Of all the anxiety and mixed feelings of being almost 30, the one I did not foresee was the marriage one. It seems that I can't talk to a majority of my family and random people, without them asking "When are you getting married?"
I remember being younger and reading in magazines and online articles young woman wanting advice about what to say when people ask them when they were getting married. And I'm not sure why I thought that would never apply to me. At a very young age I decided not to get married or have kids in my 20s. I had a lot of things I wanted to do before I made any major life commitments.
I noticed around the time I turned 28, this question started coming up more and more. Oh, and strangers will say the same shit to me. At work, of course. The last time (and I mean that in every sense of the word) was about a year ago, when a regular came in. I was bartending and he was just making conversation until he asked "Are you married?"
Asswipe: "Oh, you must not have a boyfriend."
Me (slightly annoyed): "Actually I do."
Asswipe: "Oh, well then he must not be the right guy."
Me (absolutely annoyed): "That's not it. Did it ever occur to you that I'm not in a hurry to ruin my life?"
I don't think this but I had to say something to shut his ass up. And it did; he sputtered that he had been with his wife for 30 years. I told him wonderful but I had only been with my boyfriend for a year (at the time) and I wasn't going to rush anything.
And it's the truth; boyfriend and I are about to celebrate our two year anniversary. He is my longest and most serious relationship so of course it's something I think about. Right now he's living in a city that neither one of us cares for and I'm living in San Diego and I am not moving.
But the relationship is a great one, ideal for me. I've mentioned it before but we don't fight, we fit, we click, and sometimes I'm scared about how easy it is. In the past, long before now, I'd find out my boyfriend cheated on me or was gay, so sometimes I catch myself waiting for the other shoe to drop. However, the more rational side of me is screaming "Bitch, ENJOY YOURSELF! Finally! You're in a healthy AND happy relationship!!"
So that's what I'm doing! We're still over a year away before he can transfer back and as time gets closer, we'll talk about it the next step. That's the back story. So why the fuck is everyone asking me about marriage?
Because they're fucking rude. Seriously. I'll admit I'm conservative about some shit, but holy hell, this is not the 1930s, I'm not a spinster (though I do have cats) and there's not a book of divine secrets that says marriage will complete my life, but only by a certain age if I want forever happiness.
With certain members of my family, it's somewhat understandable:
My grandparents have literally known each other since they were two (53 years married.)
My uncle and aunt: High school sweethearts.
That's it. Everyone else is married-divorced-married. My dad (bless him) doesn't ever ask me. I don't know if it's because he doesn't feel that he can or if it's because he's better than that (let's go with the latter.)
Complete strangers ask me about marriage. And some of it is my fault because I always befriend the old people that come into my job. I like them, they have the best stories, and they don't give a fuck about anything. Except marriage. (It's different for them, because they probably got married after five months of being pinned or courting) However, old or not so old, there's certain questions in conversations that you don't ask people you don't know. You do not know the circumstances in someone's life! What if I grew up in a turbulent household, saw my parents fight and nearly kill each other and decided marriage wasn't for me (like a friend of mine)? Or what if I'm getting over my boyfriend's death and still refer to him in the present tense because I don't want to get into the story with strangers (like another friend of mine)? Or, what if marriage isn't in the vicinity of my thoughts because I'm happy with how my current relationship is going and I've got ten papers to write by next Friday (like me!!)?
Why is there still a stigma on not being married by a certain age? Huffington Post did an article last fall about reasons to get married young and it kind of made me want to barf. Saying that I'm going to have less sex being married at 3o as opposed to 20 is a reason?! How about because at 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28 and even at 29, I was not the same person as the year before. At 21, I discovered the world of high-quality alcohol. At 23-26, you could not find me without my head bent over a glass plate with a rolled up $2 bill. At 25, I said "Fuck you, tornadoes, hail, snow, ice, and hour-changing weather" and moved to California. And 27, I realized that I knew nothing about my ethnicity and wanted to get a degree in Black Studies and at 28 I figured out what I want to do with my life.
Of course, this is just me and no disrespect to those of you who married young. It just wouldn't have worked in my life. Look how long it took me to sort out things! (Plus cocaine does nothing for your patience and understanding.) And now you want me to hurry up and get married because I'm almost 30?!
I know I sound like I'm contradicting myself so let me be clear: I don't think marriage is horrible, I just wish people would quit making it sound like since I'm not getting married right now, my life's horrible. My life's getting to where I want it to be and I'm doing great.