When I followed up with Marcia by phone, she told me she used to wonder if indeed something was wrong with her, if she was a “genetic mutation.” But she set that thought aside and continued to follow her passions. She remarried and her name changed and she was able to re-apply for a teaching job and was later nominated by her peers as “Teacher of the Year.” She continued to be involved in the Long Island chapter of the renamed “National Alliance for Optional Parenting” and is now very active in a Humanist organization in her home state of Florida.
I’m smiling seeing the direction of [your] project. In 1974, I was one of those interviewed on a “60 Minutes” segment. I was the President of the Long Island Chapter of NON. I announced my decision not to have children.
The next day, I lost my job as a passionate teacher.
My life was threatened, as was the life of my dog. I faced angry pickets at a high school where I was asked to speak. All this, because I dared to say I chose not to parent.
In 1974, you kept that to yourself. I’m now 68. I’ve just finished a memoir. I’m excited that I finally feel I’m being recognized as a woman who made a choice right for me and who has a message about this important choice.
She admits she occasionally felt pangs of longing when she would witness what she calls “Kodak Moments”—those times when proud parents celebrate their children’s accomplishments or transitions at Bat or Bar Mitzvahs, but whenever she was asked “Do you wish you had kids?” her response is “No, thank you.”
Her plate is full: full of life, love, and the young women she has taught over the years whom she calls her “daughter-friends” who still call her up for advice. To Marcia, life remains “delicious.”