Social Question

Blackberry's avatar

It seems like most of us are just going to follow the quintessential lifestyle, so why bother thinking of anything except this?

Asked by Blackberry (31923points) December 25th, 2011

Yeah, sure. We all know what’s going to happen: meet someone that is decent enough, have a kid or two, then either stay together or separate. Why should we pursue anything except this?

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29 Answers

Berserker's avatar

I don’t think about that. It seems it will never happen, although I’m not being morose about it. For me, mostly, I just think about how I exist merely to pay for things, or when I’m next gonna be drunk. Not much of an incentive perhaps, but in the context on your details, it isn’t all that depressing. XD
There’s lots to think about and do though. What you describe does sound like social standards, to the point that these are met without the true feelings that should define them. But without being in someone’s head, how can we really know? Maybe some people are a lot more decent than it seems when you see them. Or at least, the person with them thinks so.
If one percieves some kinda light or truth, how are we so sure that nobody else does?
Although I am a cynic, so it’s hard believing what I’m trying to suggest. XD
Still though, I don’t think this particular thing dominates the ambitions of everyone. Lots yes, and that isn’t anything bad, whether the gettup is genuine or not. People have all sorts of different kinds of dreams, ambitions or things they think they have o fulfill. And by ’‘think’’, I’m not saying they’re wrong. Not anymore than any other fucker. I’m being neutral on it, and not giving more points to one thing or the other. It does all seem to lead to the same pot of gold though, although it’s kinda hard exiting my own boundaries to see something I don’t see. Anything I can think of as a deviance from what you suggest is still quintessential, as far as stuff people do, or wanna do.
Until zombies invade, anyways…

YARNLADY's avatar

You do well to ask why. Why indeed? There is absolutely no need to pursue anything else.

Blackberry's avatar

Yeah, it would be nice if we could fulfill our own dreams, outside of social standards. But I’m pretty sure we were born to serve the economy. We’re not going to escape this, so we might as well put an effort towards making money and building a relationship.

Berserker's avatar

@Blackberry I guess. Lots of people get together because it’s easier that way. (did I say all? No. for anyone who wants to, don’t get on my fuckin case) If I use myself as an example though, I like being alone quite a lot, and even if I love someone, I need my space. More so than can be handled by living with someone. I’m learning that all the more now that I have a room mate, and I don’t even love her. (that’s even closer to the point in one way haha) So whether society thinks that’s proper or not, why should I not pursue what I, at least, believes makes me happy? because it still involves the same dead end you talk about I mean I’m still serving the economy, either way. XD

AnonymousWoman's avatar

If one desires to become a parent, he or she should care about a lot more than just simply finding a partner and having a child or two. Children need stability and they need to be loved and cared for. That requires more than just getting with someone and having a child or two.

(I think you know this).

Blackberry's avatar

Yeah, maybe I’m not being honest enough. Does it really matter what we do, as long as we’re making money for other people? Who cares about passion, when we could be doing the right thing, building a better life for someone else. Are my temporary pursuits of happiness going to really do anything for me as a person?

zenvelo's avatar

Because if that’s all you do, your kids will grow and live their own lives, and you’ll have nothing to do but to shrivel and die.

There is much more to live for, and following your own bliss and passions, if done responsibly, actually makes you a better parent. You model for your children that you are your own person with your own dreams and interests.

And on the other hand, I have quite a few friends that have not gone the traditional route, but lived in different ways, and are quite happy.’

zenvelo's avatar

Also, I don’t think what you describe is a quintessential lifestyle.

judochop's avatar

I have a ton of things to do before I settle down with someone who is just “good enough.” I am needing someone who is way better than I. They will have to be able to handle my up’s and downs and all around’s. They will have to have a huge sex drive and the ability to maintain a jogging pace for more than an hour if need be. They have to be able to hold a conversation about politics, and government and….Politicians that turn in to zombies to forever run companies and governments. They must be an animal lover. Non-vegetarian, stylistic, non-annoying laugh…..Martha Stewart meets Bettie Page.
I doubt that this person exists therefore I doubt that I will ever live the quintessential lifestyle…Oh wait…I just described my quintessential lifestyle, dammit! I guess, yes.

