November 29, 2006

Purple Gifts

This holiday season, celebrate your Purpleness (childfree status) by taking charge of how you do the holiday.

Last year, my beloved and I went to the mall on Christmas Eve and strolled slowly hand-in-hand through the frenzied shopping crowd to the jewelery store where we picked out our gifts to each other and wore them out of the store. We had a mid-mall sushi snack and a cocktail at the Rain Forest Cafe (it's not just for kids) and caught the latest Harry Potter movie at matinee prices. As the mall storekeepers were closing their doors, we rode the subway home and prepared a quiet, candle-lit dinner for two.

Except for the kids in our life, nine precious nieces and nephews, my husband and I pretty much have our gift buying wrapped up this year. Instead of buying gifts for each other this year, we are taking a day trip to go skiing with another couple. My plan is to avoid malls like the plague.

I find adults so much easier to buy for. If anyone has ideas for kids between the ages of 7-10 I'd appreciate it. Also, have a few teenagers to consider.

If you are in need of some Purple holiday ideas, here ya go:

Did you know that Purple WomenTM contributors review books on this site? Yep and here is a compilation post of the more than a dozen books in the childfree genre that we reviewed in our first year of publication. May give you some good ideas for yourself or a suspected Purple friend. I've set up a bookstore
with my top picks in the sidebar.

Also, heard from Grandma Purple this week. She has a store with everything purple in it and has given us the gift of a reciprocal link to her site. I think every purple guy and gal should have purple duct tape in their stocking, don't you? No kick-back on this one, just some great purple products by a friend of Purple WomenTM. Could save you a trip to the mall.

Oh, and if you're not afraid of "nipples of mass destruction" and think the body beautiful, check out the calendar my dear friend Sue has been publishing for five years to promote breast health awareness among women (how to care for yourself before a critical diagnosis): Breast of Canada. Sue is Purple too and I met her at the BlogHer Conference '06. She will be featured in the Portraits of Purple Women section of the book I am writing. Apparently
, her calendars are flying out the door, so pony up soon!

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November 28, 2006

Purple Women in the News

In today's Washington Post. One of my Purple WomenTM informants read this with her morning coffee:

“I chose not to seek medical help or look for a sperm donor. Nor have I made myself a mother through adoption. Instead, I've come to see myself as part of a growing phenomenon -- one to which people often don't know how to respond.”
Childless: Some by Chance, Some by Choice
I Lost a Baby -- and Found A Community of Women Who Won't Be Mothers
By Nancy Rome
Special to The Washington Post
Tuesday, November 28, 2006; Page HE01

Hard links to subscription-based media sites often expire or require a fee, so I have also provided all the details if you want to find an issue in your local do go there don't you?

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November 27, 2006

Media Watch

The Environmental Magazine November/December 2006 issue poses an interesting question on its cover: Is There Really a Birth Dearth?

The hard copy version is worth the purchase price as Editor Jim Motavalli gives an incredibly balanced, well-researched story about the politics of population titled Shaking the Baby Tree. If you want a good background prep for topics surrounding world population issues for more skillful maneuvering through those holiday social gatherings grab an issue. It will definitely give you some ammo for folks who think reproducing is a patriotic/civic/religious duty. The online version of the story is only a summary article (500 words).

The December 2006 issue of Bust mazagine, an edgy feminist publication on pop culture out of NY, NY, features a story by Judy McGuire who interviewed me for her story titled Newborn Free (page 66). The Barnes & Noble booksellers in my current habitat does not carry this periodical. I guess it's a little too edgy and fem for this pronatal suburb. I had better luck at Borders in the next town, but they had sent back all the December issues to make room for January 2007 before I could get my hands on a copy.

If you can get one, please let us know how it reads by leaving a comment here! Bust does not publish stories to their website, but you can order back issues as I have done.

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November 26, 2006

Life, Death and Regret

They say life review comes in your 40s. How will Purple WomenTM measure up and to whose standards when that time comes? There are also other triggers, such as death for example.

If your husband dies, will you wish you had his child? When the matriarch of your family leaves you and continues on to whatever is next, will you reconsider your family status? A recent commenter left a message calling us, the childfree, "fools" for not realizing that if our own mothers had decided not to have us, we would not be here to have this conversation. I deleted the comment as it was base name-calling and judgmental and did not add anything to the intelligent conversation that had preceded it.

