Enough of my friends are approaching the age of 25 that when we end up having too much to drink we end up getting serious and talking about the future (not the imaginary future that we came up with on high school career counseling day, but the "actual" impending future). Normally, this doesn't freak me out since I've got enough plans for myself. When I'm with other females, I can't normally take the mid-20's freak out as seriously. I assume that it's the nesting phase talking again. After all, I'm the one who's always saying, "Guys, we are living into our 80s nowadays, let's reassess our anxiety." But I guess, for women, our reproductive organs do have a timeline so I don't blame any of us who want to be mommies one day for the occasional freak out. So when on Christmas I was Hoegaarden/Heineken/Yeungling-guzzling with my guy friends and the banter got serious, I was a little taken aback. Okay, fiiiiine…. like lots taken aback.
One of my friends getting his PhD was explaining how he couldn't afford to get his girlfriend a ring in the next four years while he is living off stipends. Another one admitted to a dilemma; he has a degree and wants to continue his education and become an attorney, but he has a girlfriend who is very traditional and wants to get married right away after she's done school. Someone else was having a bout of relationship problems, and was ultimately trying to decide whether he could see himself proposing to this girl or not. Folks, it appears that we are approaching this time of our lives.
I mean, I saw it coming… But did I really SEE it? If this love/beast-themed blog hasn’t given you the hint, that I am somewhat a romantic, then I should inform you: I have tons of romantic garbage in my head. I totally fantasize about my partner-in-crime: companion, lover, and hardcore snuggler. Over the summer, I went to get my palm read by the lady on 5th & South, (I could go on about my interest in psychic phenomenon/aliens/ghosties, but maybe in another post?), and she called me out on my fluffy brain. She told me I was “looking for a husband,” not a boyfriend. My eyes must’ve twinkled at her mention of relationships. Whatever. She caught me. Call it gypsy magic, call it reading body language.
I’ve tried the casual thing. I hate it. I don’t understand how people can go months “hooking up,” “hanging out,” or any other euphemism for getting more than friendly without ever bringing up the possibility of maybe having a future together. It’s just not my style. I hate wasting time, and I don’t want to waste someone else’s. I’m sure other people can do the casual thing. It’s definitely more convenient, if it doesn’t work out, no one has to know it ever happened. But with all the benefits, I know I am not programmed for it. That was the problem when I experimented with that sort of thinking, it’s not my kind of thinking. I am pretending. I push the “I’m young” angle way too much, for someone who actually believes it. There were times when I couldn’t believe the stuff that was coming out of my mouth… ugh. I felt like an emotional invalid.
Whether or not my anxiety is premature, I have a vision. I want to fall in love with someone as ambitious as I am. I want to clap the loudest when he gets a promotion/accolade/a new haircut (?!), and I want to know who’s clapping the loudest whenever I accomplish something. This someone will want to raise a family. (Note: There is nothing more heartbreaking to me than a guy who says that he doesn’t want kids.) Someone who is smart and charming and will be a good dad. Someone who believes in kindness and following his heart. I want someone silly and unconventionally good-looking. I want to have a great time wherever we go, whether it’s dancing crazy at a show or sitting at home watching movie after movie drinking wine out of plastic cups. Then one day when we’re old and laying under our electric blanket together, we can look back on the years we’ve had together, all the sacrifices we’ve made, and still, never think to change a thing. (My friend told me he thought I should make a list of the things I want in a partner. While this isn’t the list, my friend’s suggestion is responsible for this bit of the post.) I used to be weird for thinking about the future like this, but now, it’s okay. I’m not the only one. That’s the weird part. This is the time when we’re thinking of these things to ensure perfect bliss in the decades to come.
I went to Christmas service with my family. Afterwards a friend of the family approached us to wish us a “Merry Christmas!” and introduced me (we’ve already been “introduced” many times) to her son. He’s about to finish law school, and well, his mother is freaking out. She had the mercy to be a bit subtle about it, but the look of discomfort on his face... I can’t be the only one she has tried to pull the love-connection with. He’s probably been through this enough times with other acquaintances his mother finds to be acceptable wifey material. I went home, and told my mother how awkward it was to be treated like cattle. Instead of being any kind of sympathetic, she said, “Maybe, hopefully, it will be you two. They’re a good family. You come from a good family.” I was dumbfounded. How long before my mother meddles? Who else is placing bets on my uterus? After some prying, my mother admitted that there are some other ladies waiting for me to graduate so they can toss me around, and perhaps I just might stick somewhere…
The pressure is on. But the pressure is taking the magic away. My friend said the most logical way he sees a relationship working out is if two people are trying to accomplish their own goals, and they can benefit from a mutual support system. Is this what we’re grappling for? A support system. This makes sense to me. Goals also make sense to me. I’m not sure if turning a person into a goal makes any sense though. I always imagine that I would stumble upon a great guy who I just clicked with, somehow it would be the right place and right time, and if it wasn’t, we will click enough that we’d make it the right time and place… I must be naïve.
We’re starting to date with the goal in mind to not die alone, as opposed to fill our Friday nights. And now, even our mothers know it.