Issue #81: On Choosing to (Not) Have Children
An open conversation with Ruby Warrington.
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📺 ‘Faraway’ on Netflix: It is not lost on me that this movie, about a woman who discovers she’s been left a house in Croatia, features the exact same song as the ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ trailer, or that Netflix specifically targeted me with it. It is, as promised, an uplifting story about a newly single woman who goes off into the world to find herself. It was also the exact summertime break I needed from weeks of Portland rain.
🎧 “The Evaporated” Podcast: “Disappearing without a trace is something that’s been part of the Japanese cultural imagination for hundreds of years,” journalist Jake Adelstein says as prelude to this podcast cohosted with Shoko Plambeck. In it, they investigate the sudden disappearance, or johatsu, of Adelstein’s accountant the day before tax day in Japan. Not so much a crime podcast as it is a deep-dive into the Japanese industry dedicated to helping people vanish and the investigators who try to find them, it’s a fascinating listen into an unfamiliar world. Speaking of podcasts… I’m releasing episodes of Morning Person’s audio issues weekly here, beginning with last year’s conversation with!
🥣 Garlicky Dal and Potatoes: The recipe note offers, “When you’re out of all your groceries other than a giant tupperware of red lentils and a bag of potatoes…” And so began my love affair with this incredibly easy dal. Though I made a few adjustments based on the contents of my fridge and pantry (I used sweet potatoes instead of regular potatoes, canned coconut milk instead of milk, and added a ton of kale), the beauty of this recipe is in its flexibility, and the tharka, a garlickly oil, that’s added in the end. The perfect dish for a rainy day. Also very much planning on making this cake soon!
For most of my life, I assumed I would have children. In my twenties, I would casually mention my plans to be pregnant at 30 and when my husband and I bought our house in Portland, it was with a nursery in mind. As my mother’s only child, I often imagined holding a daughter of my own. I would raise her to be endlessly curious, and squirreled away journals and lessons that I would eventually pass down to her. It wasn’t until I actually turned 30—the age I was so sure I would be pregnant—that I realized an alternative existed: I could choose to not have children.
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