Dear Marriage and Babies,
You give me hives.
I wish I was being facetious. I’m not. Lately, I increasingly feel anxious – like I’m going to have a god damn panic attack and be admitted to the loony bin –when I hear about a friend getting engaged, or how you, Marriage, are “a lot of hard work” or even worse, divorce. And I’m teetering on stark-raving crazy, Babies, when I hear about how hard it is to have you, the whole pregnancy gig, postpartum depression, etc. I start to feel a bit short of breath, and this big ole uncomfortable, nervous lump forms – like a butterfly in my chest.
Yesterday I read Dooce’s post/discussion about what’s more difficult, Babies or Marriage. She wrote about how she *literally* checked herself into a mental hospital six months after experiencing you for the first time, Babies, and how she’s been through countless hours of counseling on her own and with her husband, to improve you, Marriage. Well, it all just gave me that constricted, hives feeling again. And I want to shout, “Don’t Make Me Do It, Captain!”
I bet you anything, if asked, Dooce would say it was ALL worth it. Everyone would. But, I don’t buy it. I mean, I’ve heard speeches from people who have lost limbs, been addicted to painkillers, or been through cancer, and they all say they wouldn’t change anything because “it makes them who they are today.” Great. Congratulations. That still doesn’t mean that I want to experience what they did. And right now, I’m not sure that I want to experience you, Marriage or Babies, anytime in the next decade.
I want to live in my carefree 20s forever, and never cross the bridge into your unchartered adult waters. I never feel old enough for either of you. When I hear about people in high school who are married with babies, I screech, “But we’re only TWENTY-SIX!” And this year it’ll be, “But we’re only TWENTY-SEVEN!” And I’m sure I’ll be singing the same tune at 28 and 29 too.
See, I know I want both of you, SOME DAY. It’s just that that some day is always in the future, even as the years go by. When will I feel PRESENT about you? I try to talk to my girl friends about how uncomfortable or not ready I am for either of you, but half of them give me the countdown speech:
Well, we need to have Babies in our 30s because if you have one in your 40s, then YOU’LL.JUST.DIE, and you want your first kid at 30, 32 at the latest, and you want a few years with your husband before having kids, which is 28 or 29 – and you probably want to be engaged for at least a year or more before Marriage so that’s 26 or 27, and you, ideally, want to date your potential husband for a couple years before getting engaged, so you should have met him, like, yesterday.
And this is supposed to make me feel better? My anxiety just increased 10 fold.
Everyone wants to know these days if I can picture myself with my significant other and you, Marriage. “Are you guys going to get MAHWIED?” is all I hear. The eff if I know. It’s not that I can’t see myself with him, necessarily, it’s just that I. don’t. think. about. it. I know some hopeless romantics are reading this right now and saying the quintessential Polly Prissy Pants line, “Well that just means he’s not THE ONE for you.” Riiight. And they know this because…they read it in their crystal ball?
Really, all I can think about is keeping my sanity. And my bank account. Cause it’s damaged enough as it is. And by sexy suede boots, expensive makeup, luxurious lingerie and more earrings than you could count. NOT by 14-tiered mascarpone cakes, house payments, diaper service, nannies or sippy cups. And the latter list is SO much less appealing than the first, so I’d rather not trade. Thankyouverymuch, Marriage and Babies.
So please, please, can I drag out these “single” 20s for as long as possible? And can my friends stop giving me the countdown speech, or can you cover my ears every time there’s any dose of “reality,” along the lines of cracked nipples or losing the *spark* in the bedroom, coming my way? Cause really, what about that gives me something to look forward to? I’d like to live in my little 20-something bubble, without either of you, for as long as humanly possible.
I’ll get back to you when I change my mind.
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Tags: Open-Ended Letters