Child-free/less-ness and the New Social Leprosy
I am not a parent.
I love kids. I have the funniest niece and nephew in the world.
I feel neither unfulfilled, nor superior for never having passed a mucous plug.
I do, however, miss my friends.
I am not being selfish.
I am not asking you to troll Williamsburg dive bars to play skee-ball until 3am.
I am asking if you want to grab coffee, or if you want me to come over and hang out with you and your kid.
Hell, I’m asking if I can ever meet your kid.
I’m even willing to borrow said niece or nephew, so you don’t have creepy non-parents hanging around your kid’s Pump It Up party.
I think I am empathetic enough, and have been a good enough friend, where you shouldn’t dare say, “You don’t understand. You don’t have kids.” Don’t say that. That’s harsh. And you didn’t appreciate it, either, when you didn’t have kids.
I miss you.
If you’re a parent and don’t know me yet, and we have the opportunity to strike up a friendship, don’t distrust me because I don’t have kids. I’m not creepy. I can recognize you as a parent and as a person. I can like you for both.
If you’re a parent and don’t know me yet, don’t write me off because I don’t have kids. I come in handy: I’m free to babysit in a jam. I’m free to pick you up at the airport. I’ve already had the chicken pox. When you tell me awesome stories about your kids, I won’t interrupt you with how my kid is even more awesome. When you want to complain about your kids, I won’t judge. I, too, think they are loud. And sticky.
Give me a chance to miss you too.