Yes, this is going to be a silly post. No, that does not mean it’s entirely without a kernel of truth.

This is the evolution of the profile pics of the typical Slovakian girl (in as far as this exists).

1. Some pics where she’s a teen having fun. Maybe a group pic with her school mates or best friend. Add duck faces.

2. Some pic when she’s about to graduate highschool all dressed up.

3. Some travel pic, somewhere in nature (they’re all crazy about hiking in nature).

4. Ah, the balding Slovak boyfriend appears.

5. College graduation. If she went to college.

6. The inevitable wedding picture. Husband more bald than before. Usually a bit fatter too. She looking waaaay out of his league. Like totally out of his league.

7. A pic of her and the baby. Because you know, that’s the ultimate destination for a woman in this traditional society.

I find this pattern both kinda endearing, kinda horrifying.

Mostly horrifying.

Because, very soon, you are surrounded by people whose life is made up of family outings, taking care of the kids and work.

I even suspect I have at least one student whose lessons with me are his ONLY escape from work and time spent with the family. Because it gives him a legitimate excuse. ‘Hey, honey, I need to hang out with this guy and have some fun once a week cause I need to learn English!’

Kurt Cobain sang: ‘I wish I was like you, easily entertained.’

I can’t sing without reminding me and every one in hearing distance that a music career was never on the table for me, so I will just write it:

I do sometimes wish I was like them, so easily satisfied with their life… Amputated from anything that does not directly affect them. In Slovakia girls will keep marrying balding bears with the world drowning in floods around them in 2200, happily flooding themselves with slivovica as long as they can have their traditions.

To end on a positive note:

I meet Slovak women here who do NOT follow these rigid, predictable patterns. And it’s a hell of a struggle. There is so much pressure on women here to get married and get babies. So when they choose a different path, they are tough, they’re unique, they are often intellectual, they contribute to society in thousands of ways and God, they’re often fun and witty.

To all childless women, Slovak or not, there is no law that says you have to breed, society, the stare or anything or anyone else is not entitled to the harvest of your womb.

May something finally change, cause the little comfortable prison that is the family unit as we know it, is part of what keeps this individualistic, politically unaware, politically passive, work work work just for the pay check, with no intrinsic meaning, going.

 

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