[ B O O K S ] BY TAMMY LA GORCE
In Praise of the
MEGHAN DAUM ACKNOWLEDGES that
growing up in Ridgewood does not tend
to put one on a path toward editing a
book called Selfish, Shallow and Self-Absorbed: Sixteen Writers on the Decision
NOT to Have Kids (Picador, April).
“It’s a funny place to be from in terms
of this book,” says Daum, whose previous
output includes the 2004 novel The Quality of Life Report, and the 2001 cult classic
My Misspent Youth, an essay collection.
Ridgewood, where Daum lived from
age 9 until graduating from Ridgewood
High in 1988, is not the kind of place
typically associated with people who, like
Daum, are childless by choice, she says.
“There are almost no adults in Ridgewood who are not somebody’s parents,”
says Daum, 45.
Although there were kids in the house,
Daum’s family was “really out of place” in
Ridgewood, she says in a phone interview:
Her father was a freelance music arranger
and composer who had an office in the at-
tic, and her mother “did not play tennis. ”
Given that background, maybe Daum
actually is ideally suited to editing a col-
lection that addresses what she calls “an
unnecessary adversarial dynamic between
parents and non-parents.”
“I think it’s really important for kids
to be exposed to adults who are respon-
sible, concerned and caring—just not
parents,” she says.
“The conversation tends to be
framed around the idea that people
who don’t have kids don’t like them or
want to have material things or sleep
late,” says Daum. “But so many non-parents are great mentors or part of
the auntie brigade. The world needs all
kinds of people.” ;
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metrowindowfashions march 2015.pdf 1 3/26/2015 6:12: 42 PM