This weekend, I was aimlessly scrolling through my Facebook feed (my favorite Saturday afternoon activity) when I came across a plethora of wedding photos belonging to a friend of mine from high school. I was surprised at first, but quickly immersed myself in scanning her page, taking in the glamorous bridal portraits that she had been so excited to reveal, the countless tagged photos of the ceremony, and wall post after wall post of well-wishes and declarations of her bridal beauty. “I’ll be damned.” I thought to myself as I clicked back to my newsfeed.
Another girl I knew had ALSO just gotten married and all of HER photos had just gone up. Before I could creep her profile, two separate photo albums of gender reveal shoots had flashed onto my screen. Then suddenly, another wedding album! HOLD UP! Three weddings and two gender reveals (that means babies, y’all!) in one weekend???
I have often heard it said that there comes a time in a young woman’s life when everyone she knows starts to get married and have babies. Her life will become a flurry of showers and bridesmaid dresses and buying things off of registries. Have I finally hit that time? Am I ready for the implications of that?
After hours of wedding photo stalking and the customary liking of all baby photos, I took a long, hard look at myself. I said to myself, “Caity, do you see yourself getting married anytime soon?” The answer was hell no. Now, I’m not one of those anti-marriage broads, I dream about a special someone too, but I’ve still got a lot of growing to do!
“When did it all become so real?” I often mutter to myself as I roll off of my weekend hook-up onto my back, panting and covered in a thin layer of sweat (the kind that comes from bad decisions). I mean, we all have our fantasy wedding planned out on Pinterest, but this is the real shit! These are real weddings, based off of mature and loving relationships! (I have known a few marriages that took place the week after high school graduation as a big middle finger to the bride’s parents. I do not consider that a real wedding. Hate me, if you must.) It’s two people deciding to spend their life together! And it goes beyond weddings! People are having babies because they want to!! Mentally sound, financially stable adults are producing offspring with their spouses! It’s more than I can wrap my head around, at this time.
Suddenly, I find myself buying plate sets and appliances. I’m asking people what the theme of their nursery is so that I can purchase accordingly because said people have got their shit so thoroughly together that not only are they prepared for this baby, but they are color coordinating everything! When did I become this person? When did everyone else grow up? And why does this disturb me so much?
I look at where I am now and, frankly, it scares me. I’m only two years younger than my mother was when she married my father. The girls that just celebrated their weddings are a year older than myself, freshly minted college girls that went straight from the B.F.A to the MRS. My best friends have serious boyfriends and I can just feel that the engagement announcements are a mere breath away. Yet, here I am, working on a degree, eating takeout, and watching “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”. I don’t exactly exude “future wifey” at this point.
But, everyone looks at me and says, “Where is her fiancé?” and “When is she gonna pop out an infant?” That’s the hardest part. When everyone else your age is married and pregnant, the rest of the world assumes that it’s your time to do those things too.
I never pictured this time in my life. In my mind, I skipped from college to married and living in a Boston townhouse with my husband and our adopted dogs. I’m not mentally prepared for this era of being a young adult, a kid really, that plays the part of the grown-up by buying housewarming gifts and throwing wedding showers for my more advanced contemporaries.
I still have places I want to go, degrees to obtain, a career to enjoy, but, most importantly, I’m not at the point in my life where I’m ready to share a life. Sure, you can go to school when you’re married, you can have a career and be a mom, but it’s a hell of a lot harder and, suddenly, your life isn’t just yours anymore.
When I choose that lifelong mate, I want to dedicate 100% of myself to supporting and loving the life we have together. I never want to pine for the things I never got to do.
So where does that leave me? A single, 20-something woman with a lot of growing up left to do. Facing every day with immense hope for the future, while still loving the life I’m living. Not to mention that all of my friends are getting married and I’m managing to find a way to cope with that terrifying truth.