Tag Archives: marriage

What My 30 Looks Like

5 Jun

Tomorrow I am turning 30. I think this post is mostly me trying to exist in this moment where I am still 29 but prepared for 30. My twenties felt adequately long and I don’t feel like I missed them or they went too fast or anything like that. I guess I just feel strange to identify myself differently to others as a new decade of age.

Does turning 30 mean I have to become an adult? Does it maybe mean that automatically without a say in the matter that I AM an adult?! Maybe I’m scared that I’m not doing enough or accomplishing enough to be 30. I remember being 14 and thinking that 30 year olds were so mature and adult. At 14 where did I think I would be at the end of my third full decade?

I will look at 30 from where I thought I would be and compare it to where I am.

I thought I would be married. For sure I know I saw myself hitched  with a super hot husband by 30 when I was younger. He had a name like Clifford or Geoffrey and his job was rescuing animals from oil spills but he made a ton of money doing it. I’m not sure it was ever explained to me back then how salaries worked for different careers. Plus, it’s my fantasy, so I am responsible for setting the pay grades for these fictional men. Man who washes a baby duck with dish soap: $1 million dollars a year. Now I get super excited when a guy can afford his own taco’s on $1 Taco Tuesday. If he splurges for the extra guacamole for himself I’m floored.

I used to think, “which man will be lucky enough to get a special girl like me?”

Now I think, “who is kind and patient enough to put up with my being a cuckoo nut-job forever?”

I used to think, “I’ll be so happy and lucky to be married.”

Now I think, “I’m so happy and lucky to not be married!”

I used to think, “Having a husband will mean I’m never alone.”

Now I think, “Having a husband will mean I’m never alone… so how will I have time to dance to the Hamilton Cast Recording in my underwear at full volume?!”

I thought I would have kids. At least one or two by now and all very well behaved (don’t make me repeat the part where my fantasy gets to be awesome and unrealistic). My children would mow the lawn and do dishes and we would all play games and read books together and never fight and I would love them so hard they would explode. Now the thought of having kids, let alone multiple kids by this age is HILARIOUS to me. Not for everyone, I know lots of people who are together enough for kids in their twenties, but I forgot to buy toilet paper last week and was peeing and then immediately showering for two whole days, I am not that person. If I had a child now, every stuffed animal they owned would sleep with me in my bed. I would name them all and if my beautiful sweet angel wanted one to play with themselves I wouldn’t want to let them. As a full grown adult, I would be reluctant to share a stuffed children’s toy with my own child, the person I’m supposed to be teaching about sharing. Video games? Those are also for me. Here is a stick, go play with that.

I used to think, “I can’t wait to have kids.”

Now I think, “I should really wait to have kids.”

I used to think, “Having kids will bring me such joy.”

Now I think, “Having kids will bring me so much joy… in like five or six more years. Today this hamburger brought me so much joy.”

I used to think, “I’ll be a great mom.”

Now I think, “I’ll do my best when I become a mom, but dammit am I going to screw them up royally”

I thought I would have an impressive career. Professional chef or veterinarian were my logical choices but anyone who knows me knows that my real dream was to be a sea lion trainer at the aquarium. I would have gone to school, gotten all A’s easily and found a job instantly out of school. I would show up every day and love my job and love Ce-Lion Dion and Cee-Lo-In Green (the sea lions names, obviously). I would be making an easy six figures a year (although money would be no object because my husband is seen on those Dawn commercials scrubbing pelicans, so we are good) and I would be well on my way to becoming Queen Head Trainer. Soon after I believe the next promotion is Queen of all Sea Lions, a job I would have taken quite seriously and accepted with honor and pride.

I am now a writer and bartender. Turns out I love them both more than anything else I’ve ever done. Although I do tire of people asking me what I’m going to do with my life, I know that I wake up every day excited to go to work and my life is my own. I have a flexible schedule, make good money, have fun every day, meet new exciting people and get to express myself on my own terms. It’s really great.

A few weeks ago I was bar tending a business event at work and one of the bosses of the company, an older gentleman (maybe 70’s?) ordered a very specific martini. I always love someone who knows exactly what they love to drink so naturally we were having a pleasant conversation while I mixed. He told me he had been a bartender years ago and said, “Of every job I ever had, that was my favorite. I have always missed it.” I make no qualms about his choice to find security, but the look in his eyes while I peeled his lemon twist was pure admiration and it made me feel good about where I am and how I got here.

