This morning I was doing my usual morning whirlwind clean up as the darling sugar plum princesses I nanny were getting ready for school when their mom (my boss) asked me a semi-curious question.
“Are you and Jeff at a point where you are starting to think about marriage?” Don’t get me wrong, she is in no way pressuring me, she’s one of the coolest women I’ve ever met and in many ways I look up to her both as a role model for the type of mother I want to be and as the type of socially conscious and caring women I want to become. However her question had me at a loss for words. Marriage? Me?! Didn’t she know I’d been prancing around to “love is an open door” with her daughters just the night before and arguing over the correct construction of a paper heart chain?
“I don’t know if I’m immature, or just really open about where I’m at emotionally but I don’t feel grown up enough for marriage,” I answered honestly. I thought of all the tears I’ve shed over love, all the cuts that still sting sometimes from past loves, and all the internal questioning not just about love but about myself. What do I want from life? Who do I want in life? Who do I want to become?
She then proceeded to tell me about a serious relationship she was in before attending grad school, which is where she ultimately ended up meeting her (now) husband. I felt a wave of relief run through my entire body. Even this woman whom I look up to, and seemingly has always had everything together…didn’t always have it all together. So maybe there is still hope for me?
I am in no way attempting to belittle women who choose to marry in their early twenties, but I dont think I will be one of them. As a child I would day dream about my dream wedding, my love story, my happily ever after and at the time it couldn’t come soon enough. Even in high school I envisioned spending the rest of my life with my first love, the innocently romanticized idea that my first “true love” would be my only true love. I don’t think that way anymore.
I had to laugh at the juxtaposition not just within myself but in the outside world as well. Just last night the oldest of the sugar plum princesses had been telling me I should ask Jeff on a date, when I informed her that Jeff and I had already been on lots of dates she urged me to marry him (as she had countless times previously). I knew at age 9 it would be difficult to explain my case to her. If I told her I am too selfish to marry someone right now I would come across as mean. If I told her that I am not grown up enough to marry she would have laughed in my face, after all 22 is ancient in the eyes of a child.
But no offense to Jeff, or any other male suitor who may be vying for my hand in marriage (you know there are just dozens of them out there), but I am too selfish and I am too childish. I don’t know where I will be a year down the road let alone five (or 10 or 20, eek). I don’t know if I want one child or four or none. I don’t know if I want to live in Seattle or Paris or Los Angeles (or all three, or none of them).
I guess my point is if I were to marry someone (anyone) right now or in the near future, I would resent making such a large part of my life choices based on them. I would resent a certain part of my significant other, my husband, and I don’t know if I could deal with resentment like that for the rest of my life.
What are your thoughts? It’s not difficult to be more of a marital genius than me! How do you/did you know you were ready for a lifetime commitment?
Happy Thursday my little candied pears!