Skip to main content

Older but nicer--Having babies when you've sorted things out (8 April 2009)

A lot of people I know become not just mellower but nicer as they age. (I sense this, perhaps, most especially in novelists -- where main protagonists are obviously more patient, sweeter, to other characters in later books than they were in the novelists' very vibrant but more charged and angry earliest works.) I have some suspicion that what happens with those who have self-esteem-enriching experiences of validation and attendance when they were young, but also hampering experiences of abandonment and sadistic treatment, is that they still have it in them to acquire more of what they were lacking and deal with some of what has tended to haunt and stop them, while they go through life. This may in fact be -- without them being consciously aware of it -- what a great deal of their life endeavors are mostly about. And if they end up getting some of the attention they were needing, learn not to denigrate but work to satisfy their own needs, they no doubt end up being better able to attend to their children when they have them than they would have been if they had had them when they were younger. That is, even if the seed is worse, the DNA somewhat hampered, the story of the unfolding and development into its final psychogenetic form may be a better one with older parents.

My mom is a nicer, more giving person than she was when I was a teen: she listens better, more generously, than she once did, and conversations with her leave me feeling warmer and more optimistic. She has largely satisfied her need to be the career woman, a pursuit which left us feeling like our own ambitions were of secondary import when we were teens. I wonder, given how important the quality and quantity of attendance is to the emotional/intellectual development of children of our species, if we should be looking more to the best PSYCHOLOGICAL age and less to the best biological age, for having children?

In any case, this is vein to be mined. Not just because real rightness will be discovered there, but much needed fairness too: as Vanessa argues, if you're in your 30s, without kids, and not obviously on a professional path, you will be looked at as if you are the runt of the pack. Conversely, if you are professional, late 20s, and have a child or two, you are being everywhere "told" you shine golden -- whatever the actual degree of dullness of your story.

Link: No Baby For Old Men (The Tyee)


Popular posts from this blog

Too late -- WE SAW your boobs

I think we're mostly familiar with ceremonies where we do anointing. Certainly, if we can imagine a context where humiliation would prove most devastating it'd probably be at a ceremony where someone thought themselves due an honor -- "Carrie," "Good Fellas." "We labored long to adore you, only so to prime your hope, your exposure … and then rather than a ladder up we descended the slops, and hoped, being smitten, you'd judged yourself worthless protoplasm -- a nothing, for letting yourselves hope you might actually be something -- due to be chuted into Hades or Hell." Ostensibly, nothing of the sort occurred during Oscars 2013, where the host, Seth Macfarlane, did a number featuring all the gorgeous Oscar-winning actresses in attendance who sometime in their careers went topless, and pointed this out to them. And it didn't -- not quite. Macarlane would claim that all obscenity would be directed back at him, for being the geek so pathetic …

Discussion over the fate of Jolenta, at the Gene Wolfe facebook appreciation site

Patrick McEvoy-Halston November 28 at 10:36 AM Why does Severian make almost no effort to develop sustained empathy for Jolenta -- no interest in her roots, what made her who she was -- even as she features so much in the first part of the narrative? Her fate at the end is one sustained gross happenstance after another... Severian has repeated sex with her while she lay half drugged, an act he argues later he imagines she wanted -- even as he admits it could appear to some, bald "rape" -- but which certainly followed his discussion of her as someone whom he could hate so much it invited his desire to destroy her; Severian abandons her to Dr. Talus, who had threatened to kill her if she insisted on clinging to him; Baldanders robs her of her money; she's sucked at by blood bats, and, finally, left at death revealed discombobulated of all beauty... a hunk of junk, like that the Saltus citizens keep heaped away from their village for it ruining their preferred sense of themse…

It might not have been worth it, Lupita

This is how Lupita Nhyong'o describes the shooting of the whipping scene in "12 Years a Slave":  And being there was more then enough to handle. "The reality of the day was that I was stripped naked in front of lots of people," Nyong'o said. "It was impossible to make that a closed set. In fact, I didn't even as for it to be a closed set, because at the end of the day, that was a privilege not granted to Patsey, you know? It really took me there. It was devastating to experiencing that, and to be tied to a post and whipped. Of course, I couldn't possible be really whipped. But just hearing the crack of that thing behind me, and having to react with my body, and with each whip, get weaker and weaker …" She grew quiet, and sighed. "I mean, it was -- I didn't practice it. It was just -- it was an exercise of imagination and surrender." Lupita was trying to become as close as she could to the actual Patsey, out of fidelity, apprec…