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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Land of Motherhood and Matrimony

          Somewhere between graduating college and almost turning 30 I’ve stumbled into place where I am the minority. It’s a place filled with baby showers, wedding announcements, and sonograms.  I’m reminded of it almost every week with new Facebook statuses announcing marriage or baby plans. If you are single and in your mid to late 20’s you know how isolating it feels when your all friends start to have babies, and get married. This is how you know you’ve stumbled into the Land of Motherhood and Matrimony.

 Almost every holiday another one of my twenty-something friends gets engaged, married, or has yet another baby. The Facebook photo albums of their single party lives are replaced with pictures of their baby’s first steps, and honeymoon pictures. Somewhere after the twinkling twenty period of my life, I stumbled into this Land of Motherhood and Matrimony. But, I’m not a member. I am a  visitor passing through, and frequently people will remind me how far off course I am in life.  I wonder why my little single life isn’t enough.

I know other twenty-something folks know how I feel. I was in a coffee shop the other day, and I overhead what appeared to be a person defending her place in Singlehood to someone who had obviously crossed over into the Land of Motherhood and Matrimony.
              “So what if I don’t want to get married until I’m 35,” the young woman said. “I’m focusing on my career right.” She stuck out her chest as if to accentuate that she believed in her choice.

I could tell by her awkward pose that she wasn’t buying an ounce of what she was saying. Her friend’s judgmental inquiry into her babyless, manless life made her feel like she had to defend her choice to be single. Something in me knew she felt like an outsider too. I could sense she felt like a foreigner in a land where all her girlfriends and buddies were moving on without her. While they were talking of Mommy groups and playdates, she was still talking about crumby boyfriends, and bad first dates. I knew she heard the same clock I heard at night. It's the tick tock sound you hear when someone else joins the Land of Motherhood and Matrimony and reminds you that you have not.
This sound is the life clock. It’s similar to a biological clock, the reminder women get that lets them know their baby making days are numbered. When the life clock starts ticking it reminds you tick, tock, tick tock, where your life is supposed to be and where it isn’t.  Apparently by most of my friends standards I'm supposed to be move in the Land of Motherhood and Matrimony in my mid-twenties. What can I say I'm a late bloomer. I am almost 30. I have no child, no boyfriend, it’s just me. People frequently remind me how off course I am.

“You don’t have a boyfriend? You’re such a sweet girl. Oh, I know we have to hook you up with our friend. What’s his name? Right, Byron. Bryon would be perfect for you,” says a friend.
It’s as if people think something is wrong with me, because I am without a child or a husband.

                “Oh look she’s almost 30,” sympathetic older women will say. 

                 “Don’t you want to have babies,” my grandmother says.

                 “You’ll find the right one. Believe Lauren,” says my kind friends.

 It’s like some Hallmark statement for sad single people.  Why does singlehood get empathy, sad faces and a pat on the back? They might as well say, ‘Aw you’re single my condolences.'

 What is so bad about being single at 29? I have my dream job. I have an amazing condo, and a cute Volkswagen Beetle that allows me to drive in style. It does not have lot of fancy features but it gets me where I need to be. I have a small circle of solid friends. Don’t I get credit for that? Apparently all those things are not that important because I’m still single.

I can assure all of you that being single is perfectly fine for my age. I am certainly okay with it. I don’t need a man to complete me. I am fine by myself. And, if prince charming doesn’t come till 40 or never I’ll manage.  Also as happy as this land of Motherhood and Matrimony seems it’s also extremely frightening. I've seen my peers give up their single lives, their privacy, for these little bundles of joys called babies. They trust their lives to men (or as they call them husbands) they’ve only known a few years. Some of marriages fall apart, some husband leave, or they realize this life is not what they hoped for. Some of my friends have let their dreams fall to the way side to become parents. Do I really want all that?
             Sure when I turn over in my bed at night, the only warm body there is my nine pound dog Goliath. No one is there to make me coffee in the morning, or cuddle with me a night. It’s just me. Right now that’s perfectly okay.