I think it really comes down to what you believe. Are your beliefs as good as someone else's? Is there any common ground at all? If you are not here, is your soul somewhere else? This conversation, if pursued to its logical course, takes an interesting turn rather quickly.

To me it really boils down to a very simple question: Do you do harm or do you help? Some would go further to ask themselves, "What footprint do I leave on this world?" or "Do I make a difference?"

We said goodbye to a family matriarch last week. She definitely made a difference, and so shall I. Perhaps I already have.

[Photo: Originaly uploaded to Flickr on October 5, 2006 by andrebernardo]

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November 21, 2006

The Tribal Holiday

It’s hard to justify all the turkey and the fixings for a Thanksgiving feast when there’s just the two of you. I like to cook and share old family recipes. However, my husband’s family is in the UK and my family is in Canada and many of our friends with kids like to host their own family feasts, so we’ve made alternate plans over the years.

Usually, there is a group of neighbors and friends who have family living far away. Some are childfree, divorced, widowed, or otherwise available to share a Thanksgiving meal with a non-relative. These are the people we celebrate with.

The last couple of years, my friend Debra and her family have hosted. They have a table that seats sixteen. Guests have included assorted neighbors, the kid’s college friends and, last year, two injured professional hockey players who couldn’t travel with their team. It’s always a different crowd and everyone brings a dish, so there is plenty of food.

This year, half of our Thanksgiving tribe will participate in a 5K Drumstick Dash for the local Rescue Mission. This way we can justify the extra slice of pumpkin pie later that day and support a worthy charity.

Some people wonder what the Childfree do during the holidays. My response: we cook, we overeat, we share tables with people we don’t see often, we laugh, we play (or watch) games, we nap when we can and dream of leftovers.

Sound familiar?

[Photo: Originally uploaded to Flickr on November 26, 2006 by prodigaldog]

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November 18, 2006


This subject is a popular one among the childfree - how to maintain friendships when children start arriving and how to find other childfree folk to hang out with.

This has been an ongoing issue for me, especially over the last few years as I've entered my 30's and most people my age have young children. It's hard to maintain friendships once kids arrive as suddenly the attention is all on the child. Conversations become interrupted often with "don't touch that", "stop hitting your sister", or "what do you need honey". Email often allows the friendships to continue somewhat, but face-to-face time is difficult.

No Kidding! is an organization specifically for the childfree and is one way to make friends with others that don't have children. Another way to meet people is through local community clubs with common interests - such as book clubs or crafting clubs.

I have found it easier to keep my friendships with parents of young children on a more surface level in order not to be frustrated with the lack of quality time or ability to go out often.
Eventually the children will be old enough that we can have a closer friendship. I'm finding that my closer friendships at this time of my life are with people whose children are at least school-age or older. They are more able to do things and be available than those with babies or toddlers.

Photo: Originally uploaded to Flickr on November 25, 2006 by joguldi

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November 14, 2006

The Invisible Childfree

Earlier, I posted about how the childfree by choice are missed on the U.S. Census. I invite you to start noticing the categories in your local newspaper, either online or the messy newsprint version. If you had a regular column about your Unscripted (also the name of the newest childfree ezine) childfree life, what category or section of the publication would your article appear in?

I’ve had the same problem trying to get women-centric websites to include our flavor of the month. We just don’t seem to fit. Woman = mother, right? Wrong.

I tried to fit Purple Women & Friends, a team blog by, for, and about women who are childfree, into these limited categories recently:

Arts & Entertainment
Food and Wine
Health & Fitness
News and Opinion
Shopping and Style

The vendor’s name is withheld because they are providing a free service and all this blogosphere stuff is so new, they need some time to work out the inefficiencies. I did send them this email:

“Thanks in advance for your assistance with assigning categories for our team blog. I am sure this will help us with our…stats.

Selecting the appropriate categories has proven more difficult than I expected. We are a childfree blog, so I was hoping for something like Lifestyle or Family. In my mind Parenting would fall under this more inclusive heading. In lieu, I select the following categories that you offered:

Health & Fitness (we cover women's health issues related to contraception and reproduction)
News and Opinion (we track childfree portrayals in popular media and in the news, and of course offer our opinion)
Travel (childfree travel tips will be a new feature going forward, against the flow, off-peak tips, etc.)

