Four guys and a girl in the art department, and I’m the girl. Two of the guys are married with two kids each, and the other two guys just got engaged this quarter to their girlfriends-turned-fiancées. So the women in the other departments have been giving me these looks, like they’re saying, “Ooh, and is April going to be next?” Like one of the guys just threw a wedding bouquet in my direction or something. And here I am, saying nuh-uh, not for a long while yet, if at all. I may be the only girl and the only unmarried/un-engaged soul in the art department, but believe you me, I do not in any way feel left out.
I went to a baby shower once, long ago, with my old friends from school. Many of them were plump and happy, mothers to plump and happy kids; many of them were single and childless like me; but whatever their situation, they all clucked and cooed like hens at a hen house, ooh-ing and ahh-ing over the shower gifts and laughing in that high, half-musical-half-cackling laugh that women do when they congregate.
[By the way, do you know that we women go to the restrooms in groups for safety reasons? It’s true! If one of us falls in, the rest of us can fish her out. Trust me on this one. This is why we go in groups.]
Anyway, at one point in the laughter and gossip, one of the women decided to pose the question: “Out of all of us here, who do you think will be the last one to get married and have a baby?”
Cruel question. The resulting discussion was rather short. A beautiful young woman, a stranger to me but whose looks I envied anyway, raised her hand and tentatively said that she might be the last one to have kids, at which everyone—and I mean everyone—shook their heads and said, “Nooo… I don’t think so.”
Then they all said, “I think April will be the last one.”
“Oh, yeah. Without a doubt!”
Which, I suppose, didn’t say a whole lot about what the others must have thought of me. My first two thoughts were:
- Am I not attractive enough, in their opinion, to catch a marrying man’s eye? Sure, I’m not as pretty as the one who raised her hand, but come on! I’m not hideous either.
- Do they think I’m gay?!
I had very mixed feelings about the whole thing, most especially since the verdict was unanimous. True, they all viewed me as the nun of the group [some of my friends actually nicknamed me Rated G, believe it or not, and I know some of you don’t believe it], but that’s no reason for me to be the last! I thought long and hard about it, even after the shower was over and I was on my way home, and I came to the conclusion that they were right. They were oh-so-very-right.
It’s not that I don’t ever want to be married. I do. I want to settle down. I just don’t want to settle. If or when I marry, it will be to someone without whom I simply cannot imagine the rest of my life.
The only problem is that I have very, very high standards… which could mean that I might not get married at all. I need to feel an absolute certainty that I’m doing the right thing with the right person. I need to feel—as I would need the other person to feel—emotionally, financially, physically, and mentally stable, as well as romantically swept away and warm and fuzzy. I need to feel like there is no other man on this great earth that I could ever want more—none whatsoever. I need the feeling to be just right and, well, mutually nuptial. And if that is a ship even bound to come in at my dock, I sure as hell don’t see it anywhere on the horizon yet. Nope. Not yet.
So quit throwing those damn bouquets at me already.Share this post: