"Not A Father's Day" is a fictional holiday invented by the character Barney Stinson on the sitcom "How I Met Your Mother." It should be a real holiday, celebrated 365 days per year.
South city has lots of childless (or "childfree") professionals. I am one of them.
I'm not ashamed of or sad about my lack of offspring. I am good at entertaining myself, I'm outrageously (and unapologetically) self-centered, and the world will get by without my hypothetical kids. I probably couldn't do a whole lot worse at reproduction than some of the knuckleheads out there doing it, but that's a pretty weak rationale for giving it a go.
Oh sure, many moons ago I thought I wanted to get married and have children just like everyone else. I was fascinated by a few independent, eccentric friends, but never really saw myself going in their direction. One by one, though, most of these oddball friends ended up getting married and having kids (including a few that really shocked me). But it's okay; I'll pick up where they left off. Somebody has to.
I've got friends from high school that already have grandkids. Where I grew up, people marry early and they marry often. I know I'm not the norm in this regard (and probably many others).
Some time ago, a friend asked me how I slept alone. I told her that I usually got about seven good hours of shuteye per night. I don't think that was where she was going with the question. But she married young and had kids right away; she's never really been on her own. It's a foreign concept to her.
You know what's a foreign concept to me? The idea that you must have a mate or children to be happy. I believe life is worth living for its own sake. Plus, I'm a skeptic. I'm afraid that if you let someone else be in charge of your happiness, they will eventually use that against you.
You might think this is all just retroactive sour grapes on my part. Not entirely true. I've had some chances. All have ended badly, though, some by my own design.
Also, I'm really not that good with kids. I used to joke that I wouldn't mind having children, as long as they were shipped off to military school at birth and didn't come back until they were eighteen and could hold an intelligent conversation. The thing is: I wasn't entirely joking.
I sometimes feel left out at work because it seems that all anyone talks about is their kids and their sporting activities. When these conversations pop up, I sometimes throw out a complete non-sequitur involving my cat. Or, when they ask me what I did over the weekend, I simply respond: "Whatever I wanted!" That occasionally irks them, for some reason.
I am not actually dead set against the idea of marriage. Unfortunately, I suspect that my ideal co-star in this dark, dark comedy simply doesn't exist.
Did I mention I'm a skeptic?
Chris Morrill is a senior fraud analyst, who enjoys Hawaiian shirts, current events and politics and South City weirdness.