I have a theory. The rise of anxiety in America is due to MSN list articles.
You’ve probably seen these, and you’ve probably popped a Paxil after reading one. These lists are out to make people feel shitty, and they excel at it.
For example, most recently MSN published “30 things you should know before you’re 30.” No. 1 is learn how to change a tire. No. 2 is learn how to parallel park. No. 3 is figure out whether or not to have children.
The article uses the rule of threes to hit you where it hurts, two trivial things combined with one huge decision. Suggestion: Do all three at once to really tackle this list.
According to MSN, all pregnancies are planned (Did the GOP write this article?) and happen shortly after you turn 30, like some sort of magic pumpkin that turns into a stagecoach with a car seat in the back. Personally, I’ve always imagined one of two options for myself when it comes to having children: one, it’s gonna be an accident; two, I’m going to inherit a family ala Raising Helen. In either scenario, it’s going to be forced upon me, something no life road-map can account for.
Also on the list: Where you want to be by the time you’re 40. That’s right. As you’re figuring out what to do before you turn 30, you should be planning for 40.
Other fun things missing from the list:
Whether you really did settle
Whether after your first divorce you want to get back in the saddle on a date with that guy you met on eHarmony, who wrote “Your cute” in an email instead of “You’re cute.”
Whether you should hyperventilate into a paper bag when your teenage son tells you he got his girlfriend pregnant
Whether you really do have an alcohol problem after the demise of your second marriage
Whether you should let your kids put you in a home someday
Whether you want to be taken off life support
I’m just wondering how seriously people take these articles. Does a woman read this list and decide to have a baby, only to scream MSN’s name in agony during labor? Maybe I should listen to MSN. I mean, why not. Surely having a kid is just as easy as figuring out how to tell the fads from the classics. They’re on the same list, after all.