The articles in question….

And so, a little later than promised, I know, we have the articles themselves. Well, mine and Best Friend’s anyway. See if you can spot the differences. I mean apart from the fact that neither Best Friend or myself feel obliged to add a comma before every single use of ‘and’ or ‘but’. Can I please point out before you read that I copied these exactly from the magazine, the punctuation isn’t ours…

Me

Kids would ruin my lifestyle

Vicola, 31, from Lancaster has been married to Mr V, 36 for 4 years.

Mr V and I have a great life. We have jobs we enjoy and while we’re not exactly rolling in money, we’re lucky that we have enough disposable cash to pretty much do what we please. We go out with our friends, buy the clothes we want and enjoy as many holidays as we can.

But I know that if we were to have children our lives would change beyond recognition – and that’s not a sacrifice I’m prepared to make.

For a start I’d probably have to give up my job so immediately we’d lose half our income, and on top of that we’d have the added expense of feeding, clothing and caring for our offspring.

But it’s not even really about the financial cost.

Our freedom is what we treasure most – and I know we’d lose that immediately with a couple of little people tying us down. We wouldn’t be able to nip off to the South of France at short notice like we did this year, or come back late after a night out without worrying about the babysitter.

I’m horribly bad tempered if I don’t get enough sleep, and I know lie-ins would become a distant memory with an overexcited toddler jumping on your head at 5am.

I’m squeamish about vomit and faeces, and the idea of children’s parties full of shrieking banshees out of their minds on E-numbers and sugar fills me with dread.

And as if young children wouldn’t be enough of a burden, teenagers would be even worse. I dread the thought of having my drinks cupboard regularly raided, being used as an unpaid taxi service and having to get new door keys cut every month because some fool has left them on the bus. My brother and I inflicted all of the above on my parents, so there’s no reason to suspect my child wouldn’t do the same to me.

I’m happy with my decision not to have children, as is my husband, and it annoys me that I’m constantly having to defend my choice to others. “Why did you get married if you didn’t want to have babies?” everyone asks me. “Well I don’t remember my wedding vows saying breeding is obligatory!” I reply.

No one would question my decision to get hitched if I was clinically sterile, but for some reason if you choose to remain childless it’s unacceptable.

It’s not that I don’t like children. I love my friend’s kids and I’m more than happy to buy them presents and play with them. But the best thing about them? I get to hand them back to their parents whenever I choose.

Best Friend

Youngsters are boring and self obsessed.

Best Friend lives with her husband G in Manchester and works in Administration.

I know we’re all supposed to fawn over kids like they’re the best thing since sliced bread, but the truth is I just don’t like them very much.

Babies aren’t so bad (when they’re not crying) but as far as I’m concerned children are boring and self-obsessed, and I have no idea what to say to them.

I have no maternal urges whatsoever, so why would I have children just because society expects it of me?

My husband G and I have been together since we were teenagers, but the question of children didn’t come up until later in our relationship. We were shopping in the supermarket when we passed a kid having an almighty hissy fit because his mum wouldn’t buy him chocolate. I knew I didn’t want that. “Er, I don’t think I want kids,” I told G there and then. “Not ever.” Luckily he was fine with it. He doesn’t feel strongly either way and he’s perfectly happy with it being just the two of us, as am I. We like being able to make choices based on what we want to do, rather than having to take a child’s needs into consideration.

I’m just not interested in being one of those stressed-out women screaming at my brood in the supermarket, but I’m constantly amazed by the criticism I face for choosing to live my life the way I do.

People tell me that if I had a child of my own I’d feel differently, but I don’t believe it. And anyway, what if they were wrong? I couldn’t send the kid back, or cram it into my wardrobe like a badly chosen handbag.

My worst fear is that if I fell pregnant by accident and decided to keep the baby I’d discover that I was right all along – that I’m completely ill equipped to be a mother. 

So there you have it. Two badly written, appallingly punctuated articles misrepresenting everything we said. Yes, the researcher phoned us to get details and a few bits to ‘flesh it out’ but even so, would anyone care to take a punt on how much of those articles is utter bilge? My best guess would be about 75% of each. Utter, utter wankers. So everyone, please learn from the experiences of Best Friend, Stu on the last post’s comments and myself – steer well clear of the media because they really are the collection of dishonest venal bastards that you suspect them to be….

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12 Responses

  1. I read the first few paragraphs of your “revised” article and had to pull up the original and re-read it again because I did not recognize ANY of it!!!! There were a few lines here and there, but they really did completely change the whole thing! The originals I read with my head nodding agreeing with what is being stated even the occasional audible “YES!”, the revised version really did make you out to be a self absorbed child hater. wow…. I really am SO sorry. They did both of you such an injustice, I can’t even imagine.

  2. That’s the media for you. It’s all about demographics and pandering.

  3. Uggg….so frustrating to be misrepresented. You are right. I am sure it happens more often than not. We have learned from your unfortunate experience.

  4. You can borrow my bazooka if you like.

  5. Arses. Have you told us the pub and the journo?

    • The publication was Bella and the journo who contacted us is called Alice Wright. She works for an agency that touts for crappy stories, called Medavia. She says she didnt’ write it but she certainly took the info from us.

  6. Appalling misrepresentation….sorry it happened to you Vicola.
    I’ve not had to deal with the “media” in my life, and after this don’t plan to start doing so in the future.

  7. Imagine that. The rewrite is much lower in quality.

    I think you could do her job with much more style and accuracy but the problem would be lowering the moral standard to hers.

    I wonder if ethics will ever come up as a topic?

    Remember the name. One day you might just make her pay.

    • She kept putting bloody commas in front of every ‘and’, ‘but’ and ‘or’. I got right on my nerves by the time I’d finished typing it up.

  8. I imagine that your original response was just not sensational or dramatic enough for Bella. Sadly these days it seems that most things written have to be pointed enough to agitate others into argument or to cause a flap – even if words have to be twisted or made up to do so.

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