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I am 32 years old and my social existence is under attack. The threat is formidable and gaining momentum at a furious pace. In fact, I’m afraid that this war may already be lost.

Which is fucking ridiculous considering many of my enemies lack the ability to walk or talk.

As a married adult I should probably be buying a house and starting a family, but instead I spend my weekends in the city abusing alcohol in an effort to drown my newly formed abandonment issues. It used to be a much bigger party, but when half of my friends entered the world of reproduction I found myself resenting their adorable offspring.

Don’t get me wrong, I like kids. I enjoy spending time with my nieces and nephew, I can’t wait to coach little league, and when my wife makes me watch that new Steve Harvey show with the talented children I’ll admit that I laugh (mostly because Steve Harvey is the truth). But this isn’t about them, it’s about me, and with every Instagram of a confused toddler trying to rip the age-identifying sticker off its chest I feel my world crumble a bit more.

I believe Mr. Garrison sang it best:

Where has my country gone?
It was a land of opportunity that we held dear
But now all these other assholes are coming here
Where’s my country gone?
It was just here like two seconds ago…

It feels like one day I woke up and the guys who never missed a tee time, poker night or Pats game were on indefinite paternity leave from fun. And sure, it’s easy for the rest of us to joke about how glad we are that we don’t have to take care of a child as we toast to our fallen comrades, but it also kind of sucks. A pub crawl with 3 people is not a pub crawl, it’s just a lot of drinking and unnecessary walking.

Perhaps my greatest fear is that some of my best friends have outgrown me, because I’ll admit that my lifestyle isn’t for everyone. Is their idea of fun different than it was when we were 23, or even 28? Is Sunday Funday no longer their cup of Twisted tea? Maybe when they bail on trivia night or can’t play golf on the weekends it has less to do with a crying, pooping obligation and more to do with their purposeful graduation to a stage of life that hasn’t accepted me yet.

Sometimes I feel like I’m waiting in line outside of a club, unable to get in because I’m not on the list. Except the club is filled with tummy time and peanut allergies and I really don’t want to be there, but it’s the new spot and everybody who’s anybody is in attendance.

The thing is, none of my buddies are miserable, if anything it’s the complete opposite. They all seem very content with their new lives, and have experienced a phenomenon that a non-parent cannot comprehend. “Just wait until you have a kid, you’ll see…” is a popular way to tell me that I’m not capable of understanding the love that a parent has for a child, which is 100% true.

I want to have a family someday, but at this point the feeling is more of a value than a desire. I want to be a parent because my parents were parents, and I want to provide another human being with all of the fun stuff that I was afforded. I want to see life again through the eyes of my child, and I want to experience it all again with them. I want to be the coach who takes sports too seriously and goes on rants about participation trophies. I want to buy my kids a dog when they promise to take care of it and then be the only one who walks it. Most of all, I want some fun people to party with when I’m old.

So I get it…that’s not to say that I want to start breeding anytime soon, but I get the appeal. I understand that my animosity towards infants and toddlers is completely irrational, and I bet that I’d actually enjoy hanging out with those little fuckers if I gave them a chance. So here’s to me being a better uncle in the future, and to my friends finding a good babysitter so we can actually hang out again.

Mike Stiriti

Mike Stiriti once dreamed of anchoring SportsCenter back when that was a thing. Now he just tries to be funny.

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