I’m not having kids for the usual reasons. First there’s the cost to me, which is supposedly something like a million dollars before the kid reaches the age of eighteen. Then there’s the cost to taxpayers, because in addition to things like health care and every other meager benefit reaped by every single American, I am a product of a higher-grading but ultimately batshit insane parochial school system, and I’m not sure I’d want to expose my child to that kind of fuckery. Third is the cost to the whole world, because it’s not like we’re having a population crisis that requires yet another person to consume some fossil fuels and burn more holes in the atmosphere. Fourth, my body doesn’t seem to care about whether or not it procreates. Everyone told me that I’d start wanting kids when I turned 30, but now that I am 30, the only difference is that I’m able to tolerate my friends’ kids a little more, and even enjoy making some of them laugh. I definitely don’t want any of my own, though, and in case you’re of like mind but aren’t a fan of proven methods like condoms and the Pill, I’d like to share one of my secret methods of birth control:
One of the reasons I don’t want to have kids is because of Disney World. I am one of the few sensible curmudgeons in the world who hate Disney World, and as a childless adult, this is my right. If I had a kid, though, I’d have to not only endure Disney World but also pretend to enjoy it, and I’m sorry, but that is just not going to happen.
If you’re wondering what the fuck I’m saying because surely not every parent has to take their kid to Disney World, then guess what? You’re a shitty parent. Yes every parent has to take their kid to Disney World. Are you joking? Do you know what it’s like to be a kid? Can you remember that far back? Don’t you recall anything about knowing that Disney World was a place and imagining what was there and being so fucking stoked about its existence and the possibility that you might get to go there someday? Forgive the cliché, but Disney World is like crack to children. The very idea of it can whip them into an addicted sort of frenzy. And I’m not talking about spoiled kids, rich kids, or kids who live in the greater Orlando or Anaheim areas. I’m talking about all kids. Every fucking kid in the fucking world who knows about Disney World wants to go to Disney World so badly that it hurts. As a parent, it is your duty to make an honest effort at taking them there.
I was once excited about going to Disney World. I finally got to go the summer before or after 6th grade (I can’t remember), when my mom got some super discounted package and took my sister and I along to first stay with my Jehovah’s Witness aunt in Melbourne, then stay in Orlando and go to Disney for a couple of days, and then stay with one of my mom’s old friends in Tampa. Aside from a few days in the Disney resort system, it was the Magical Florida Couch-Hopping Tour, and one of the reasons I still hate Florida to this day.
I was excited to see Disney World. I was excited to go on the rides, see the characters, and participate in what I knew even then to be one of America’s most important cultural contributions (along with Elvis and explosions in movies). You might not know it to look at me now, but I was into Disney World. I expected to enjoy the fuck out of it.
I hated Disney World.
With the exception of Space Mountain and the ice cream buffet at the Dolphin Hotel, everything about Disney sucked. Granted, it was probably not the best decision to go there in July, which is the grossest month out of all the months in already-gross Florida. But I could mostly handle the heat, and it wasn’t even a factor once I entered the park and about 45 seconds later realized that I was very wrong to have been excited about this experience.
Although Younger Me was excited about Disney World, she was still the person Older Me is today: impatient, a fast walker, and suspicious that most souvenir stands are for suckers. Disney World was the antithesis of Younger Me. Everyone moved slowly, the lines lasted for hours, and my sister, who is a gigantic sucker, wanted to buy everything. It was a nightmare full of fat tourists and humidity where the only people who walked as fast as me were German, and if you can ever help it, you shouldn’t want to be the most German in anything. The alleged fun and forced frivolity did not outweigh the sticky inconvenience of the whole affair, and by the time the daily thunderstorm hit, I was happy to return to the hotel and relieved that my mom wasn’t going to make us go back to Disney World.
I’m still like this. I don’t go to Six Flags because the sun and the people make me uncomfortable, and I’m an adult with the power to just not go to the places that make me uncomfortable. This would change if I had kids, though, because all that adult power goes out the window when a 4-year-old clutches their Aladdin DVD and tells you with the most heartbreaking sincerity that all they want to do in life is meet him. You can’t say no to that. You’re obligated to come through. It’s the deal you sign when you don’t call Planned Parenthood. My womb is the empty house that Mouse built, and I am never going back to that hellhole if I can help it.