Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Sounds like a male fantasy to me.

I was shocked to find that 40 responses to my faux Craigslist ad flooded my in box almost immediately after I posted the ad. I actually removed the post to staunch the deluge, feeling a little guilty about the fact that it was an experiment rather than a real request.

I'm not sure if the result was disappointing -- or disillusioning. At first, I was invigorated by the kindness and thoughtfulness of many of the replies -- some from men urging me to find a real father for my child. And then an email arrived from a familiar address...an ex-boyfriend.

He was someone I liked a lot -- but who mysteriously stopped contacting me after a few wonderful dates. It made me sad to think this man was unable to be a boyfriend, but willing to be an anonymous sperm donor.

My first message was from "Al Baby":

Sounds like a male fantasy to me. I'm all of the above, but 47. Good luck.


My reply:

Yes, the ad was somewhat an experiment for me to post. And I have been astonished by the response. Many top tier, well educated, handsome men. Oddly enough, one of them is a man I was dating for several months!

It is sad however to see that the very same men who are terrified by the idea of a commitment with me have no problem at all with the idea of a non commitment. It's this realization that makes me realize that what I really want is a man who will love me first and foremost, and an active father. Without that, it is unfair to bring a child into the world.

Al Baby wrote:

This year when I was teaching English to 9th-graders, and when we did our unit on poetry several of the Latinas (they're not many white kids at the school in which I teach) wrote some heart-wrenching poems about fathers leaving, mothers weeping, and their own sense of isolation and helplessness.

Men can and often do turn their back on children. I myself get my paternal instincts out at school with emotionally-needy children. Committment and change is a real fear to the men of my generation; most of us have had real difficulties in becoming mature adults. You really sound like a decent person whose heart's in the right place. Good call on the kid.

My reply:

So true that commitment is a real fear for men of your generation.

Possibly because so many of them were abandoned by one or both parents, either emotionally, or via divorce.

I think of the film the Ice Storm, which is reminiscent in some ways of my own experience as a kid in upper middle class suburbs with parents who sometimes seemed to have no clue what their kids were up to.

Al wrote:

I've never seen the Ice Storm, but I'm reminded of the best-seller of about 25 years ago The Culture of Narcissism by Christopher Lasch. Many in our generation became self-absorbed, greedy, and materialistic. When I read it so many years ago (I was a senior in college), I didn't agree with his notion of a breakdown in parental authority causing our personal and societal deficits, as well as his solution of back to basics (including the family). Now I reluctantly tend to agree with his solution that individually and collectively we needed a return to a work ethic, and a strong family unit. In sum (cause I'm rambling), we wanted to avoid the pain of growing up. I don't know if this makes sense, but your experiment offered men an incredible stroking of their ego, as well as a painless accomplishment, because at this point in our lives society tells us we are supposed to have fathered a child. It is a sad fact that most of us are not self-aware and need society to define who we are.

But there still are decent men out there...Good luck in your search

This one was even non-committal about being non-committal.

No comments:

Post a Comment