AnonymousWoman's avatar

^ I see people jogging in the city I live in quite a bit when I go out who seem really into jogging for a long time. That’s judging by the determination on their faces and their sweat, anyway. Maybe it’s the several bike paths that help make that convenient for them around here…

I wish I could do what they do, but I give up too easily and I’m scared of people watching me jog because I’d rather them not. I guess I am a huge hypocrite since I pay attention to others who are jogging. I don’t think I stare, though… so it’s different, isn’t it?

I was running the other day and a group of young people decided to be funny and sing after me ”Run, Forrest, Run!” thanks to that Forrest Gump movie. I felt like they were making fun of the way I run. :/

How do you do it?

cookieman's avatar

The living, the things to be passionate about, are in the thousands of little details that live in between your rather sparse outline if a “quintessential lifestyle”.

So sure, many of us may hit the same beats, even share some details, but ultimately it’s really about the journey.

I know what you mean though. When I’m feeling jaded and cynical, I sometimes see life that way too. Are you feeling jaded and cynical Mr. @Blackberry??

linguaphile's avatar

The one thing I wanted the least my entire life was to have a cookie cutter life. I’ll contribute to the economy, I’ll shop, earn money and pay my taxes, but the worst thing I think humans can do is become resigned to living a status quo. It doesn’t matter to me what’s at the finish line- to quote Stephen Schwartz, “I want my life to be something more than long.”

SmashTheState's avatar

I have no spouse. I have no kids. I have no car. No insurance. No mortgage. No savings. No investments. No pets. I keep no regular schedule; I sleep when I’m tired, I wake when I’m rested, I eat when I’m hungry. I’ve run for public office, gone to prison, beaten up cops, climbed a mountain, made pornography, been run down on a picket line, spent a year homeless, hitchhiked across the continent, organized a union, been published as a writer, and worked, at various times as: convenience store clerk, enumerator for the city directory, partner in a marketing firm, light construction labourer, artist, salesman, rink attendant, social worker, union delegate, janitor, personal care attendant, gold panner, hustler, and graphic designer.

My life has been glorious, squalid, strange, exciting, painful, adventurous, lonely, and fulfilling. Let those who advise you to live a small, inoffensive life enjoy their long, dull existence and vanish unlamented into forgotten dust.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I find having a spouse (the right spouse!) makes life easier, more enjoyable, more rewarding, and frees both up to do things they would not have been able to do alone.
Combined income leaves more for enjoyment. While one paycheck might be consumed for rent, taxes, utilities, and batteries for bullhorns (STS :-) ) , two paychecks leave a lot leftover for other things.
I don’t need to spend time looking around for a mate. (won’t go into that.)
Laundry for 2 takes almost the same time as laundry for 1.
If I unclog a drain or fix a sink faucet I’m fixing for 2. It takes no more time.
Meals are more interesting. Different tastes bring different experiences.
With 2 or more in the family there is more data transfer. You have extra eyes and ears out in the world and that information is shared with all. It also comes at you from a different perspective than just your own.
Some things are are much easier with two than doing alone. I can’t count how many times I’ve said: “Here, hold this while I hammer/cut/solder/weld… this.”

Finally, and most important, in case of zombie attack I can toss her the Mossberg and count on her to cover the front while I take care of the back. ;-)

The right spouse is important. Whiny, high maintenance, drug addled, abusive spouses make life more difficult than living alone. Ask anyone who has lived through it. Choose wisely.

Blackberry's avatar

Thanks for the good answers :)
@cprevite Yep :/

cookieman's avatar

@Blackberry: I’m sorry about that. Here’s hoping the new year brings you a more positive perspective.

