So, I know that should I suddenly have triple the funds that you have and were able to go on such a trip, I wouldn't have the same kind of vacation that you would have anyway. I would still have a good vacation, but not the same kind. So, thank you. Thank you for having a sane, calming, relaxing vacation with no one whining about the size of the raisins in their toast. And thank you for posting the pictures for me.

DINKs, dear DINKs,

Thank you for living with me in the suburbs. I love to see you sitting on your patios, sipping your margaritas, laughing quietly like adults do, and never having to worry that a toddler is drowning in the pool or tangling himself up in the hammock (for the fifth time). It refreshes me. Just because I can't have something doesn't mean I don't want others to have it.

This, I believe, is how most childless-by-choice people feel about parents. Just because we don't have that, doesn't mean we hate that you have it (well, as long as we're not DadCamp). And I like to see it.

And double thank you to the DINKs who will sometimes invite my family over to partake in what would otherwise have been a childless soiree. If you think I don't understand the sacrifice you have made, I do. You've changed your whole scene, and I thank you.

Thank you also for living in the suburbs with me where you pay taxes for the school system even though you do not have kids going to school. This is a debt I can never repay. Well, I mean, I'm sure the parenting community must do something to improve your lives. I just can't think of anything right now...Bueller?

When DadCamp says "my best friend is married, no kids. He moved in to his childhood neighborhood, across from his old school which is now closed. It sits empty because too many empty nesters sucked the demand dry," I simply cannot fathom what he is talking about. In what childless mecca could he and his family actually live where there are so few children in the suburbs that a school sits empty due to the dry-sucking of DINKs?

Could the school be sitting empty, perhaps, because the taxes everyone (including DINKS) are paying made it possible for the district to build a new one? I may need to see some numbers here, DadCamp. (Also, I really like saying DadCamp.)

Thank you for being well-rounded human beings who may very well enjoy baking cookies on a Wednesday night as much if not more than a weekend getaway. That was an odd generalization for DadCamp to make.

Personally, I would rather have the weekend getaway. And I know a childless, married friend who would rather make the cookies. Because we're individuals. Children or no children does not account for personal taste and pleasure. Just saying.

Thank you for putting up with the drool of the parents who say things like "You have half the expenses and double the income!" out loud in a whiny, typed-out tone. Most of us only think it because, derp, these are choices that we have made. Choices. Like you made, too. They both have good points and bad points.

Of course, if one of the good points of being parents is supposed to be that we're "showered in family" with "children and grandchildren to keep us company" perhaps we'd better improve our attitude a bit (throat clear...DadCamp...cough). Just because these people are related to us doesn't mean they'll be around when we're old. We have to keep a good relationship with them in order for that to happen. And whining about how awesome DINKs have it on the internet probably isn't the best start. Also, what if one of those dozens of grandchildren we're all going to be showered with decides not to have children? Quite the conundrum we've now stumbled upon, eh?

In conclusion, DadCamp (God, I love saying DadCamp) "wonders how happy a childless couple will be when they’re at the end of the line?" And I answer, I have no idea, but I'm betting it depends on the couple and the two people within that couple. I'm betting it will have absolutely nothing to do with their lack of children by choice.

You can't just make up random pretend problems for people that they'll have in thirty years just to make yourself feel better now.

Instead, why not sit back, cut the gum out of your hair, steam clean a carpet, and put the lovely brood to bed--so you can log onto Facebook and take a mini-vacation, courtesy of the childless people on your friendslist.

Thank you, DINKs.

Oh, and PS - I actually love your sticker.

Courtesy original Babble article. Because the title of the article is too good.




 

9 comments:

  1. I actually read "cut the gum out of your hair" as "Cut the CUM out of your hair" and died. laughing. Then I re-read the sentence. Still funny though, yo.

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  2. I physically CAN'T vacation anymore, so I'll have to live vicariously through my friends' and family's photos of their amazing overseas vacations. I enjoy seeing it too, especially as it's something I cannot do. And apparently there are people out there who admire my parenting, so perhaps I have people looking enviously at my life in some ways too. It may be a difference in choices or just the way life worked out, but no one's life is perfect and I think it's good that you (and I) are recognizing that. Pros AND cons. Each good and bad in their own little ways.

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  3. As one of those DINKs who was deeply offended by DopeCamp's babbling rhetoric, I thank you for writing this. But even setting aside how angry that jerk made me, your post's well composed and engaging, and I enjoy your style. :)

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  4. Thank you for this! I LOVE having friends with kids who respect my life as well. I enjoy hearing about the stories that unfold as their children grow up. We share community. People like DadCamp would be pathetic regardless of their choice to have children. I never wanted them. Not for a minute. Now post menopausal and happy as a clam. My lovely friend and I each live vicariously through each other's lives. She enjoys my extra bit of freedom. I enjoy hearing stories about how her boys enjoy playing outside on their farm with mountain views. It's part of our shared narrative.

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