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.
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.
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.
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.