I used to think, “I need an impressive job to be successful and happy.”

Now I think, “I need to make sure I pay the bills, beyond that success and happiness are found, for me, in non-conventional jobs.”

I used to think, “I will know what I’m meant to do with my life.”

Now I think, “If I ever stop exploring and learning my life will have no meaning.”

I used to think, “Being a well respected career woman would be nifty.”

Now I think, “I wonder if Cat Fancy Magazine would publish my songs about Ninja Squee?”

I would have tons of awesome friends that I saw all the time. Oh wait, I do.

Nailed it!

I guess I just needed to write this to see that I’m alright. I feel like I can wake up tomorrow and face 30 with gumption. Sure I haven’t done things the way I planned, but some of my plans were misinformed or insane (except the sea lion thing, I still want to be their Queen). If I’m giving myself some credit I can say I have lived in the moment enough to be aware of who I am, who I want to continue to become, what and who is important to me and how to be happy most of the time. Heck, I got to name my cat Pooter with no one objecting and I can eat burritos every day and fart alone in my beautiful apartment. If that isn’t success, I want no part in what is.

For Ricca & Shane

5 Jul

The speech I gave for Ricca and Shane’s wedding:

The women in my family love fiercely. More than what most people are used to at first. This type of extreme unconditional love requires a warm-hearted, strong, intelligent man to accept it. Shane is all of these things and more. The first time I met Shane I was immediately struck by the love that buzzed between him and Ricca. After they returned to New York, our mother and I gossiped on and on about how sweet they were together. That has been the case ever since.

There is a caring, an undying affection and a joy that shows in the home they have built, the many friends they keep and the furry critters they raise.

When they traveled off to Spain, I asked our mom if she had seen the photos from the trip and she responded, “They seem to be drinking Spain up like some huge Margarita.” I informed her that drinking up Spain like a Margarita was sort of like eating up France like a burrito.

She then said, “I’m so happy for them. She waited a long time for this, but the wait seems to have been worth it.”

Our mother set the example on how to love and how to create a marriage that fosters growth, individuality and affection. With Ricca and Shane I have seen the same support for each other’s interests, hobbies and unique sensibilities that I always saw growing up in our mother and Andy. Spending hours with Andy quietly folding origami while my mother wrote on her laptop. Andy in the garden while my mother sat in a lawn chair and read. There would be moments when my mother would be struck by some of the words on the page and read them aloud to Andy who always stopped what he was doing to listen to her passion.

Ricca has found this relationship in Shane and they have added some new incredible qualities. They travel the world together, play kickball and board games. Explore their love of fine cuisine and laugh every day.

If you take advice from me, you will always fight to prove you love each other, fart on each other under the covers speak in cute animal voices and smother each other with kisses.

But instead of me, love like our parents did; always know how to talk for hours and then enjoy the long pleasant silences that come from comfort and contentedness. Leave hearts and love notes around the house and be willing to cry in long voicemails when you are apart. Take long walks in the woods and right when the other person has had enough, hug them a little too long.

I look to your relationship for what I want in my own life. I love you both so much. Shane, you have been my brother long before today and Ricca you have been my person, my sister and my role model ever since I first stole your stuffed animals and your whole music collection. I’ll be here when you celebrate 19 years and all the way to 61 years. Here is to loving too fiercely for many years…

None Of Your Business Questions

21 Feb

In my day to day I am aware of the questions that are off limits; they sit there begging to be asked for the sake of curiosity but I pass them up because I know rude. For example, nowadays you can almost never ask a woman when her due date is. I will speak on this one from a personal trip I took to NYC a while back when on two separate occasions people older and heavier than me offered me their seat on the subway (needless to say that kick started my diet). Those passengers were just trying to be polite but intentions could not cure the sting. Most people know that weight is an off limits topic and outrage is common when I tell this story. So why is it then that other personal matters are not left ungrilled by outsiders?