If I could add a category or two these would help editors find our blog which is very women-centric and topic-focused. If I understand correctly, they are rather limited for now and also restricted to three categories, yes?

Women and Women's Issues
Book Reviews
Family & Lifestyle

Fitting in is really at the core of our experience as childfree in a world where everyone assumes you are a parent. Thanks again for your help, and you make me feel that I did the right thing in alerting you.
Teri Tith”

We’re not really Purple, we look just like everyone else, but for crying out loud – we are not invisible!

[Photo: Originally uploaded to Flickr on
November 2, 2006by Dan Kamminga ]

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November 09, 2006

Women Bloggers: A Survey

S U R v E Y
Hattie over at MotherPie is doing graduate study on New Media. She needs our help with original research she is conducting on U.S. women blogs and bloggers, and also the sub-set of mom blogs.

Because she separates women with children from women without children, she will inadvertently have some interesting statistics for childfree women bloggers too. (Caveat: we don't know if any of these gals intend to have kids or if they have even given it any thought!)

She invites
Purple WomenTM to take her survey. It took me less than 10 minutes.

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Childfree With Child Support

I believe a lot of my feelings about being childfree came to surface when I met my boyfriend and along with it came all issues relating to his daughter. Here I was, not wanting children, but my whole life was constantly being uprooted because of his.

Can you imagine not actually having a child in your life but being financially obligated to one? Can you imagine having no say on the upbringing of a child but having to pay partially for the outcomes? Can you imagine having to put important things in your life on hold because the child requires an uninsured medical expenses?

Of course not, because any childfree woman in her right mind would never get involved with a guy who has kids from a previous relationship. If you think it's bad being a mother, being a stepmother comes with a whole new level of stress (so I've been told by stepmothers I know).

I can't tell you how often stepmothers have told me I should count my blessings that I don't have to be an active stepmother, because it rarely seems worth the effort. On the other hand I have been told that since I don't want to be a mother it is destructive to be in a position where I could be a stepmother.

But of course, while I don't believe I ever want children of my own it has always been important to me to have a loving and supportive relationship with a man. I even now believe marriage can be a good thing, if it's the right people. My relationship comes with baggage. What relationship doesn't? It's a struggle to find a way to deal with it but I put in the effort because so far it's been worth it.

I suppose we all have to make sacrifices in life, it's just that sometimes I wish I felt like my sacrifices helped more or were even appreciated.

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November 08, 2006

Childfree Travel Tip #1

Really good time to take a state side weekender is over the Halloween holiday, even better when it actually falls on a weekend. Fall is such a pretty time of year to travel, and depending on where you go, the decorations are all coming out.

Why? Most folks feel like they have to be home to pass out candy or traffic their kids around for the big costumed night. We don't, so the highways and byways are all ours. Next year, plan to take advantage.

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November 07, 2006

Parent Hurdles

“The Other Abortion Battle; Abortion may be legal in California – but that doesn’t mean you can actually get one.”

This was the lead story in The Guardian, (October, Vol. 41, NO. 2, page 22) one of San Francisco’s free outspoken, albeit liberal, weekly rags.

Never having had to walk in these shoes, I was surprised to learn how many hurdles there are for girls (let’s call them what they are and not lump them in with adults because laws are in place and have been proposed to treat them differently) and women to obtain a legal abortion. The reporter rightly asks, “What good is the right if you cannot exercise it?” Rick Jacobs
(journalist/pundit blogger at The Huffington Post) nailed it when he wrote in a pre-election post, we have a “a roll back on choice” happening in the United States.

Insurance Hurdles
Even the insurance industry is against them if they do not recognize their pregnancy and obtain the proper support and resources to terminate it in the first trimester. They simply won’t cover a second trimester abortion. Ever woman skips a period every now and then. Often women don’t know they are pregnant until it is too late. (I imagine young women are even more clueless about their own bodies than adults.)

This is both a moral issue and a legal one. Does an insurance company have a right to refuse coverage on moral grounds? Legally, I think the U.S. health insurance industry is standing on one leg.

Doctor Hurdles
Do doctors refuse to terminate a pregnancy on moral grounds? Yes. It’s their practice; I guess they should be able to run their business how they want. A friend of mine, also 40 something recently found out there was a problem with her fetus and opted to abort. She was horrified at how she was treated. In the first place, her doctor tried to keep her from performing the amnio which revealed the defect. This same doctor then refused to help her once she made her decision. The hospital “does not do those procedures” she was told and was referred to a clinic where she was put in a gown in a room with 20 other women and made to wait 2 hours. The young woman next to her was there for the same reason and was in tears at this callous treatment.

