Saturday, December 30, 2006

uterus for sale, in unused mint condition – with original matching eggs

Earlier this year, and at our grandmother’s funeral no less, a cousin of mine who has reached the zenith of feminine happiness and enlightenment proceeded to discuss my life to me. She has all of about five years on me, though I think I’m wearing it better, and has always maintained that older-than-thou mentality. She thinks, in short, that it is well within her province as Older Cousin to tell me how to live. Being the youngest, of my generation, in the family I’ve often encountered this little problem. The amount of attention I’ve paid them over the years has amounted to just short of stuff all – it really is hard to be lectured by those who measure life differently and harder still to pay them even cursory attention. Normally, you see, its water off the back of the proverbial. But what can I say, the bitch got to me, really got to me. I hadn’t even noticed the festering irritation until I was talking to someone recently and then – oh my.

The two things the self-darling mentioned that really bothered me were my age (always amusing coming from one’s elder) and my choice of education. My age is only relevant that at 28 I am (oh no) effectively on-the-shelf and have made no inroads into procreating. I’m getting on, you see. I need to decide this now. An infant, obviously, is more important to a woman than paying her way or having any other manner of interaction with life. Since I can barely pay my way now and certainly can’t afford a nanny, let alone being unsure if I’d actually like to have a brat, I rather think that childlessness is quite the sensible option. Apparently, though, the part of my brain not consumed with shoes ought to be working towards finding me a stooge. Oh sorry, I meant a man to take care of me and pay my bills in return for sex, children, no sex, and a whole shitload of crap about how hard my life is and how much I’ve sacrificed. (Though if I were my dear coz I’m sure that it would have gone a little more like this: virtual whoredom, snagged a lovelorn fool, barely put out, got the ring, put out enough to get knocked up, had the baby, and baby you are a fool for life and you know it.) Because, you know, that’s the way it goes and that’s what we’re here for. A thought just occurred to me: maybe her earnest desire to see me with child stems from her obvious belief that I am of otherwise no value to the world – even if I am going to have little fatties.

As noted, she also took me to task about my education. Oh dear, I have a fucking arts degree and we all know what that means. It means that my rich parents put me through university so I could get dumb old me a Mrs. Probably, they paid someone off so that I’d actually graduate cause you just know I didn’t manage to pass any classes. Anyone, you know, can do an arts degree, they’re nothing, honest, you’d have to be a complete fucking moron to even want to study…sorry what are humanities…? Dearest coz could have gone to university, only she’d have done something worthwhile, don’t know what but she’s very clever, probably would have made a doctor. Pity she felt school so restricting when she was sixteen. She’s done loads of Tafe courses since though and you know how, um, academically challenging office studies are. I’m sure she can macramé up a storm or something. It’s a crying shame that she’s unable to manage the basic research to denigrate my education effectively. The education that I will, one day, be forced to pay for. An education that saw me working two or three jobs to barely survive and that taught me rather a lot more than one finds in books or at the hands of skilled teachers. That at twenty I made a conscious decision to sacrifice all I knew because I was intellectually bored and because I needed to break from familiarity. Because I couldn’t prolong childhood any longer by always having someone always there, always looking after me, because I needed more from life than the half-life of a child in their parent’s home. And I was a child, I still think I am a child because it didn’t serve to forge me in the fashion I’d planned. The scared child is the scared child still only now with added debt. She, of course, went from mummy to housemate to hubby all within a one hundred kilometre radius and a handful of years. She has, you can see, every right to look in askance at my life as I have chosen the easy options. And I have no right to look in horror at hers as she has, evidently, the one true path to all that is good and glorious in life. Clearly there’s something wrong with education for its own sake and for not being on the same path as her at 28. Was she on that path then – what was it, five short years ago? They go in a haze, don’t they, years? No sooner one comes than it’s gone. Though I think I can safely say that she was always on the lookout for someone to ease her way and look after her.

By far the most irritating aspect of this interaction was that it had its genesis in my own loose tongue. To be fair, however, not even the best of seers would have foreseen that a former friend to whom, alas, I rather entertainingly described my family now looks set to marry my favourite cousin. Hell, I was there and I didn’t foresee it (or, rather, hoped the beer-goggles and drugs would’ve worked off by now). The bile transfers beautifully from one relationship to another and in the interests of preserving the status quo, and making herself look like the innocent lamb to my vile and aggressive she-wolf, she evidently made free with comments never meant to be heard by their inspiration. The obvious lesson is to be far more careful about who I rudely, if truthfully, discuss and with whom I discuss them. As I now have a dearth of cousins with whom I speak regularly and/or who are on the hunt for a cunt/uterus/cheap bed-warmer life partner/significant other/light’o’love then I suppose my task shall be somewhat easier. I’d totally give up talking about people behind their backs but then life would be way more boring that it already is.


Mish said...

There's always one in every goddamn family. This is why I am really freaking glad most of my family lives overseas. Still doesn't stop the comparisons though. "Why can't you be more like your cousin Jane?". Bah.

