Don’t mind me…I’m just devouring this pint of ice cream while my newsfeed explodes with a million engagement/wedding/baby photos, and I’m just now remembering that I forgot to walk my dog (again. Sigh.) While marriage is on the decline more than ever, for most people my age it is still an important life milestone to be panicked if not achieved by the withered age of 30. But for me, marriage is something to be feared with suspicion and avoided at all costs….unless absolutely necessary.
My parents split up when I was only seven, which could explain part of my contempt for this ancient institution. Even now, sometimes it’s all too tempting to blame all of my romantic problems on my father leaving my mother for a younger woman. (I know, classic.) But despite this, it’s kind of daunting to think about the fact that of all the weddings I’ve been to, at least half of them have ended in divorce.
I guess the people I know are living proof of the “50 percent” statistic. The problem is for divorced kids of our generation is that we have grown up in an era of unlimited options, where gratification is immediate.
And it’s true. We millennials live in a time where a plethora of options are literally available at the tips of our fingers. If I want to, I can go on an OkCupid date one night and a Tinder date the next. With such a wide range of tools for potential dates (and hookups if we’re being honest here), it is no wonder that our generation has a hard time committing to someone long term, much less for life.
I feel deeply unsettled by the idea of committing to someone indefinitely. Now before you make assumptions, I should say that I absolutely believe in monogamy, and commitment, and fidelity and everything else marriage symbolizes. However, given that I change my mind about what color I want my hair to be almost daily, the idea of being legally trapped to someone for life, and potentially going through an ugly divorce like my parent’s, is enough to make me want to avoid marriage like the plague.
Marriage is for old people. The anarchist in me will never like the idea of willingly participating in a conservative institution designed to coerce people into doing things that benefit the greater good of society, despite the fact that socializing men and women apart all their lives and then expecting them to cohabit peacefully is like taking an animal out of the wild and expecting it to thrive in the suburbs.
I have chronic FOMO. If I ever write a memoir, I should probably call it “I Should Have Bought Those Boots.” My dad met “the one” after he had been married to my mom for over fifteen years. What if I marry someone because I think he’s the best I’ll ever find but I find someone else that is an even better match for me? I can’t predict the future, and therefore it seems absurd to promise someone I will stay with them forever, even if in twenty years we absolutely can’t stand each other.
I like the idea of continually recommitting to someone because I voluntarily choose to, as opposed to because of a legally binding business contract.
I don’t want to sacrifice my future happiness for the change to be princess for the day. As a side effect of having a big family, I have been to my fair share of weddings already in my 20 years on this planet. At every single one, it was obvious that the bride loved being the center of attention, even if in her normal life she was the kind of woman who wasn’t exactly the life of the party. I want to wear a ball gown just once in my life and have a giant fucking rock on my finger just as much as the next girl.
While many people might assume that I don’t believe in true love, that could not be further from the truth. Growing up, I watched “chick flicks” religiously, waiting for the day that I would get to live out romantic cliches. The sad part is, I’ve still never walked on the beach holding hands with a guy wearing a white lace sundress, nor have I made out in matching band shirts at a rock concert or slow danced with a guy in the park with no music playing. The movies let me down. But eventually I realized that maybe I need to swap what will make a dream guy for what will make a dream me. Time will tell if I ever change my mind about marriage, but for now
I’m gonna turn up “All The Single Ladies” and enjoy my candelit bath.