Legal Hurdles
One way of speaking up is to vote. Today, Californians will vote on Proposition 85 (that’s what we do in California, if you get enough signatures you can propose new state law) is on the November ballot. I would require girls to notify their parents before they terminate a pregnancy. Just another hurdle which in effect takes away the right, or the right thing to do? The young women it affects are not even old enough to vote on this.

We should all be concerned. For those outside the U.S. looking in, mild interest at least. I don’t think that Americans lead the world in women’s rights or advances. In fact, I think that we can be embarrassingly behind the times, morally and socially. (Can you tell I just got back from a 20-month work assignment in a socialist country?)

The story left me wondering, “How well are we preparing our young women to make these grown up decisions?” You may see a future post on this.

For now, I’ll leave you with this post by Gloria Feldt, in which she muses over the language associated with reproductive control, her first in a series about the history of American birth control published in the International Leadership Forum.

[Blog Administrator's note: Some of you will no doubt react strongly to this topic. That's normal. It's a risky post for sure, and it appears here on Purple Women & Friends because contraception, reproductive choice and its ugly step-child, yes abortion, are integral to the conversation. I feel it's important not to shy away from the controversy and to encourage a civil discourse - even critical.]

[PHOTO: Uploaded to Flickr on November 4, 2006 by Steve Rhodes.]

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November 06, 2006


by Guest Contributor: AlphaGirl / WalkerGirl
AlphaGirl’s Blog:
Childfree: Uncut

I am holding a mental image of a photograph. Maria and I are back-to-back, leaning against one another, but facing front and smiling at the camera. It is a metaphor for our relationship: We are distinct opposites, but in synch at the same time.

I’m unapologetically single, childfree, and outspoken. Infants and toddlers are cute in pictures; but irritating in person. I consider myself a realist, a pragmatist. Some might argue I’m a bit of a misanthrope. In the words of a friend’s 13 year- old “Ok, fine, whatev’.” I’m long on compassion when it’s well-deserved, but short on patience when I feel I’m being played.

Maria is a married, loving mom to three grown kids and will most likely embrace any future grand-parenting the way she does anything else in life: With an overflowing heart and open arms.
Her faith in humanity is unshakable. She loves people of all ages, from the red-faced screaming infant in the supermarket to the hung-over frat kid who serves up her coffee. Her patience and compassion are endless, and to that end, she is now a marriage and family therapist. She is also my rock, my surrogate mom (who knew?), voice of reason, advisor and all-around cheerleader. She is the last person I would want to offend or hurt. I value the relationship deeply, and am therefore more protective of it.

We differ on the parenting lifestyle. While she insists she’s fine with the whole childfree thing, I feel the need to hold back, out of profound respect for her life and her choices. I’m very prone to foot-in-mouth disease, to be honest. She has a fleeting familiarity with my brand of For-God’s-sake-stop-breeding-already brand of childfreedom. When she was a young No-Cal (hailing from Northern California) Mom, she practiced a lot of the stuff that I later would dismiss as “Eww. Enough of the Hip Mama/Earth Mother stuff..Gawd!” in one of my unchecked moments. Immediately, I regret my words. I don’t want to hurt her. She took it in stride, but I still felt like a jerk.

Like a protective parent, I want to cradle and shelter this precious relationship; to stop it from darting into the oncoming traffic of sharp words, hurt feelings, and stony silences that can arise from such stark ideological differences. She is curious; she wants to know more about my recently-published letter to the editor that ran in a national magazine. I read it to her, and quickly dismissed it with “I honestly didn’t think they’d run it…seriously.” She wants to know more about the advocacy work I’ve done in the past. She adds that no, really, childfree is OK with her. Honest. Shoot, her son has declared his own childfreedom long ago.

It’s easy to fall back on the old adage that a true relative, friend, etc. will be there and will understand any differences. A truly strong relationship can withstand such strong differences. Live and let live and all of that. She doesn’t inflict parenting on me, and of course, I don’t inflict childfreedom on her. Still, it’s hard not to be wary; I’ve spent time in the past sifting through the wreckage of previous connections gone awry. Could this relationship survive this very profound difference in lifestyle and choice? It barely survived a raise-the-roof-caliber disagreement a few months ago. Losing her would have been like losing a parent. Fortunately, we rebounded and found our way back, but still…..

