Settle for THIS (my middle finger)

by Natalie P.

February 22, 2008 | Filed Under Lifestyles of the Heartlessly Bitchy, Parenting, The Heartless Bitch Way | 13 Comments

I don’t know whether it’s a blessing or a curse, but my readers send me links to articles which seem to fall into two distinct categories. They either make me laugh or they raise my hackles completely.

(OK, there’s a third category, the kind that are so lame I can’t be bothered, but I really don’t count them).

At any rate, THIS LINK came in today, and had me sputtering.  It had me sputtering, “WTF??!  What year is this?!” It had me wanting to club some moronic, self-pitying needy woman over the head with a very large clue-by-four.

(as a side note, it made me think of THIS XKCD COMIC since I was frothing and writing as the bf asked if I was coming to bed.)

This woman is not talking about “compromise” and “accepting people for what they are but hoping for their improvement” – she’s talking about hooking up with someone as a spouse in order to ensure another paycheck and co-parent even if you don’t actually LOVE the person, find them sexually attractive, or even LIKE them.

Again, I have to say, WHAT. THE. FUCK. ?

How does this crap get airtime?

Guys, would YOU find it offensive if _you_ were told to “settle”? Not for a non-goddess, human being, but for someone you don’t love, find offensive, don’t have sex with and ultimately envision as nothing more than a paycheck and occasional sitter for your child? I have a word for that, it’s called EX-SPOUSE!  (And they are generally EX for a reason people.) 

I mean, honestly, is anyone out there telling MEN to do the same?  I mean, seriously, WTF?  What year is this, please?

Personally, I think Lisa Gottleib must be soul mates with Ann Coulter. ( No WONDER she never found the right guy to hook up with!)

Look, I won’t disagree that single parenthood is HARD, but take it from me, being in a marriage where you are doing pretty much EVERYTHING, and you feel like you are raising 3 kids instead of two, is HARDER. 

I’d rather be single.  At least I can HIRE a reliable person to mow the lawn, or look after the kids, or do the household repairs that I don’t have time to get to.

I agree that women who enter into parenthood as single mothers have a rough road ahead. It’s TOUGH being a single parent. But it seems that Gottlieb’s never been in that worse-than-compromise relationship she is trying to tout as the preferred option to going it alone. She’s spouting uneducated, inexperienced shit of the worst kind. We all know, if from nothing else but our parent’s marriages (if not our own), that what people on the OUTSIDE see of a relationship is rarely what is really happening on the inside.  Her view of her friend’s marriages is distorted at best and utter bullshit at worst.

If she were talking about compromise and realistic expectations for people as human beings and not icons or roles, I could get on side with her position. But unfortunately, that’s NOT what she is advocating.

Lisa Gottlieb is bitter, sad, overwrought and operating from a completely biased position where she is clearly regretting her decision to become a single parent. She misguidedly thinks that “settling” for a jerk who is nothing more than a paycheck and an occasional babysitter is a better option.  She is so sadly mistaken it would be laughable if it weren’t for the fact that the likes of the TODAY SHOW are taking her seriously and giving her airtime.  (At least she’s giving me blog-fodder).

For GODS SAKES, put ME on the show. I’ll give you a REAL perspective with some REAL experience from both sides of the fence.  And I dare say, a bit more intelligent commentary than Lisa can contribute (based on her writing).

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE being in a relationship with someone with whom things click, and I wouldn’t recommend single parenthood unless you REALLY know what you are getting into (having an equal partner as a co-parent is a MUCH better option), but I also wouldn’t recommend hooking up with an ASSHOLE just so you can have another “parent” in the picture for your child.  God knows how many emails I get from miserable, abused women trying to escape just such a “compromise”…  The downside of hooking up with Mr. Wrong is so much much worse than ANYTHING single parenthood could throw at you.  Like I said, put ME on the Today Show, and I’ll give you an earful of what “settling” REALLY results in for the vast majority of women.

