Thursday, October 20, 2005

Just for PJ

You know, if I went to the animal shelter and brought home 16 dogs or 16 cats I'd be called a "pet hoarder." But if I had 16 children they'd be called little gifts from God.

The other day Blondesense Liz, quoting Mark Morford, and her commenters (including, ahem, me) had some snarky fun at the expense of the Duggar family of Arkansas - Jim Bob and Michelle and their 16 children.

Far be it from me to judge the Duggars for having 16 children - after all, I wouldn't want anyone judging me for not having any (well, you can judge me if you want to but then you can kiss my ass). Sure, if EVERYONE had 16 kids the human race, and the planet, would soon be in deep doo-doo, but if everyone was like me and had no kids, the human race would be in even bigger trouble. Though the planet would probably be better off. But I digress: I want to make it clear that I wholeheartedly support the right of the Duggars to continue having children for as long as Michelle can continue fashioning pinafores out of curtains from Wal-Mart.

In all seriousness, almost everyone I know (with the exception of this one asshole I dated briefly) who grew up with multiple siblings seems to me to be exceptionally well-adjusted. Is there something about growing up in a big family that makes a person less selfish? I can't help thinking that's the case, despite my experience with the aforementioned asshole, who I think is an aberration. My best friend of many years has four brothers and sisters, and they're all terrific. Her whole family is so wholesome and fun. Like a family of Labrador Retrievers or something. Seriously, I LOVE them.

When I was a kid I was jealous of my friend who had four sisters. Her big sisters were cool and nice, and her family always seemed to be having more fun than mine. Of course, she was jealous of me because I had my own bedroom. My sister and I were friends with another pair of little girls our age who lived down the street; their family had 11 kids, which seemed quite exotic to me (it still does). I don't remember any of the kids in that family other than the two little girls, but I do recall how their mother looked like a grandmother. She looked tired all the time, and every time I saw her she would be wearing some sacklike dress. I also remember my mother dismissively saying, "Well, they're Catholic," in the context of a discussion about the size of the family. At the time I didn't really know what a Catholic was or why a Catholic would have 11 kids. Anyway, despite their mother's seeming weariness, the two little girls were nice and friendly and normal. But I must say I've never known anyone who grew up with 15 siblings, though an ex-boyfriend had a distant cousin or aunt who had 17 kids. When he told me about that the first thing out of my mouth was: "How does she remember all their names?" Regrettably predictable and idiotic, but still: How DID she remember their names?

My point? I don't really have one, other than to assure PJ that I don't have anything against large families. I rather like them. Besides, God knows somebody's gotta reproduce, because I'm not gonna do it. ;)


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