The sounds of oncoming traffic are louder, more harsh. Fearful, I step forward to embrace and protect.

[Photo: Uploaded to Flickr on March 23, 2006, by code poet]

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About Alphagirl

AlphaGirl is a former Reqular Contributor to Purple Women & Friends (PW). The post titled Maria is her second Guest Contributor piece. After many years in the corporate sector, she is now among the insanely happy folk who work from home. When not shaking down medical insurance companies for re-imbursements, you can find AlphaGirl on the local trails, training for the L.A. Marathon. Her childfree activities include many hours of advocacy, and has been a keynote speaker at several childfree-related activities over the years. After a period of time away from the fray, AlphaGirl has jumped back in, and pleas, cajoles, and rants in a variety of online childfree communities. Her latest post is a departure from her usual rowdiness, but it also shows that even a Ranty McRanty like herself has a soft spot. She shares this about her two furbabies:

"These are my sweet boys, and yep, they’re my “kids”. They are both loving, well-adjusted lap cats. I have had them each since they were four months old; both of them got off to a precarious start (both had been abandoned) but began to blossom into the little guys they are today. They have taught me so much about unconditional love, and are such a sweet presence in my home. Ever since childhood, I have wanted a large menagerie of animals, but two is a more manageable group! I love these boys, and I’m honored to be their guardian and caregiver. We have been through a lot together over the years, and they are my little treasures."

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November 03, 2006


Some might see my love and attention towards my 2 cats as being a replacement for motherhood but to me that is a very black and white way to look at it. For one thing I think while the feelings for pets may be very similar to the feelings towards children obviously pets and humans have a lot of differences.

I've alwa
ys loved cats a lot but that's not to say I love all cats. When I went to pick up my cat Aurora from a friend who's cat had a litter I wasn't thinking of it as a need to nurture or raise a little being. To me I just like to have cats around, I like their personalities and I find they make everyday life a little better.

If having my cats meant I had to bring them to school everyday and help them with their homework every night I am sure it wouldn't be for me. I love how independent cats are and how little they require from you. I like how I can bond with them and help take care of them without it taking over my entire life.

Maybe I think of them as my children because to them I am the closest thing to a mother than they will ever know. Not much in this world fills me with such happiness as realizin
g how much my little furkids love me and need me.

We've been having a lot of emotional problems with our girl cat Aurora as she's been attacking the boy cat Pilot constantly. This all started when we moved to the new house and started letting them outside. Then the other day I was sitting on the couch when Aurora came to sit
next to me. Aurora actually sat on my lap and looked up to me with her big beautiful eyes. I wanted to cry because she'd only done this maybe two other times in her life.

I look at my little furkids and love how I've watched them grow up and take on very strong personalities. I think one of the best parts of it is I can ignore them for hours on e
nd doing my own thing and nobody will report me for being a bad mother.

Maybe also calling my cats my furkids is a way of letting the public know that I love my cats as others love their children. That these cats will most likely be the closest thing to children I ever have and quite honestly that kind of love is immeasurable.

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November 02, 2006

The Fixed Kitty

Omigosh, in an attempt to find Purple WomenTM in my new surroundings, I searched the string of terms "SF Bay Area + No Kidding + childfree" and discovered this really smart, articulate, childfree podcaster who goes by (do you love it?) a pod handle: The Fixed Kitty. Found zip in terms of local chapter activity, except for a string of conversation on a forum wondering what happend to the SF Bay chapter and why is was not more active.

No Kidding! is the
international social club for married and single people who are childfree, regardless of the reason. I was very involved in the local chapter in Toronto, Canada. They put on the Child-free Festival (I know, they should lose the hyphen...), and last year it was in Toronto. The rumour is that the next one will be in Las Vegas (again) next summer.

The Fixed Kitty was a great find, however, and in episode 27 she touches on how Halloween has gone wrong, (who knew there is an adult space vs. child space segregation happening?), and great Brit wit movie/literature find, and takes a knock at subsidized child-rearing in France all in one podcast. Her blog is called An Adult Space Child Free Podcast (yes, she needs to collapse the words child and free so others can find her, but enough from my pulpit).

