"Well, at least none that I know of." Followed by a smirk.
It's fairly adolescent and definitely overused. The response to whether a guy has children or not, and we've all heard it spoken. As someone who doesn't have kids, I can empathize just how unselfish one needs to be in order to make it a reality. I am not that person. We all have our reasons why, or why not, but having children has never been a priority for me. If I do have kids they will be the center of my world, along with their yet to be determined mother, but right now they are not on my radar.
My hat goes off to all the fathers in this world this coming Sunday, Father's Day; definitely my own father, and all the other fathers, by deferring to them at the local golf course and nearby family restaurants on their special day. I appreciate the work and sacrifices you and your spouse make to foster our next generation of leaders. But she had her day last month.
Friends of mine that have kids say it changes your life. "Your life, as you know it now, will never be the same." They all say that. Then they tell me how rewarding it is, and how hard it is, and yes, it's really worth all the sacrifices. And usually that is all they say. Then they ask what it's like to be single and childless.
I do think kids are awesome -- don't mistake my disinterest in rearing with apathy toward brilliant minds that are filled with wonderment and haven't been robbed of endless hope and the joys of summer! Kids rock! Just not for me. I prefer to be the cool 'uncle' who comes over, gets the kids ramped up on sugar and games, and then goes home to watch SportsCenter alone or It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia reruns.
My ex-wife was aware of my apathy toward child-rearing when we first met. Granted, a three-week courtship seldom gets thoroughly vetted, but we still got married 18 days later. In Vegas. By a rabbi. And not just any rabbi, but one that makes house calls. We were married for a few years before realizing two parallel lines will never converge.
One day while enjoying my coffee at a curbside table at the local Starbucks, my then-wife decided that I should finish the coffee and we should resume our Sunday walk. Obviously not noticing the blood-red 1984 Ferrari GTSi parked directly in front of me, she kept talking. I couldn't listen too closely because that same model, the one which Magnum P.I. drove, was parked directly in front of me. Simply: it was the reason I wanted to be a car designer as a youth.
"Let's go," she said again. Finally, I had to address the situation. "Can't I just sit here a little longer? You know I love cars... this car... this exact car. It's not the fastest Ferrari, or even the most expensive. Heck, a Dodge Omni GLHS is faster!! And you can buy one of these used for less than $40K. But that's not the point. This car is beautiful! It looks like it's fast and it's not even running. I love this. Please let me drink my coffee and enjoy this."
She looked at me. And then was a little more imperative with her next line. "Let's go. That car does nothing for me."
"Oh, now you know how I feel about kids." Not the answer expected. Day ruined.
Not surprisingly I've been divorced since 2006 and still don't have kids...
I won't even say the last part because Facebook, Twitter and all the other social media make it almost impossible to say!! Shortly the phrase will become obsolete like, "I called but you weren't home."
The ex is now remarried, has a bigger house and, yes, has kids. A storybook ending by all accounts and we are all happier for it. All's well that ends well.
I want to thank all of my friends who have kids. And my dad. You guys deserve it. I'm also happy, for your sake, that Father's Day comes on the heels of Mother's Day and not vice versa. You know how high the bar is. Now just belly up to it and relax for once.