I found a hot link to this article on Facebook earlier tonight. It rang true with me from the title: 26, unmarried, and childless.
Amanda, or Mandi Marie as her website shows, is basically my age. I’ll be 26 in August. I’m not married, and I definitely don’t have children.
I’ve felt many of this woman’s frustrations for quite a while now. And it deals almost exclusively with other people’s thoughts and opinions.
For example – There’s this lovely woman at my parents’ church who I’ve known for at least 20 years. I was talking with her after the service on Sunday and suddenly I saw her head dip down, like she was looking for something on the floor. My conversation trailed off and I asked, puzzled, “What are you looking for?”
Her head popped up as soon as I asked the question and she smiled ever so sweetly. “I was just checking your hand.”
And I quote from the article:
“I shouldn’t be overly concerned with what they’re saying. They’re only teasing or encouraging me with the next step in my life. It’s harmless! No one means anything by it, it’s just time for me to be heading in the same direction as my peers. It makes sense. I get it.
But it doesn’t feel very nice.”
BAM! Mandi Marie, you hit it right on the head. Thank you!
Case in point: Al and I, along with his parents, went to a lovely wedding on Saturday. Their neighbors’ daughter was getting married. The ceremony was beautiful and funny. The reception was elegant and sweet. However, there was one constant question during the five hours we were celebrating the newly married couple with their friends and family:
“Are you taking notes?”
It’s no secret that Al and I are planning to get married, eventually. On September 4th, we’ll celebrate four years together! Personally, I’m happy that we’re not engaged, or married, yet. It’s been a great 3 1/2 years so far! Plus, we’ve experienced a lot together already — Long-distance in the very beginning as I finished my senior year at Longwood, my job search as a new graduate, Al’s work stress, Al losing that job last fall, my desire for independence and leaving Chesapeake for Newport News … Then celebrating new jobs, my return to Chesapeake with the idea and burning desire to save money and prepare for our eventual future, and so much more. I could write a novel …
The other thing about us is we perfectly balance each other in terms of our emotions and the way we handle our feelings. I love that. Al is one of the most laid-back people that I have ever known – and it’s fantastic. When we first met, it was such a breath of fresh air for me, and it still is. However, I’ve never taken it for granted.
While he’s laid-back, I tend to be the complete opposite, 99 percent of the time. I’m going to use high-strung as a generalization.
Back to the Saturday wedding for a minute. We left the reception early, right after the cake was cut. Originally I was disappointed because I wanted to stay and dance for a little while, but my feet were screaming at me, begging for no more torture from my imitation-satin stilettos. I actually walked barefoot to the car!
Anyway, Al and I got in his Mustang and started the drive back to his house. Keep the laid-back vs. high-strung tendencies in your head for a second.
We were making small talk, and then suddenly the “taking notes” comment came up. I remember saying something to the effect of the comment didn’t really bother me; that I was pretty much desensitized to it at this point. Then Al spoke up and said that since the comment was brought up several times, it took a lot of the fun out of the celebration and he wasn’t happy about that at all.
It was very interesting to see how our tendencies were completely flip-flopped at that moment. A little scary, actually. However, it made me realize that we are not defined by our tendencies!
Back to the article – One sentence that set off cheers in my head: “I would like to suggest one thing, though: instead of asking me what’s next, ask me what’s now.”
Most conversations that I have with people tend to start with asking me what’s now, but it always drifts to what’s next. And quickly – Like within five minutes, unless we’re discussing something like our jobs, our hobbies, their children and/or grandchildren, etc.
Unfortunately, I know that these “what’s next” questions definitely won’t stop. Once we get engaged, all the questions will be about the wedding. And once we get married, all the questions will be about where will we live and when are we going to have kids. Believe me, I have many, many friends who are either currently engaged and/or married, and they’ll back me up!
It would just be nice to carry on one full conversation about the now.
Thanks for listening!
Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