Monday, October 30, 2006

Timelines....

I'm halfheartedly watching the stupid show called The Bachelor, and Lisa's timeline and dedication to it reminded me of an issue that has come up a good bit lately. A woman I met recently told me about she was having a hard time because her siblings were married and one of her good friends had recently entered into a relationship. Another person told me about how bittersweet weddings are for her because she isn't married. A law school friend showed me her china patterns even though she wasn't dating anyone and lamented that she would never meet the One (she was 25 at the time).

Even though I'm from a town where the average age for a first marriage is probably 19, I always thought I'd be 30 when I got married. And both of my sisters have been married for years and have children, but their marriages, if anything, have made me glad to be single (in part because marriage is such hard work). I realize that I have the rest of my life to be married, but I can't ever be single again once I'm married. Plus I am grateful for the experience of being an aunt as a single person as I'm sure it's completely different than it would be if I already had children or even a husband; meaning that I've been able to devote so much more time and energy to that relationship than I would have been able to otherwise. Don't get me wrong though--there have definitely been times (when I was in a relationship) that I thought being married would be great fun and longed for it, but when I'm not in relationships I generally appreciate all of the freedom that comes with singleness--like the girl time this last weekend in the mountains or deciding tonight to go to the Auburn game this weekend.

But I wonder if my tune will change if I'm still single in six years. I hope not, but it definitely seems like so many people who are older and have never been married can't find as much joy in their friends and family members' romantic relationships, engagements, and marriages as others. With that being said, I'm not slamming those people who have that bittersweet feeling at every wedding (and are crying for a reason altogether different than joy). It's hard when your plan doesn't match up with God's plan for your life. And people can ask the most ridiculous questions--for example, a secretary at work once told me that I was smart and pretty, so "why are you still single?" I told her I had herpes, and she shut up really quickly. Ok, just kidding about the herpes. But I definitely felt like giving an asinine answer to her thoughtless query. The best was when I was about 22 and someone asked me when I was going to have a baby. Seriously.

Weekend before last my sister and I were discussing this issue, and evidently someone had recently asked her why I still wasn't married. My sister thinks I'm waaaaaaaaaay too picky. For example, my friend Ozzy recently wanted to set me up with his friend. Trying to get a feel for the guy beyond Ozzy's desciption of "nice," I (randomly) asked how many times a month the guy got drunk. Ozzy responded that "He's kind of like Nick Lachey on Newlyweds. He's always drinking a beer, but he never really gets drunk. He drinks every day but never more than 5 or 6." Great. I told him that I had zero interest in dating anyone who drank every single day; someone smelling like beer on a daily basis is very unattractive to me. My sister considered that as being way too picky. She asked me what I was looking for in a potential husband, and upon hearing my list, she promptly told me that I was never going to get married. Oh well, so be it if asking for a Christian (and not just on Sundays:), attractive (not objectively hot just attractive to me), non-daily drinking or smoking, intellectual, fit, and fun guy is too much to ask for....

On an unrelated note, here's some pics from my recent venture to the fair. Much to my guy friends' consternation, most of these girls are very happily married. Check out my John Deer belt buckle.

13 comments:

icadle said...

1) That belt buckle is damn hot. you should wear one to work sometime and let me know how that works out for you.

2) I don't know that jokes about herpes are appropriate as it can pop up at some very incovnenient times and the drugs are very expensive.

Anonymous said...

Allison you are not married because " the right guy has not found YOU yet. Young lady on your immediate right in group is , shall we say, Very attractive. Dr.

DCVita said...

I know what you are talking about! I am 29 and so thankful that I am single. I know that for me, I wanted to do so much with my life. God has given me the opportunity to fulfill all my dreams- finsih grad school, go traveling, buy a house, etc etc. I would never have been able to do that if I was married or in a serious relationship because it would have taken time away from me.

But now I am also ready to meet someone. But knowing that God has given me so much beyond my expectations, makes me truly believe that He will send me someone that is also beyond my greatest expectations (and I am super picky also!)

Your attitude is great!

cdp said...

I think you have exactly the right take on things, Ally. For starters, you have the rest of your life to be married "'Til death do us part" is an awfully long time. I cannot say that I regret my marriage, and most of the time that's only because out of that marriage came my two intoxicatingly beautiful children. If I could have them, just as they are, and still have foregone the wedded bliss, I might do so. Then again, I learned invaluable lessons from those six years. Most importantly, I learned why it is that marrying when you are not ready is a terribly bad idea.

