Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Married Without Kids

When you're first married, living in an apartment with your husband for those first years, it's pretty simple.  No one judges you for not having kids, they don't care.  Really, most apartment living, except for in some circumstances, people pretty much leave you alone.  I don't think anyone wants to get into long-term friendships with apartment people because it's a transitory lifestyle and who knows when you or they will move out in another month?  Not to say that I didn't try to make friends with the people around our apartment complex at the time, but the fellows to our right and left were both old and kept to themselves (or senile enough not to remember that we introduced ourselves five times before), and the young punks above us were at college most of the time and when they weren't, they were constantly bickering or getting drunk and having loud parties.

Eventually it was the drunken screaming matches above us (sometimes I wondered if I should call the police but I wasn't sure it wasn't the girl beating on the guy or the other way around) that finally convinced us to start looking for a house (that, and the fact our apartment didn't allow cats).  After all, it is a good time to buy a house, the market hasn't yet recouped from its downward spiral of a few years ago, and there's still lots of foreclosures and bank owned properties out there for cheap.

So, we house hunted, found a good one at one point but upon further inspection it was obviously flipped, and even though the outside details were pretty, there were mold problems and odd smells and the neighborhood looked a bit sketchy.  It's weird to talk about the first house we called the "Switchback" house (it was on a drive of the same name) because as I look across the street to the neighbor's, it's exactly the same house, same colors, everything, just on a different street.  That's what you get when you move into a Dominion Home  I guess - there's only just so many "little boxes" you can move into.  But, we got a good deal on our eventual home, and the neighborhood seemed tidy enough, quiet enough, and enough people were walking around even in winter that it felt comfortable.

Here's where moving into a neighborhood in winter is not necessarily a good thing.  You don't see the kids.  Sure, maybe when it snows they'll pop out and make snowmen, but most of the time they're bundled up or at school.  Summer hits and there's a million kids everywhere.

So, if you didn't guess already from the title of this blog, I'm married, but I don't have kids.  I don't want kids and unless it happens by mistake (and we've already talked that if it does we won't stop it) we're not planning to ever have kids.  Why did we bother to move into a family-friendly neighborhood with three bedrooms?  I'm not sure.  Maybe because it was the biggest place we could find that was nearest to the area we wanted to live in for the best price we could find, and it was relatively new, a bit of a fixer-upper, near to my work and I fell in love with it over all of the other houses that we'd looked at over the course of a few months.  It has enough room to store our DVD/BD and book collections, and a fenced in backyard safe from the oodles of children running around out there.

But we don't have kids.  Not to say the neighbors came over to ask if we did or anything, one directly to our right doesn't, the ones across the street are elderly, but the rest...  I guess we'd know them by now if we did have kids.  But through all this rambling I wanted to talk about how it's like to be married without kids and how friendships are really complicated when you don't 'fit' a norm.

I'm 30ish.  My friends have two-three kids each, been married for years longer than I, and most of them have gone their separate ways.  I haven't talked to most of my high school and college friends except for a quick "hello" on Facebook in years.  I don't have anything in common with them and they aren't interested in following a friendship like that.  My single friends split the moment I got married.  I think they were irritated that I'd found someone, and even though I was perfectly willing to spend time on them on my own, they found other single friends and moved on.  My dearest friends are the ones who a.) are past all the bullsh*t with the kids/no kids thing or b.) don't plan on ever having kids either or c.) don't plan on getting married ever.

Unfortunately that kind of narrows it down to one really good friend and a couple of acquaintances.  It's a pretty lonely life.  I'm kind of wondering how many others out there are just like me in this respect.  Lost all the friends that I had, made a couple here and there, tried to cling to new friendships but couldn't make any that stuck, and now just sort of drifting along wondering what purpose my life has outside of working, hanging out with my husband, trying to do creative stuff like drawing or writing, and feeding my cat.

(Future topic, on becoming a cat lady)

I work a full time job, as does my husband.  He's made friends at work, I haven't.  I'm not saying that I don't have acquaintances at work, because I do.  I try my hardest to get along with everyone there and from what I can tell everyone likes me.  But I'm afraid because at some point in the past I was labeled "manager" (even though I don't have a salaried position) anyone who is underneath me thinks we can't be friends or someone would find a way to point fingers and say I'm playing favorites.  I don't control anyone at work, and when I have tried to point out that this person isn't following code or that one, they conveniently remember that I'm not a full manager and ignore what I told them.  Doesn't matter, I don't want to be a bully, so I turned down further responsibilities awhile ago.  Maybe that makes me an underachiever, but heaven knows I have enough trouble as it is finding friends, I don't want to make any enemies.

I'm not really sure why it's so difficult to make a couple friends where I live.  I shouldn't have a problem, there's got to be a few people around here who just want to get out 'with the girls' but those I've asked... nothing.  I don't want to push the issue, but it feels like even those that I have something in common with don't want to pursue anything and so I back off and give up.  Maybe I shouldn't wuss out, but I do.  I'm comfortable being a childless housewife, but it feels like there's something more to my life that I'm missing.

So, this is where I'm going to begin.  This blog, I hope, will help me discover something about myself that people will want to get to know and maybe make me a bit more happy with myself along the way.  Maybe I'll find myself a reason.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A Little About Whatcher Studios

Welcome to my blog/studio website.  I bought this domain over a year ago and had about one good afternoon of inspiration pouring over new ways to post things and trying to come up with a good way to post my writing and artwork, thinking "I'll make my site into a blog since I already write a lot on Facebook and DeviantART" but at the time I failed to come up with a good way to post a proper blog.  Okay, I didn't try that hard, and a year went by before I decided to try fiddling with this again.

Now you're seeing what a bit of help from Blogger can do and I don't mind admitting that I'm glad I have something pre-assembled to work with for the time being.  Eventually I'll edit this site up, because I've been writing my own HTML since 1998, and I like to know how websites work.  But, for now this is easy; when I want to type, I can just type, and I don't have to put a bunch of extra work into adding the italics and bolds and paragraphs that I'm so fond of using.

Onto where the name "WhatcherStudios" came from.  The creature that tops this blog is a "whatcher" and it's spelled that way because at the time of its creation there were "Watchers" in both Highlander: The Series and Buffy: The Vampire Slayer, and these critters weren't people watching immortals or slayers, they were creatures meant to watch over people.  They spied on people.  In the original novel I wrote between the ages of 13 and 17 (never published, mind you) they were mouse-sized, could spy on your enemy and report back to you via psychic relay.  Pretty cool.  Whatchers evolved, however, into more of a cat-sized creature that still watched, but now was more of a pet and helper, but still psychic to their one master.

What's with the "-Studios" add on?  I needed a name for my art table at anime conventions and thus was born "WhatcherStudios".  It fit.  The critters have been on my 'plate' for drawing since I was 13 (and I'm MUCH older than that now, so they're pretty much a part of my every day life, even if they don't actually exist.... however, you'll soon get to 'see' them exist on this site if all goes well.

I have a LOT of hobbies, a few of which being drawing, taking photographs, writing about random stuff (ahem), gardening, reading, watching TV, cooking, playing video games... well, you get the point.  A few of my hobbies meld from time to time, and drawing and transposing those drawings onto photographs is one of my favorites, so you'll probably be seeing some 'real' whatchers in photographs I've taken from time to time.

If you want to see some of my artwork now, head over to MillyT@Deviantart and check out my galleries.

I'd like to share my life with you, and if you're willing to read through massive quantities of drivel from time to time, give me a comment once in awhile, then welcome to WhatcherStudios!