Yeah, I'm a crabby old lady. What's it to you?

I was listening to public radio while driving to my job interview in "The City" this week, I heard something that irritated me. I know what you're thinking: "But Übermilf, you're NEVER irritated!" Well, exceptions prove the rules, don't they?


What irritated me was a "Stories on Stage" reading about a young guy who finds out his girlfriend (with whom he lives) is pregnant, and after initially telling her he's happy and wants the baby, skips out on her. And, presumably, we're supposed to feel for his predicament. Without, presumably, feeling for his girlfriend's predicament, because if we felt HER predicament, we wouldn't feel like listening to his escape story, we'd feel like telling him to TURN HIS DAMN CAR AROUND, MISTER, and FACE REALITY LIKE A REAL ADULT.


Yes, so the whole premise irritated me, that we were supposed to empathize with Peter Pan. Even if I felt like playing along, which I never do when the fate of babies is involved, I would still have gotten pissed off, because he leaves because he doesn't want to (horror of horrors!) "settle down and live in the suburbs."

He doesn't even explain what is so horrifying about that prospect, we presumably know, as if "settling down and living in the suburbs" is akin to "catching leprosy and having your face fall off."

Then, predictably, on his travels he runs into an older married empty-nester couple who hate each other and are miserable, instead of a happy family that makes him change his mind and return to his girlfriend, or even a wise Yoda-like grandma who tells him he's got to go back and at least be honest with her that he doesn't want the baby. No, instead, the unhappy, unfulfilled but still attractive MILF/cougar tries to have sex with him. Because all unhappy women really need is to have sex with a troubled 20-something guy; that will solve ALL their problems! And of course, if we're in our 40's and married, we ALL must be unhappy, right? From living in the suburbs!


I want to know what's so f-ing attractive about the alternative to "settling down" (which has been known to occur in urban and rural areas, not just suburban ones). Dying alone? Being, as Chris Rock says, the guy who's "too old to be at the club?" Waking up Christmas morning to ... cold and silence? Or, alternatively, to the latest temporary bed-warmer to whom you have no real, deep connection?

This myth that getting married and having kids and settling down is the death-knell of your personhood and individuality was, if not started by, certainly nurtured and spread by, the Baby Boomers. Without going into the depth and breadth to which I despise certain Cialis-chomping, true-age denying, self-indulgent Baby Boomers, I'm going to be generous and say it's a reaction to the former myth that settling down and having kids was the ONLY path to happiness. Of course, that's not true either. But here's the thing: every person is different. Every family is different. You can't say, "I don't want to settle down in the (sneer) suburbs, because you know how that is."

As a matter of fact I do know how that is. I have friends and neighbors and a husband I adore. I have someone to talk to and share life's difficulties and delights with, someone I can trust with my life. I have 2 daughters who make me smile and laugh every day. My town has a film discussion group and book clubs galore and (for now) a ballet and 2 theater groups. We have a beautiful park and a nature center. We pull together when there's a tragedy.

Some people aren't cut out for married life or raising kids. If you aren't, I hope you find happiness in your own way. Just don't make assumptions about me or my life, or expect me to nod knowingly when you bemoan middle-class existence. Because I happen to like it.

And also, from a writing standpoint? I hate predictable, clichéd scenarios. That irritated me, too.
Name: Übermilf
Location: Chicago Area

If being easily irritated, impatient and rebellious is sexy, then call me MILF -- Übermilf.

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