When you're not ready, there's just no way for you to ever fully see, realize, or appreciate the myriad ways in which you're not ready. There is so much to learn about yourself, about life and what you want out of it, and about how you behave both in and away from relationships; and so many of these lessons are what informs the conscience and soul of a someone who's in a place to make the enormous commitment that is a marriage.

Aside from all that, being single is fun. Enjoy it! There is someone out there, and if it takes him a while to stumble into your life, I say enjoy the time in between. There will be time for all the yummy marriedness once you've tied the knot and he starts leaving his boxers and wet towels on the floor.

PS - Bachelor = douche. Cannot believe he didn't ix-nay Lisa upon hearing about the timeline. Umm, red flag dude.

Anonymous said...

I SPY FUNNEL CAKE!

My sentiments, exactly. I loosened up my dating criteria and learned my lesson. I can afford to be picky, especially if I'm spending the rest of my life with this person. Realizing that it's God's will, not mine, was a difficult lesson. Just as I believe God watches over me, I don't test that theory by jumping off a bridge just to see what happens. God expects me to exercise some intelligence regarding His faith, just as He expects me to date accordingly.

The more new people I meet, the less interested I become in dating. I realize that its impossible to jump right into a long term relationship -- but I'm having a hard time getting past an introduction long enough to be interested in a person. In fact, I was thinking about it a great deal last night (coincidently) and the whole online dating thing keeps looking better and better all the time.

Lost said...

What a great post! I love your perspective on it. Being single and turning 35 in a week, I know I'm picky. And yes, I get sort of saddened at moments that I don't have someone yet, as all my friends are married and having kids.

I have to believe like you do, that he's out there....b/c as you said, "I have the rest of my life to be married".

Well said.

kimberly said...

I referenced you in my blog today :) And yes I am going to be in Columbus Friday night and I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to hang out with you! I definitely want to talk about Columbus with you too...I'm finding it hard to put in an email. Call me! I can't wait! Maybe if you haven't seen "The Departed" yet we could go see that too?

Anonymous said...

Don't ever give up being picky! There is no need for a woman to define herself by a man, and if you "settle" just so you can have someone, then you do just that. Don't force it, just be yourself and it will happen when you least expect it.

And I grew up in a place where the average girl was probably knocked up by 19 and rarely ever married. And now I live in a place where no one gets married until they are in their 30's. There is no right or wrong way to do it...just trust your instincts!

icadle said...

and ps - this bachlor is the worst series yet. by far.

Ally said...

Ivy: Just be glad that Valtrex works. And I agree--this is the worse Bachelor yet, but why are we still watching?

Accidentally me: I truly can't imagine settling; I'd never be able to go through with anything less than the perfect fit--even with the right person, I think planning a wedding and all of that hassle would stink:)

Kimberly: I'll e-mail, but I've heard The Departed is really violent and a total boy movie. I can't do violent.

Lost: The good thing about waiting for something or someone is that the wait helps you be even more grateful once you get it/him.

Aaron: It was a very delicious funnel cake. I bet if you try online dating, you'll have a whole new host of subject matter for your blogs:)

Cindy: I totally agree about the inability to see that you're not ready--that's why I implore my friends to always shoot straight with me and share their opinions. After I broke off my engagement, I got all sorts of feedback--but no one ever said anything while we were together.

DCVita: I love the way you put it--God always exceeds my expectations, so I'm sure my love life (ultimately) will be no exception.

Dr. Ridge: I hope he's looking!

Anonymous said...

I thought I would be 24 when I got married. HAHA. Now THAT was funny. The best times of my life were in my 20's. Savor them!

kathrynthomas said...

so a few weeks ago, my twenty-six year old, female roommate was talking with our new neighbor, a fifty year old widow who'd lived there for about fifteen years. roommate is telling neighbor that she plans to live at the residence next year without me, as i will be moving. neighbor replies, "but won't that be hard on 'the relationship'?"

the next half of the conversation was rather uncomfortable for neighbor and very amusing to roommate. hahahahaha.

as for the questions of marriage and kids, i get asked that on an almost daily basis. sigh. people are so predictable.

Ally said...

Ella: I was engaged my senior year of college--yikes. I never would have done so many of the things that I have if I had gotten married that young. Isn't it wonderful how we don't always get what we want?

Kathryn: That's absolutely hilarious! Thank you for sharing. And yes, we're predictable. We are also so unintentional in what we say and do, but I'm working on it!