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Loose ends II: The Catchuppening

Please enjoy this master class in subtle journalistic snark:

A right-leaning health think tank has condemned the NHS for spending £700 a year on porn to assist male visitors to fertility clinics to produce samples.

Apart from the deleterious effects on female staff, [think tank chief executive Julia] Manning says that "For the NHS to unnecessarily introduce addictive material ... to patients during their treatment beggars belief. And to do this at a time when men are feeling particularly vulnerable, already facing the emotional and physical pressures of possible infertility, is inexcusable."

She also worries that donation by porn barons raises the prospect of it being manipulated by porn barons keen to capture a new market.

Heh heh heh.  "Manipulated."


A while back I posted about a moment I had with Charlie:

Charlie was asking about some friends who don't have kids.  He said, "What's the point of a family if there aren't any children?"  And what could I say to that, except, Whoa, hey, bloggable moment?

Some of you asked what I did say, and I never got around to answering.  So here we go: I did what I always do when I'm trying to be fair but not necessarily quite candid.  I busted out "some people."

Some people, I told him, are happy without having children.  Some people don't even like them!  Some people feel that "family" means the people we choose to love, even when they're not related to us. 

I did not mean "some jackasses" this time, but I wasn't fully honest.  Because I did not say, Some people feel like you do: What is the point without children?  I didn't say, I wondered that, too, and it scared me to imagine it.  I didn't tell him I did what I could to keep from having to learn.  I didn't say People I love are figuring that out, whether they want to or not.


I briefly mentioned the home visit we got from Charlie's kindergarten teacher.  It's a new thing here, I guess: A child's teacher visits his home for 15 or 20 minutes, a quick stop to say hello, just long enough to have a cup of coffee, drop off some stickers, and rifle through the medicine cabinet.  The stated purpose is to help the child feel comfortable with the teacher by approaching him on his home turf.  The unstated benefits are, I imagine, enormous: A lot of good can come from seeing a kid in his natural habitat.

But it also gives me pause.  I think about what conclusions get drawn in the space of a quarter of an hour, and how they could follow a kid, despite the best intentions.  Listen, don't blame Charlie, lady: That's my tabletop meth lab.

Do you think you'd be comfortable with this?  I was, mostly, on a personal level, but in theory it raises my hackles a bit.  Oh, it was a perfectly pleasant visit -- Charlie loved answering the door, inviting her in, and showing her his basement naughty cage.  And I didn't even mind hiding the porn under a stack of Mothering magazines, which I then hid under a stack of Soldier of Fortunes and topped with a Precious Moments angel figurine.  But I shudder to think what she might have made of the taxidermy bench in the playroom.  I hope she doesn't judge us.


What else am I missing, y'all?  I want to write at greater length about disposing of our remaining embryos and the attempts we've made thus far; the occasional poking from commenters here about my not being Ben's real mother; Alexa's book, which is really x 1064 good; the upcoming RESOLVE walk in Atlanta; the friends I appear to be making despite my breathtaking social awkwardness; aaand probably some other stuff, too.  If you think of anything I've brought up and then left hanging, please let me know.  It feels good to complete a thought.