I just LOVED Jessica’s response to the article in feministing, and in particular this bit had me laughing out loud:

Gottleib said:

Oh, I know—I’m guessing there are single 30-year-old women reading this right now who will be writing letters to the editor to say that the women I know aren’t widely representative, that I’ve been co-opted by the cult of the feminist backlash, and basically, that I have no idea what I’m talking about. And all I can say is, if you say you’re not worried, either you’re in denial or you’re lying. In fact, take a good look in the mirror and try to convince yourself that you’re not worried, because you’ll see how silly your face looks when you’re being disingenuous. (Emphasis added)

Jessica’s response (in part – read the whole article to really get the full measure of her ire):

I fucking love this 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Really?  Because this is how worried my face looks. Perhaps, as someone who is turning 30 this year, I’m some sort of anomaly because I’m not desperately running around looking for the nearest douchebag to propose.

(And as a side note, I just have to swoon about feministing.com – recently discovered it and love it love it love it. Added it to my blog links tonight. ) 

And Instigatrix pointed me in the direction of another heartening response (from a guy, Jeff Fecke) to Gottlieb’s article on Shakespearesister’s Blogspot 

 My favorite quote from Jeff,

Parenting is hard, very very hard. But you know what? I’m not giving my ex-wife a fucking free night off when I take my daughter. And I’m not a goddamn wallet. I’m a father.

AMEN Brother.

But Gottlieb isn’t looking for a father for her child, she’s looking for a babysitter. She’s looking for a man who will raise her kid, give her money, and accept that she doesn’t find him attractive or actually like him very much. She’s the kind of woman the MRAs fear. Which is why I’m completely not surprised to find that she’s lecturing women about why they should give up on feminism.

But should Gottlieb actually settle, I fear she’ll find out what too many of us have found out — that marriage isn’t any easier than parenting. That it requires its own sacrifices and its own compromises and its own hard work. And that when a marriage fails, it’s far more painful than any monthly check or night off from parenting could ever assuage. You’re never more alone than when you’re married, and alone.

What really slays me about Gottlieb’s article is her references for her opinion-couched-as-fact:  fucked up “friends” and sitcoms.  You know, it reminds me of the nutbar who wrote to the researchers at the Observatory, CONVINCED that aliens had stolen the moon, left a facade in place (which is what we see at night) and that our governments were in cahoots – it was all a big conspiracy. His lengthy bibliography was a series of science fiction novels.  Ooh. Very compelling.

Lisa, the grass is ALWAYS greener on the other side – especially when you are looking at it through chartreuse-colored glasses, but it doesn’t mean it’s real or better or that your fucked-up experiences are a litmus test for a generation or a gender for that matter.

Lisa epitomizes so much of what pisses me off about emotionally irresponsible people – they blame everyone and everything else for their own problems, issues and choices.  And if they aren’t happy, they automatically assume that everyone else who made the same choice(s) must be as miserable as they are.  (Lonely, miserable people seem to feel comforted in the belief that there are other lonely, miserable people out there in the same predicament.)

Here’s some advice from the supreme Heartless Bitch, Lisa: rather than write a book or an article, ditch the charteuse glasses, get off the pity-pot, suck it up, and GET SOME THERAPY. No child benefits from having a miserable parent who clearly regrets their choices – especially as it relates to having said child.

And here’s a newsflash for the Lisa’s of the world:  Being single and emotionally healthy is always preferable to settling for an asshole.

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13 comments so far
  1. Kublai February 22, 2008 1:48 am

    I am a guy, and I find the article offensive to me as a man AS IS! As Jeff noted, she couldn’t care less about the man as a person, just as “infrastructure”.

    My wife is 30. She doesn’t want children. Shocking!

  2. Kimberly February 22, 2008 7:49 am

    Yeah, I have a few chosen words for Gottlieb’s toxic advice (blows, sucks, emotionally-retarded) and it once again proves how many women just don’t get it. To sum it up, I would like to offer my words of wisdom I have posted on my personal on-line profile:

    “And to be honest, I don’t know of too many happily married people, with or without children. So you continue on with your miserable relationships and I’ll continue my life on MY TERMS. Please keep your ‘children need two parents under the same roof’ comments to yourselves.”

    I find being a single-parent rewarding, empowering and LIBERATING! While it does present challenges, like any other life-style, it is nice to know that at the end of the day that I can lay me head down knowing that my life is truly on my terms. It is freeing to know that I can do this without desperate attempts to acquire another “partner.”

    Oh and being “lonely” has NOTHING to do with relationship status, IMHO. Hell, being a single-parent, I don’t have time to get lonely! I felt more “alone” in my shitty marriage than I have since my divorce. Being single leaves the door open to more “options” during those so-called “lonely times.”