Do what I do: Just listen, then completely disregard. This helps preserve sanity.

glen said...

meh i never get that about humanities thingmigigery

however, i am introduced as "a left wing academic" by my parents, which is completely hilarious... i mean i haven't even finished the phd, how am i an academic?

plus one of my best friends starting berating me about the language I use. he was very sneaky: "Are you going to publish your phd?"
"maybe. As a trade publication probably, if at all."
"well, no one wantsa read about events and spaces, they want to here about how sick some motor is."

i don't get how all these people with 'useful' jobs actually function. do they actually switch off enough to be turned on or is that vice versa? such glorious meaninglessness!!!

mhe said...

Sometimes it feels awfully good to rant, doesn't it?

I don't really have a family to speak of. In some ways, it's awesome. I don't get the "why are you not more like xxx" talks. In fact, I am like absolutely nobody else in my family. In other ways, it sucks because I don't have that family aspect of my life.

It seems to me that you are making the strides you want to in life, and you are intelligent enough to know that there are more to make. Stereotypical roles are for people that are too afraid to live and learn to their potential. Then, they want someone else to wallow in their shit, so they lecture you about what you have done wrong in your life. Generally, the life lecturers are the ones who have lived the least.

Keep doing your thing. Keep growing. You are always the begining of what you will become.

TimT said...

Knowing that there is Nothing More Important than the procreation and furtherance of our breed, at every family gathering I go to from now on, I shall announce that my precious loin juice is for sale, with a two for one deal on Saturdays. Oh, and on Sundays and public holidays, I shall make special donations for charity.

It's all for The Family, don't you know.

Armagnac Esq. said...

My wedding song was about ignoring the pains in the arse who tell you you have to settle down, stop being self centred, make a commitment etc... because by ignoring them something fantastic caught me off guard when I least expected it.

Family are a right pain. You don't choose them. IMHO you can choose to minimise your interaction with them, it's not a bad thing.

PS just finished advising my lil bro not to "jump" from arts to law where he's enjoying his arts but under pressure to do a "vocational course". Yeah, end up like your older brother armagnac, bitching about his career and still not happy after 4 degrees and 6 years work experience. Wow, that's a smart move!

Enny said...

I am getting some similar pressure from friends - but friends who are less 'likely' to do that sort of thing, so pressure me as it's more 'attainable' for me.

I also love the term 'self-darling'!

nailpolishblues said...

Mish, I mostly have nothing to do with her - I'm pretty sure that most of her drivel came from the fact that she knows I think she's retarded. She's fighting back using the breeder-mystic-woman card - which is a bit of a yawn coming from someone who trades sex for money...

Glen, I get it all the time. My family are either flat our proud that I got a degree or are confused about 'what does that make you?' I now reply with 'educated' (tho only very little) which is taken to be grossly insulting...
Parents always seem to get confused by such distinctions, don't they..?

mhe, I love the rant, I own the rant, I am become the rant!
I suspect that I'd fare better in my famly if I were like them and/or liked being touched up by them. It strikes me as ironic that an uncle who once told me to 'get that fuckin' plum outta ya mouth' is now so disappointed by the insanity of one, or one might say both, of his children that he now seems almost proud of me. Still, I'd score more points from him if I behaved like a proper sheila and had some kids or something [and/or let him touch my boobies].

Tim, I think men rarely get the same kind of pressure - you can still be sharing that, ah, precious loin juice and hoping to make babies indefinitely. I have roughly 14 years, which seems a hell of a lot to me, but I can see her point even if I don't share her ambitions for my body.
Auction of bodily fluids is always, need I say it, a very good idea.

armagnac, yes,it'll be another three, five, twenty years before I see her again with any luck [though I am forever cursed with the image of her breasts struggling to escape her wedding dress. The dress wasn't putting up that much of a fight, I think it knew it was beat...]. We've run out of mutual grandparents so we won't encounter that moment ever again!
I quite loathe the vocational course - send them back to technical college! [I know, I am a snob.]
4 degrees, eh? Do you wear a hair shirt to bed?

Enny, that was my favourite phrase too :)
Ugh, my friends have never pressured me to settle down and have babies. In fact, one has threatened to disown me if I do and I think some of the others kinda-sorta wish they'd deferred the kiddy thing until they were older. Much older, possibly never.

themarina said...

ugh. I hate people like this. I don't have a cousin quite like that but I do have an aunt that gives me what I've come to refer to as "the talk". I especially love the bit about getting married and having kids. She always says this like it's a given. God forbid that D and I may be quite happy "together" without marriage and we may choose to skip the whole kids bit. Oh my. Don't tell her that. I can relate but I have to say I've never enjoyed reading about it more than I did reading your entry. Just makes it seem that much more absurd.

Boo said...

Oh, thank Christ I'm not the only one who receives this shit...

Yours in cobwebs! And proud of it!!!