Apparently, the French TV Channel 5 recently aired a movie called "Le Choix de Mocha" (translation: The Choice of Mocha). Another interesting portrayal of childfree (we're evil) from a socialist country that subsidizes child-rearing. Please tune in, and if you know someone in France, ask them if they have seen this movie. We need some feedback on this one!

I insisted Tom listen to it when we had our coffee this morning. Miss Kitty's original thoughts and melodic, metered voice were not a bad way to start the day.

[Photo: Jasmine is crazy-hilarious, Originally uploaded by Chuckumentary.

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The Parenthood Lobby at Work

A guy with the screen name BigBoy went on the Yahoo! Answers site a couple of months ago and made the following post:

"Is it normal to be scared before trying for a baby? I love my wife to bits and really want to have kids but am really concerned about starting a family. I have no idea about what parenting is about and am worried my life will be boring after we have kids. Having seen some of my friends lives turned upside down after them giving birth I'm not 100% sure its right for me! Can I have some experienced and constructive comments wife wants to start trying in the new year and although I have talked about my worries with her many many times she seems very confident everything will be great!"
Thirty four people responded. The majority of the respondents were parents. They posted a version of "don’t worry, fear’s normal. Parenting can be tough but it will be fine, you’ll love it." Only one response suggested that he not start a family unless both of them were sure they wanted to.

No one addressed BigBoy’s concern that parenthood might not be right for him. Perhaps they did not because his wife is obviously interested in having a child. Yet, this lobbying behavior disturbs me. I recall the many instances when parents poo-pooed my assertion that I did not have a maternal instinct, saying "it’s different when their yours." Also, it appeared that he didn’t have much say in the decision, that his wife was dismissing his concerns too, which saddens me.

In the course of my research on The Childless by Choice Project, I have interviewed many childfree couples who started out thinking they would be parents until they sat down and really thought about it, and one or both asked, "Should we, really?"

Personally, I don’t advocate that people remain childfree. It was the right choice for me but I don’t assume it will be the right choice for Bigboy. However, if I would have had the opportunity to respond to this man’s appeal, I would have suggested that he take the time to have an honest dialogue with his wife.
A good place to start is to ask, "Why do we want to have kids? Examine the motives. Ask, "Who is influencing the decision?" Address all the fears and articulate all the hopes around parenthood. Just talk.

Parenthood is too big an undertaking to go into reluctantly, or without a plan on how you might manage the changes to the relationship that where identified in the parent’s responses to Bigboy’s question. Maybe if there was a plan or an articulation of what they might expect as parents, the fear would disappear. Or maybe not.

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November 01, 2006

My Silent Purple World

I was noticing how silent my childfree world is today. We have cats not dogs, and no children. Cats don’t bark and carry on, or have to watch TV constantly for their entertainment. Thankfully, neither does my husband. We rise early enough to eat breakfast together, sipping our coffee silently. Tom heads off to work and I am left to my own devices and a never ending To Do list.

We just moved back to the town where we were married, and we've rejoined the local tennis club with no intentions on using all those beautiful courts, but our shadows do darken the fitness room on a regular basis. Even that is a rather quiet experience, except when someone lifts too much and they clank the
weights down noisily. I thought the club would feel a bit friendlier, but no one knows us, so the only people who greet us are the ones who work there.

About half the adults at the club are wearing headphones, so they can tune-in to the TVs mounted to the walls and thusly tune anyone else out. Hardly anyone speaks to one another. Strangely, no
overhead music plays. I am trying to get up my nerve to go to the ladies luncheon later this month. Even the chatter of women talking about their kids would be welcome.

On Wednesdays, the neighbor's gardener tortures me with the leaf blower, and other than the traffic on the road out front during peak commute times, it’s pretty silent on the outskirts of a town called Livermore. This is life in the middle of great suburban sprawl, just 45 minutes from lively and vibrant San Francisco. I find myself socially isolated, new again in a town that is vaguely familiar, and the silence is deafening.

Something is definitely missing. If I stay here too long, I am afraid I’ll begin to think it’s a child because that’s what we are surrounded by. Can I really connect with Purple WomenTM here? Or, is the deck stacked against me in suburbia? Now that the dust is settling from our move, I find that I need a social life, a job and a distraction or two. Perhaps I'll buy a drum set and take up percussion.

[Photo: Livermore, Calif.]

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