Life has a funny way of meandering around and taking you places when you least expect it. Personally, I have no regrets regarding the path I chose. I chose to get a parrot. Then another one. And another. But then, I’m not married, I have no children and I find my birds to be really great company. Of course they can be a pain in the ass sometimes, just like a spouse or children can be. So I’m not really missing anything there…
My “singularity’ has tended to work for me. I’ve thought occasionally of what I didn’t choose. I did choose birds. I chose to have a dog. These were things I made a conscious decision to do. But there were other decisions that consciously or unconsciously I studiously avoided. Like, living in the suburbs in a house with a typical family. I didn’t do that because I imagined myself going quietly insane behind the picket-fenced reality of that life.
I watched the premier of the show Pan Am the other night. This doesn’t sound like a big deal but I was in Grand Cayman when I watched it. I didn’t choose to be in Cayman but I happened to be there for work. Anyway, one of the characters becomes a Pan Am Stewardess, as we were called back then, after running out on her own wedding day. I would have stood up and cheered and applauded in my hotel room if I wasn’t so damned tired. She just couldn’t go through with it and it took guts to make a decision like that. I think she knew she’d be miserable.
Back in 1963, if a housewife was unhappy, depressed or frustrated, your friendly family doctor usually started yanking out the prescription pad for a few doses of “Mother’s Little Helper.” Here. Have some Miltown. And why not a little Librium while I’m at it? Now quit whining.
I found this dandy photo of “Mother’s Little Helper” Here.
I recently almost had a reunion with a former boyfriend from years ago. Our paths were going to cross and for the life of me, I couldn’t remember why we had stopped seeing each other. He’s a great guy. He’s cute. He’s very intelligent and funny. He has a checking account and his main mode of transportation is not a company van with two ladders on top. (Try going to wedding in that…)
I made dinner plans, cooking plans and going-out plans and I was really happy about the prospect of seeing him again. Then he had to cancel because of a business deal gone bad and he had to fly to New York to straighten it out. He apologized profusely and promised to keep in touch. That was two weeks ago and I haven’t heard a peep. Oh, yeah! Now I remember why I stopped seeing him!
I chose to remain in this state of singularity except for my birds. I’ve always tended to travel light. As a matter of fact, when I travel with the Greys, I usually have more crap for them than I do for me. A regular family? Not for me. In this era, the “single life” is more readily accepted. I don’t think anyone has ever called me a spinster, or even remotely suggested that I’d be happier if I got married.
I have been in one wedding. I have been to one wedding shower. I have been to zero baby showers. If I was ever invited to one, I’d probably show up with the Encyclopedia Brittianica or a starter fund for the kid to attend Harvard. And I really don’t like those games people have a tendency to play just to pass the time instead of just opening up the freakin’ presents and getting on with the lunch buffet.
I’m not one for procreation. I guess I just believe there’s too many humans as it is and I never thought the world would really miss my little addition to the gene pool. Rather, I decided to contribute to the world not by procreating kids, but procreating ideas and information. I thought that child-bearing should be best be left to those with the urge to do it, and the means with which to do it. And to be honest, the idea of giving birth scares the hell out of me. I’ve seen it up close and personal in the back of a 737 and I still can’t figure out how it’s physically possible. But then, I’ve never been able to figure out how the male of the human species can walk.
I’ve even asked them. “Hey, quick question: How do you guys get around? I just don’t understand how you can walk with all that extra cargo up front. I mean, don’t you chafe or something?”
So, if anyone looks at you strangely because you happen to have a few parrots, just point a finger at me and tell them you know someone who’s even weirder than you are. Parrots aren’t the new dog yet, but I believe it certainly defines you as being someone who thinks just a little bit differently than most. And as far as I’m concerned, that’s just fine.