One question I take real issue with is the many versions of, “when are you getting married?” I am an unmarried twenty-seven year old who has seen several serious relationships and a scattering of less serious dating.  Somehow the topic of conversation, even with complete strangers just meeting me, always leads to my “inevitable” nuptials. At the end of a recent relationship I was swarmed with people asking me what I consider to be NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS QUESTIONS:

  • “Oh, so he wasn’t the one?” — obviously not if we are breaking up… thanks for asking.
  • “He didn’t want to get married?” or “You didn’t want to get married?” — it is possible that one of us did and that is why we broke up so it’s awesome to talk about it now. It is also possible that neither of us did; either way this is diving into my personal relationship in a way that feels like bad touching.
  • “So do you think you will marry the next person you date?”– umm, I don’t know him yet so it’s tough to say. I’ll work on finding the answer to that one so when I meet him I can let him know that I have already decided we will be together forever (this is what leads to women looking like lunatics).
  • “Do you think you will ever get married?” — this is a lose-lose for me; if I say yes I have revealed that it is something I want but haven’t gotten right yet and if I say no I have to answer the very personal, “Why not?” that would follow.

Here is the problem, society has not caught up with itself yet. People are getting married later and later in life but the standards in the minds of some are still caught up in the old traditions. The habits of posing these queries are seeded deeper than the knowledge that times have changed.

It is all mindless questioning, or the classic idea that not everything that comes into the head should be slated to come out of the mouth. As an extreme instance of people who just don’t know what they are doing as they blurt things out: I have a friend who lost a baby during pregnancy. She and her husband were going through one of the most painful things a couple can endure and she was handling it with more strength and grace than I ever could have imagined. She chose to talk to me about it openly, with a rawness that made me see her as the warrior she never knew was. They are trying to move forward with their grief but still must live with it daily. Now imagine what she must endure when someone who doesn’t know her situation asks her if she and her husband will ever have kids.

Why is it that on some topics people know better and with others they ask so free and loose? What if for every NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS QUESTION I fired back with another more blatant NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS QUESTION? Let’s play that out and see:

  • “So when do you think you’ll get married?”
  • Response: “So when do you think you’ll start exercising?”
  • “Do you think you’ll ever have children?”
  • Response: “Do you think you’ll ever have a real job?”
  • “Why hasn’t he popped the question yet?”
  • Response: “Why haven’t you and your spouse considered divorce?”
  • “You’ve been together so long, have you even had the talk?”
  • Response: “You’ve been overweight for as long as I can remember, have you ever even tried dieting?”
  • “Do you ever wonder if you should have married so-and-so instead of breaking up?”
  • Response: “Do you ever wonder if you should have worn a wedding dress with shoulder pads instead of something classy?”

My point is that the former questions are no more or less inappropriate than the latter but somehow these are the ones that slip past the rude radar and come flying out.

Social media has not helped the situation either; it is simpler to say anything with the protection of a computer and distance between two people. I cannot count the number of times I have seen a friend post something nice about their relationship or life and some moron will comment, “Why don’t I see a ring yet? Tell him to get on it! LOL!” First of all, on a separate note: adding “LOL” to a comment online does not soften the blow of stupidity, I am still getting hit with that. Next, have those guilty of this never considered that this could be a real point of contention in the relationship and now the can of worms is open? I can guess that at least once (and that is estimating way on the low end here) one party in the relationship has shown this comment to the other to prove their point that it is time they made that move.

“Look honey, Aunt Suzie thinks an engagement is long overdue” has never resulted in two people living happily ever after. That either plays out with a huge fight about why we don’t let Aunt Suzie with a “z” make our life choices or the pressure gets to be too much and someone makes the choice to get married due to outside influence rather than personal needs. I have seen an epidemic of people my age getting married to the wrong person and I think a lot of times it is a result of external expectations.

My newest paint creation...

My newest paint creation…

Yes, I am a twenty-seven year old female with no husband and no children. This is a result of choices I have made and which I stand behind. I love having the freedom to do comedy every night of the week. I love that I danced to funk music for hours on a Wednesday night and I look back fondly on my relationships but have no regrets. For the sake of disclosure I will admit I do want to get married, but to the right partner, not just at the imaginary right time. I’m in no hurry to force something, but even if I were, my timeline is mine to own and talk about when I please, not for anyone else to prod into unsolicited.

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