My poor mother. The lady wants to help plan my wedding and have some grandkiddos. She wants me to meet someone great and settle down. Can you blame her? I’m an only child, too, so she really has to depend on me to make this happen. Unfortunately, I’m in the “kissing a lot of frogs” stage of the game, as they say. I’m also moderately to highly picky when it comes to potential suitors, which adds a separate dimension of complexity to the equation.
When I first began dating after the end of a long relationship, I would tell my mom about every date I was about to go on. She would get excited and I was excited, too. We egged each other on. Then it would turn out that the guy invited the waitress to sit with us on the date or was still obsessed with his ex or only wanted to talk about gruesome injuries sustained during his days as a college athlete; suddenly we were back to square one.
I would call my mom after the evening in order to break the bad news. During our conversation, I would hear a slight hint of disappointment in her voice, usually accompanied by, “Well…you have to kiss a lot of frogs.”
Yes, yes you do.
And each time this happened, I honestly felt bad for my mom and the mason jars just waiting to be used at my non-existent wedding. Her hopes were high! She felt very positive about the whole thing! She had faith in Jason/Dan/Paul! And now…. nothing.
My mom met my dad at 18 and got married at 23. I’m 26. But the game has changed completely and drastically now, probably more than she can even believe. It’s hard out there. People get married later. Social media creates dating weirdness. Texting makes you think you know someone well when you really don’t. Online dating leads you to believe you have a never-ending stream of potential matches. Why settle? Someone even better might just be a click or swipe away.
Because of these factors, my poor, sweet, awesome mom, who just wants to be able to do the stuff that her friends get to do (somehow all of their children are marrying and reproducing and such) probably fears that she’ll have to adopt her own grandchildren. And at this rate, she might. Hey, I’m just trying to be realistic here.
I get where my mom’s coming from in terms of the whole wedding and baby fascination. Marriage and kids are everywhere these days. Every single time I log onto Facebook, some high school classmate is getting married or having a baby. And as these kinds of posts become more and more frequent as I get older, I can’t help but think to myself, “Crap. I need to get it together.” Because sometimes it feels like everyone else is moving along at a normal rate and I’m just slowwwly cruising. But at the same time, I don’t feel bad about being picky and taking my time when it comes to love stuff. Forever is a long time. You have to be sure about that kind of thing.
Here’s my thought: I know who I am and what I want. I don’t want to waste my time when I can already tell that there’s a major reason it won’t pan out with John/Mike/Joe. I don’t have too many dating deal breakers in my mind, but the ones that I do have I take seriously. And I know it’s just drinks or dinner. It wouldn’t kill me to go because you don’t have to marry the person after one date. But I’d much rather spend time with friends or work on my writing instead of sitting at a bar with a person who makes me feel “meh.” Life is short. Time is money. It’ll happen when it happens. You get where I’m going with this.
Perhaps the ideal approach Mom-wise is to remain silent on the topic of dating completely until it’s time to start ordering wedding invitations. Or I could just set the bar really, really low before each date, and then at some point I’ll be able to surprise her with a positive tale once I’ve sorted my way through the frogs. It may take a while, but I have faith in myself and in the male population. But seriously, if someone could reassure my mom that I’ll probably (hopefully) get married at some point, that would be awesome. She worries, you know? It’s a mom thing.