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Guest Post: Life Lessons. The F-word and Children. Don’t Do It.

Recently, Srinivas Rao and I had a conversation, and he recorded it, the bastard.

He said: I read your stuff, and you’re funny and it is good, but I kept wondering, what is this about? Where is she going with this??  What’s the point???

When Srini said that, it was like I was talking to my father or my high school guidance counselor or Penelope Trunk and as if the f-word (focus) is essential to living and writing effectively and successfully. Harrumph.

And yet despite my lack of focus (I write about sex! and money! and meaning! so there!) Srini still asked me to write for his site. I tried to talk him out of it so I suggest you direct your complaints straight to him.

Srini’s Skool of Life is a personal development, productivity, how-to-live-The-Good-Life kinda site.

My blog is called CLEAVAGE.

Possibly (no possibly about it) this is not a great fit, because here is the abridged version of my unsubstantiated good-life theories:

multi-tasking – the devil. stop it now.
time management – the devil’s assistant. stop it now.
will power – endangered, temporary, possibly imaginary and primarily fueled by sugar. don’t bother.
being well-rounded – really, really, REALLY: don’t bother.
money – I like it, in theory – I’m not really sure because I don’t have any – and feel free to get some now. I won’t judge and you can totally take me to dinner but only if you promise to put out.
do what you love and the money will follow – hahahahahahahahahaha. I do what I love and I’ve made $6 at it in six months. Hence the call for dinner.
jobs, careers, success – meh.
therapy – by Cary Tennis, only.
dating – hate it.
sex – pro. pun intended.
law of attraction – GIVE ME A MOFO BREAK.

Yup. I do not think you can ‘attract’ wealth magically by wishin’ and a-hopin’; I do think the attempt to lasso your time into obedient, methodical slots is a crapshoot and the house is gonna win and you are not the house and I WILL mix and match my metaphors as I please; and if I could easily get a lot of satisfying sex without dating, ever, ever EVER again, I would.

Actually I think I can. I have EXACTLY what it takes. It is called “being a woman”.

So…life lessons. You’ve been warned. You really shouldn’t listen to me about anything:

I’m a writer. My income and expenses have achieved a sort of high-speed stasis so I can’t advise you on prosperity.

I can’t advise you on marriage or weight-loss because when when I’m not grinding my teeth over the Wedding Industrial Complex and The! Obesity! Crisis!, I’m grinding political axes. (Is it obvious?) After all, I’m a single mama with a body by chocolate and I’m okay with that and I think you should be, too.

Possibly I could share with you my how-to tips for getting knocked up except I don’t think this is that kind of site.

OOOOOOH oooh I’ve got it.  Srini’s a single, unlikely-surfer dude and never writes about kidlets. I’ll take it on.

If you want to be happy, DO NOT HAVE CHILDREN.

This is not just the whimpering opinion of an over-run mama. This is FACT. It was in Time Magazine and if Daniel Gilbert – a happiness researcher and my imaginary boyfriend – said so then it must be true.

“Studies reveal that most married couples start out happy and then become progressively less satisfied over the course of their lives, becoming especially disconsolate when their children are in diapers and in adolescence, and returning to their initial levels of happiness only after their children have had the decency to grow up and go away. When the popular press invented a malady called “empty-nest syndrome,” it failed to mention that its primary symptom is a marked increase in smiling.

Psychologists have measured how people feel as they go about their daily activities, and have found that people are less happy when they are interacting with their children than when they are eating, exercising, shopping or watching television. Indeed, an act of parenting makes most people about as happy as an act of housework. Economists have modeled the impact of many variables on people’s overall happiness and have consistently found that children have only a small impact. A small negative impact.”

So there you have it.

Children do not make you happy.  Instead, they make you grow up, become less and more selfish at exactly the same time, connect you to the ancestors and make you appreciate your mother, addict you to the heroin-like bliss that is Robert Munsch, and force you to surf tidal waves of emotion at the most random and mundane moments. As a parent, your life waters may appear calm but beneath the surface roil treacherous and overwhelming undertows of love. And who the hell needs that?

When not actively oppressed by her two very pretty kids – cute is a survival mechanism - Kelly Diels writes “through the lines that shape us” at Cleavage, a blog about about sex, money and meaning.

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