Thursday, July 07, 2005
They shoot single people, don't they?
I spoke with a friend of my mom's yesterday who we had lost contact with for some time. Recently out of the 9-to-5 rat race, she gave us a buzz last night to extend an invite to her retirement party in Atlanta next month. Inevitably, I got hit with the question all singletons (particularly women who've crept their way into the mid 20's age range and up) dread served up in an unerringly perky Southern accent...
When I told her that marriage was one of the last things on my mind at this point and I had no serious prospects on the horizon, she reacted as if I broke the news of a terminal disease."So why aren't you married, girl?! I thought you would be hitched with a baby or two by now!"
Considering my mother was already a married woman at my age and many of my girlfriends have begun their own walks down the aisle, I felt a momentary twinge of inadequacy.
Then I took a step back after mulling it over in my head hours later and it hit me like a Krylon pan to the dome. Why should I feel guilty that I'm not a bride at 25?! This isn't Bedrock, this is 2000-fucking-5, people. We as females face enough societal pressures as it is when it comes to bridging the gap from girl to woman....turning a serious decision into a race against time doesn't only reek of the Donna Reed era, it's inherently sexist. (Pardon me, while I do the full-court Helen Reddy press for a sec...) Why is it that men are allowed to "sow their wild oats" and still be considered a swinging bachelor well into their 40's, but if a woman hasn't mated by the time her 30's pass by, she's destined to be a bitter spinster with nothing to look forward to but eating out of cans and accruing a house full of cats for companionship?
I look at women like my great-aunt as an inspiration. Never married nor with children, she went from humble beginnings in Trinidad to higher education at Oxford to thrive professionally in her years at Johns Hopkins once she emigrated to the U.S. Self-reliant to the bone, she never had to ask for anything from anyone. As an inquisitive busybody, I wanted to know why she didn't want a man around. (I was one bold young'un, I know...) She responded by telling me that having a man was a bonus not a requirement....either way, she was going to enjoy every day whether it happened or not. I didn't understand then, but it makes perfect sense to me now.
Whether I choose to settle into a life of domesticity doesn't define me nor does it lessen my womanhood should I decide not to take that route. I like to dub it "the créme brulee analogy"...while it's something I look forward to and hope is awaiting me later down the line, slitting my wrists isn't an option if that doesn't come to fruition. I'm just thankful I live in a time that offers the kind of options those before me wished they could've had. That isn't something to be embarrased about, it's cause for celebration. I'm living my life on my terms. PERIOD. To my fellow single ladies out there, raise your martini glasses and middle fingers high to anyone who tells you otherwise. The only expiration date that counts is when other people's timetables end and your life begins.
- Michael commented at 7/07/2005 07:58:00 PM~
Note to self: Do not propose to Trini. Ever. I keed. Another well written entry full of your sharp wit. ;)
- TriniPrincess commented at 7/08/2005 01:12:00 AM~
You know you have my Ring Pop wedding band already picked out...don't front. A 2 ct. marquise cut cherry with a watermelon setting is fab. =oP
- Rell commented at 7/08/2005 05:23:00 PM~
There goes my hopes and dreams...
- Danyel commented at 7/12/2005 03:26:00 PM~
Hm. 25? Older folk start sweating women of 25 about getting married? Insane.
re marriage vs. single life: both can be excellent, and both can be real f***ed up.
Know why you're single. Know why you're getting married.
a unexamined life is no life at all ... you know the deal. Don't get "caught up" in being single (unless you're 25!). Don't get "caught up" in being married.
okay. I sound like somebody's grandmother.
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