Tuesdays_Child's avatar

I think the key is not to settle. Don’t go on and have a relationship with someone just to keep from being alone. Finding the person who will love you no matter what the circumstances, and creating a life with them is the absolute stuff but being able to be alone with yourself in the event that you and your one person never connect comes in a very close second.
The same principle goes for your career/job/dream. Working as a gas station attendant for minimum wage is better than making a million dollars if you are happy being a gas station attendant. I guess what I’m getting at is that what makes people happy comes from an internal not an external source.

Mariah's avatar

If you think that will satisfy you and that’s what you want, I guess it’s fine to not consider the alternatives.

If you don’t think that sounds like it’s for you, you don’t have to settle for it just because that’s what most people do. But you need to do a lot of thinking about how you’ll get by doing what you do want to do.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I think it’s funny how so many people think “a simple life” is one that’s settled for and somehow easy. So many people I know would love to be able to find an agreeing partner to have a few kids with and live comfortable non flashy lives but it’s not simple or easy.
That sort of lifestyle that seems to attract so much disdain requires responsibility, planning, structure, sacrifice and respect.

zenvelo's avatar

@Neizvestnaya I agree, it’s pretty hard to avoid life’s difficulties. A few years ago I ran into a friend I hadn’t seen in a while. When I asked him how he was doing he said, “You know, when I was younger I thought if you did all you were supposed to do, by the time you hit 50 you’d be on cruise control. Instead, it’s just the opposite.”

lloydbird's avatar

As one who has followed ”..the quintessential lifestyle..”, with much effort and forbearance ; at least I know that I have contributed to the continuance of the species. Some small comfort for a bedraggled and disillusioned mid-lifer like me.

@SmashTheState ”..hustler..” ? How so? Do you mean like in a good way?

SmashTheState's avatar

@lloydbird When you’re on the street, you survive by hustling. It’s the purest form of entrepreneurialism, where you trade this for that, do favours for this guy so he’ll do favours for that guy who has something you need, and so on. While the legality of hustling is usually pretty grey, it’s just how it is on the street.

lloydbird's avatar

@SmashTheState Fair enough, friend.

SmashTheState's avatar

@lloydbird Maybe it’ll help if I give you a practical example of what I mean. This is an exchange which actually took place years ago.

I was crashing at someone’s place and she didn’t have a lock for her front door because the landlord had illegally changed the locks and she had to kick it in. In exchange for keeping her from being cleaned out when she had to leave, I asked for and received an old Monopoly board game. A guy I knew liked old board games, and this monopoly board was vintage. It wasn’t worth a lot of money because it was in poor condition, but he wanted it anyway, just as a conversation piece while playing. He didn’t have anything I wanted, but he was holding onto a pair of disc drives for someone with whom he had had a falling out, and swapped them for a bicycle. The guy who had owned the drives had an old, obsolete PC I wanted, but was angry at the guy who gave away his drives, so I had to placate him by getting him sysop access on a BBS he liked (and the owner of which owed me a favour), so that he was willing to swap his PC for the bicycle. I then got the PC in exchange for the Monopoly game. I then sold the PC for enough money to pay a month’s rent in a rooming house.

That’s how hustling works.

lloydbird's avatar

@SmashTheState Thanks for the further clarification. A fair and admirable point well made.
You’ll appreciate that the word (hustler) in it’s raw form has mainly negative connotations, unless qualified.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Because unlike my mother and a bunch of others, I have never thought that was the limit or should be anyone’s limit. Sure, kids and love and all that…but I always thought more about what I will learn and what I will contribute to some field or to the future and how I will help and there are infinite goals and dreams for me. I am doing what everyone does in a lifetime together with a million other things because life is short and these goals you describe are not enough for me.

janbb's avatar

Just when you think you know the rest of the script, life can throw you a curve ball. Don’t ever be cynical

fizzbanger's avatar

I don’t see the absence of family/children as a gaping hole that necessarily needs to be filled in, or having one or both of those things necessarily being a hindrance to adventures (unless done irresponsibly).

YARNLADY's avatar

@janbb You said a mouthfull there. How true

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