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March 3rd, 2015

On Wanting a Family Without Wanting Kids

Somewhere in the murky depths of my past I've mentioned this before, but I have long had a fantasy of living in a large-ish house with an extended family... but the wrinkle of this family is that it's not a family made up of my children and grandchildren. It's a family of adults, my cool, fun, intelligent and sane close friends with whom I am comfortable and at ease and enjoy their company more often than I don't.

(I'm not referring to polyamory here, but simply to companionship and camaraderie. However, most of the stuff that applies to this applies to polyamory as well, turned up to 11.)

Of course, there's a reason this is a fantasy. It's one of the great but rarely-spoken truths of the world that in any group of people larger than four, one of them is an asshole who will ruin it. (Some people say it's any group larger than three, but I think that's overcompensating.) And there's also the simple fact that just because person A gets along great with people B and C, doesn't mean that people B and C will even be able to tolerate each other. What are the chances of finding several adults who have compatible personalities, have compatible lifestyles, who all want to live in the same area, and who want to share a house with other people for an indefinite period and won't be spawning kiddies? Pretty damn slim.

Most groups of close young friends dissolve after school as people pair off to start families, scatter to the winds, etc., and most people change enough during the years of early adulthood that by the time you've matured, you may not be that compatible with the friends of your youth any more. Most groups of adult friends are brought together by common circumstance– they all have the same job, or their kids all belong to the same swim team– and are fleeting at best. As the circumstance changes, the friendship dissolves with it.

I think one of the reasons Rough Housing has the setup it does is as a way to vicariously live out this fantasy. The Rough Housers were exactly this sort of family brought together by Bosley, who then dropped out and sold the place to Leonard, leaving them all feeling disconnected and betrayed. It's into this situation that Charity has unwittingly stepped and has to navigate. Saving the Rough House, as much as anything, means saving this proto-family, which means becoming part of it, and that's Charity's real challenge. As I sit alone in front of my monitor, writing/drawing this out, I actually sometimes envy her. :)

-The Gneech

PS: Yes, I am doing a lot of deep thinking lately. ;) My health changes, my job changes, moving, now this post, they're all related to the process. They're all pieces of the puzzle!

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