Thursday, February 7, 2008

Daria and the Second Oldest Profession

What would Daria be like as a parent? A number of fanfics have explored this idea, and there are hints about this future in the TV series. Amy Barksdale, widely seen as a possible adult Daria, leads a child-free, spouse-free life and is content with that. When Quinn tries to get Daria to babysit in "Pinch Sitter," Daria replies, "Forget it. I don't like kids. I didn't even like kids when I was a kid." When Daria writes out her vision of the future in "Write Where It Hurts," her story includes a scene in which her mother asks, "Has there been any further discussion about expanding your little family?" "Mom," Future Daria replies, "you know I'm not ready for kids. The whole idea makes me uneasy and I'm not sure why." At this point Future Quinn appears with her loudly argumentative children and Future Daria adds, "Oh yeah, now I remember."

The sharpest and most negative view of Daria as a parent was voiced by Daria's best friend, Jane, in Is It Fall Yet? When Daria describes her inability to reach out to a young boy at camp, Jane asks, "This Link situation really bothers you, huh?" "Serves me right for breaking my cardinal rule and trying to reach out to a lost soul," Daria glumly responds, to which Jane says, "Any kid who looks to you for nurturing is more than just lost." Ouch. Maybe Jane was giving Daria a shot back over the Tom thing, but as Jane adds a moment later, "I call 'em like I see 'em."

Despite Daria's remark about her "cardinal rule," it is true that, as was pointed out on PPMB by legendeld, "Canon Daria has a weak spot for anything helpless." She offers help and advice to Tad and Tricia, Brittany, Link, her sister, and a broad array of others. Though hostile and sarcastic toward authority figures, often playing them for fools, she does have a nurturing nature buried under that scowl. One might say even Amy has this, as she takes the much put-upon Daria out for cheese fries and bonding in "I Don't." Daria does good deeds even if she professes not to, but this doesn't automatically mean she would be a good parent.

Would she make a good mother, given her teenage view on the subject? Or should she follow her Aunt Amy's path and avoid the patter of little feet?


E. A. Smith said...

I think making a judgment on how an adult Daria would deal with children based on her as a teenager is a very tricky proposition. She still has a lot of maturing to go through, and a lot of perspectives can change in the years between high school, college, and adulthood. My guess, however, is that Daria is the kind of person who isn't going to think about children much at all as long as she is single; being a mother just won't be part of her image of herself, probably largely because she can't imagine herself being a good one. Get her into a healthy relationship, however, one where she feels comfortable enough to relax her strong hold on her own softer side, and I can see her warming to the idea of kids. I think a mature Daria, one who has learn to unbend a bit, could be a good mother; she is very loyal to those she loves, and as legendeld pointed out, she has a strong nurturing streak.

legendeld said...

Have to pick. Who says Amy isn't looking forward to having an army of kids as soon as Mr. right or Mr. not as bad as everyone else comes along. Amy isn't to old during the show. Certainly not old enough to write off her having kids.

The Angst Guy said...

I think Amy was about 40 when she was first seen in "I Don't." She's pushing the age thing pretty hard, as far as having kids goes. My guess is she's happy without the diapers and PTA meetings.

The Angst Guy in a disembodied voice from timeless space said...

Let's put it this way: Would you want Daria to be YOUR mom?

the bug guy said...

When you think about it, a fair number of fanfiction stories and series have included Daria as a mother, both natural and adoptive (in more ways than one).

Daria the teen would not be a mother and would not be a mother willingly.

Post-college, things could change based on her experiences. I can see her preference not to have children strengthened, and I can see her also becoming a mother.