    Well, she will just have to figure it out on her own. The TODAY SHOW needs you and the HBI community!! I don’t think Gottleib should assume anything about other 40-year-old single women! She is out of line.

  3. Natalie P. February 23, 2008 3:07 am

    I agree about the whole “lonely” thing, which really translates to “wallowing in self-pity” in my opinion. People who are self-absorbed whine about how lonely they are. People who are on their own but out doing things, experiencing life, and looking OUTWARD don’t a) have time to be lonely, and b) aren’t lonely because they surround themselves with, and attract like-minded people.

    Hmm… this could end up being a whole ‘nother blog post.

  4. Kimberly February 24, 2008 9:26 am

    Yep!

  5. Moxie February 24, 2008 10:49 am

    One thing I found telling was that she saw in a book on single motherhood a happy ending involving finding a man after the baby was born, and she seems to imply that she somehow bought into that.

    Face it, anybody who compares life to sitcoms and self-help books doesn’t have a stranglehold on reality in the first place.

    She has a good point that the deal-breakers change, but that’s not settling. That’s growing up.

  6. Sarashay February 24, 2008 1:23 pm

    Okay, this is the one things I really, really don’t get. She had a child via sperm donation because, gosh, she wanted a baby and didn’t want to wait for a stable relationship or anything. And now she’s finding out that it’s much harder work than she’s anticipating and utterly resentful that she can’t find a MAY-UN to fill in that gap she feels she has and this whole thing is suddenly everybody else’s fault for raising her standards to unrealistic levels? Um, whut?

    I’m still unmarried and looking, but I have no interest in ‘settling’ just to have a husband. I have a home of my own, a stable job and a number of exciting projects to fill my time. Perhaps my standards are so high because someone is going to have to be pretty amazing to persuade me to make such a huge change to the life I already enjoy.

  7. Jaundice February 25, 2008 7:50 am

    Holy crap!

    Allowing some absolute loser (someone who will marry you even though you don’t love them) into your life because you’ve become desperately lonely or overwhelmed is the surest way to make a tough situation intolerable.

    Don’t people recognize the pitfalls out there? Morons and psychopaths baby, morons and psychopaths.

    Find quality or keep looking…

  8. Jurhael February 26, 2008 11:07 am

    “The downside of hooking up with Mr. Wrong is so much much worse than ANYTHING single parenthood could throw at you.”

    Yes. Absolutely. I’m willing to bet that abusers just LOVE those who settle.

    Can you imagine being told, “I settled for you!” You can bet that an abusive person would love to throw it in their targets face any chance they get.

    Besides, the single life is great! You can do as you please!

  9. Danielle February 26, 2008 10:59 pm

    My mother happened to hook up with a boring selfish guy when I was a kid, and he never babysat me once, but I babysat his neglected kids every damn night.

    If a guy is willing to marry you without love involved he will NEVER love your kids. It won’t happen. And I can think of nothing more cruel to do to your kids than let a strange male who doesn’t love them into their home.

    Remember what male lions do to other lions young? It works very similarly for a lot of men.

  10. H.Isberg March 1, 2008 5:44 am

    WHAT????!!!! And can somebody show me the person who´d BENEFIT from this marriage? What a LOAD of CRAP!!

  11. Jurhael March 2, 2008 12:50 pm

    “Remember what male lions do to other lions young? It works very similarly for a lot of men.”

    Except that lions don’t have the ability to rationalize as everything they do is pure instinct. Plus, they’re not as depraved as humans can be as they’ve been known to kill THEIR OWN children, and I don’t want to begin to imagine how many parents have ruined their own kids’ lives for whatever reason.

    That being said, step families are hard as it is, “settling” shouldn’t even be an option in cases like that.

  12. Khan March 10, 2008 1:37 pm

    Hah! Damn skippy. That article was just sort of… sad. I felt bad for her kid. Sheesh, what a great example to set… >.>;

  13. Val March 16, 2008 4:00 pm

    Jessica’s last line in her fiministing.com response was: “That kind of scare tactic nonsense may have worked in the 80s, but we’re having none of it.” Oh, indeed? When I turned 30 in the mid 80s, it didn’t work on me.

    I’m “having none of it” now, and I had none of it then.


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