13 March 2007

Motherhood and the Darkside known as MySpace

Tuesday and it is brain-dumping day!

I opened a MySpace account the other day. And before you call me a fucktard, and tell me that someone my age and marital status has no business being on MySpace, you ought to know why I did it, because that provides so much more fodder for making fun of me.

It can be traced back to my fangirly-ness, and my admiration of Jensen Ackles. He shot a movie last summer that hasn't been released yet called Ten Inch Hero (which is still looking for a distributor, apparently) and the movie's production people have a MySpace page. They also have a blog here on Blogger. The film is about a sandwich shop, not someone who is ten inches long, gutterface. Yeah, yeah, I know you were thinking it, 'cause I was too.

Anyway, on the blog, they announced a contest for fans to try their hand at making some manipulations of photos of Jensen. The film has not actually released any pictures of Jensen's character, Priestly, who wears a Mohawk and is apparently pierced and tattooed within an inch of his life. So fans have been making their own, with hilarious results. And the filmmakers put the submissions from fans onto their MySpace page. But to see them? You have to have a MySpace account of your own.

I don't NEED a MySpace page. I have enough trouble keeping up with this blog, getting my book finished, and taking care of the crap over on LiveJournal that DH and I do for our little piece of suburban hell. I spend too much damn time on the computer as it is. Friends of mine from high school have MySpace pages, and I've been urged to do one before...but there was never any reason to.

Curiosity over which of the pictures the filmmakers thought were the best, however, got the better of me, so I set up an account of my own. First, let me say that I'm not in love with MySpace's interface. That's probably only because I'm not used to it, and as humans, we're all pretty resistant to change. I digress. Secondly, I have to tell you about the photos...and then I'll get to why this has me thinking about motherhood. And no, the motherhood thing and the fangirl thing are NOT related. (I hear sighs of relief out there...)

Some of the pics are fun, but I've truly gotten old when punk hairstyles don't do much for me anymore. Once upon a time, I was a punk chick, with a bit of purple hair (carefully hidden from my parents) and I greatly admired the day-glo and easter egg shades of hair. My friend V would buy Manic Panic, and I think that Ultra Violet was the shade of purple that I had, but I couldn't swear to it.

In true late 80s/early 90s style, I had a tail of hair that was longer than the rest of my really long hair. (I could sit on it, y'all, that's how long it was.) I went to visit V, and she had just dyed her whole head purple. She had some of the Manic Panic left over, so we decided it would be a fantastic idea to dye my tail purple. With my head hanging over her mother's laundry tub in the basement, we proceeded to try to dye just the tail purple. Laughing uproariously, getting the dye EVERYWHERE, we were having a grand old time. When we were done, not just the tail was purple, but the whole underside of my hair, from about the middle of my ears down. And the laundry tub, and the floor, and our hands, and our clothes were all purple too. When my hair was worn down, it didn't show. Pulled up in a pony, or piled high on my head, you could see it.

So I do have some experience with the punk hair thing, although I never had a 'hawk. I generally put some washable day-glo pink spray or temporary dye into my hair for Halloween, because I like it and can't get away with it in my workaday world. But these pics of Jensen all punked and gothed out don't thrill me. There are maybe two out of 12 or so that I think are cute...and then I just want to cut and wash his hair. Sigh. All I want for my next birthday is to be about 24 again. Because this getting older crap really isn't very much fun. Better than the alternative, but still. Thirty-two vs. 24? I'll take 24.

After looking at all the pictures of Jensen as Priestly, I decided that since I'd bothered to set up the MySpace account, I should pimp out my own page, and began messing around with the settings and my profile. For a brief while, I had a real picture of my real self out there, but I've since removed it. It was not photo-shopped, since I don't have that program, but I did mess with it in the photo manipulation software I do have, MGI Photovista. I think it was still very recognizable as me, though, and my paranoia got the better of me, so off it came.

And then in the profile settings, there are a bunch of things that have radio buttons to click...married...single...divorced...gay....straight...bi....and I clicked all the appropriate toggles....married....straight....smoke, no....drink, yes....and at the bottom was a section about children.

I spent a few minutes staring at the screen, lost as to what I should click. Here are the options.

I don't want kids
Love kids, but not for me
Proud Parent
No Answer

I eventually clicked Love kids, but not for me. But that decision was only after much soul searching. I'm at an age where I am maybe running out of time to have a child of my own. I hear the ticking of the biological clock, loud and clear. Hear it, but I'm NOT LISTENING!

All through my 20s, I was steadfast in my resolve to not get preggers, and in the fact that I never wanted to have a child. And for the most part, I still feel that way. The idea of my body being pregnant really grosses me out. Which is NOT to say that I think pregnancy is gross or disgusting, I don't. As long as it isn't happening to me. If that makes any sense. Carrying a child is the most natural thing in the world for a woman's body, but I don't want MY body to do it. Never? I hear my mother and grandmother ask. You will miss out on so much joy, they say. And maybe that's true.

My cousins are all older than me, and we're a tight-knit bunch, so there were babies being born every time I turned around in the family all throughout the decade of my 20s. A few friends even had kids that young, and co-workers of mine had a few as well. I love babies. Friends call me "the baby hog" because I'll steal away a newborn at a party or other gathering and hold the baby for hours. But I don't want one of my own.

Which makes me feel very strange. Unfeminine. Somehow, I've gotten the memo that in order to be a complete, whole woman, I must be a mother. The roles of my career, wife, sister, daughter, friend, writer, baker, cook, reader, knitter and fangirl are not enough, and to be all that a woman ought, I should be a mother as well.

Isn't THAT a load of bullshit? Do you hear early feminists rolling over in their graves? 'Cause I sure do.

And is it any wonder at all that I'm completely out of my mind if these are the connections that my brain makes every day?

1 comment:

terri said...

Hi Lucy - your thoughts on motherhood mirror mine exactly. You are not alone! Not all of us identify with the overwhelming need to be a mother, but the social pressure to validate your feminine self is surely there. I don't particularly want a child, although I think I would be a wonderful loving mother, but I do feel an unspoken (mostly) social pressure to validate myself as a woman/adult(!) by doing so and also I am just plain curious about what the child would be like. Not a great reason to rush out and have a baby (i just wanted to see if it would be as cute as we are! hurrah! poor child). I oscillate, but mostly don't feel any compulsion to "change my life" nor do I feel like "something is missing". For me it is more that I have a great rlsp with my own Mom and would love to have someone to love absolutely, as a great life experience. But those are all intellectual reasons. My heart isn't telling me to do something, so I shall remain on the fence. So you aren't alone, nor crazy, and it is perfectly normal to adore babies and want to look at them and carry them about and still not feel 1/2way compelled to have one of your own. I love other people's dogs but damned if I want one for me!
P.S. just discovered your blog - where have you been all my life? I am one angry/balanced/sane/unruly girl and needed to find this blog!