Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Warning: If you're an ignorant asshole, this might offend you...

I've been catching a lot of flack lately for the fact that I am 31, unmarried and without children. Funny, right?  People are starting to look at me with pity and say things like, "Don't worry, it'll happen for you," "I'm sure you'll find someone...you're fabulous," and my personal favorite, "My girlfriend lost thirty pounds on the grapefruit juice diet and now she's engaged!!!"  You'd think that my ovaries are drying up, I'm starting to look like someone eligible for an AARP Card and I spend my evenings sitting alone on my couch with a pint of Ben & Jerry's every night watching Dance Your Ass Off on Oxygen.  Truth be told, I have plenty of time before I have to start harvesting and freezing my eggs, there isn't a wrinkle on my face, I'm lactose intolerant and I refuse to partake in the exploitation of fat people for the sake of tv aimed at making skinny people with low self esteem feel better about themselves. Sidenote: I cringed a little every time they ran the promo for that show where the adorable  but clearly unhappy blonde girl says, "I might just get a boyfriend!"

Anyway, let's get back to the situation at hand.  When did being unmarried and without children become incompetent, incapable and immature?  I SWEAR TO GOD, if one more person makes some stupid comment starting with "You wouldn't understand because you aren't married," or "You don't get it because you don't have kids," or "Just wait until you get married/have kids..." I'm going to lose my mind!!!

I don't appreciate people who are so ignorant that they equate intelligence, ability and maturity with marriage and motherhood.  Signing a piece of paper saying that you are legally bound to a man or woman or creating a life does not make you smarter, more understanding, more efficient and so on.  In fact, I know some incredibly stupid, immature people who have walked down the aisle, said "I do" and started a family.

I started feeling this way a few years back, six, to be exact, when my sister got married.  She had always been a bit of what some may call a black sheep.  I call her awesome.  A true individual, Sarah Kate has always been nothing less than 100% herself, never changing who she is and what she believes in to please others.  She ruffled many-a-feather back in the day, but the opinions of family and friends changed when she got married.  She was suddenly "a responsible adult." Hmm...interesting.  I had graduated from college, made the move to Chicago and was quickly establishing myself and beginning to build my career, but Sarah Kate, only three years my senior, was grown and I was still considered a child.

A couple of years passed and I found myself attending a family reunion.  For those who know me well,  you know that I avoid these things like the plague for this very reason.  I had an incredibly disturbing conversation with a family member only further proving my point.  He asked me what I was doing in Chicago and I pleasantly replied that I was working for a clothing retailer as a Visual Merchandising Manager and living in Lincoln Park.  I had been living in Chicago for nearly three years at this point and was doing quite well.  This was his response: "That's nice, but it's going to be really difficult to make it when your father isn't supporting you and paying your bills anymore."  Dumbfounded, I walked away thinking, this coming from a man whose 30-something son lives with and is supported by his grandmother?  Who the hell does he think he is?  Why would he possibly think that my father was supporting me and paying my bills?  Of course, I couldn't possibly be successful enough on my own to live alone in Chicago with no husband to support me.  I couldn't possibly be capable of that.

Fast-forward a couple of years.  One of my dearest friends gets engaged.  I have nothing but feelings of happiness for her as I absolutely adore her now husband and couldn't have been more ecstatic when she asked me to be a bridesmaid.  She was a dream bride: easygoing, fun and determined to make her wedding a great experience for everyone involved.  Unfortunately, most of her bridesmaids didn't share her vision.  I'm not saying everyone sucked, because that is truly not the case, but there were a couple who were hell-bent on disparaging everything that I said and suggested based on the fact that I wasn't married.  Never mind the fact that she was about my umpteenth friend to get married and I was no stranger to planning and attending showers, luncheons, bachelorette parties and weddings.  I thanked God when she chucked the whole thing and opted for a low-key destination wedding.

Now we find ourselves in the here and now.  I was at a bridal shower a couple of weeks back honoring a friend of mine who I have known for about five years.  She was a childhood friend of a great friend of mine whom I met while working at my first post-college job.  We've become closer in the past couple of years and, although I won't be standing up in her wedding, I did help pick the dress and I can assure you, it is fabulous!  Knowing her as well as we do, we spent an afternoon shopping for the perfect shower gift.  Choosing to forgo the Crate & Barrel registry, we bought an incredible hand-painted platter at one of her (and my) favorite stores, Anthropologie.  Wrapped elegantly, we proudly presented the gift at her shower and, despite her obvious excitement regarding this most gorgeous gift, one of the ladies sitting next to me leaned over to her friend and whispered (loudly), "They just don't know any better.  Clearly, neither of them has been married or they would know it was inappropriate of give a gift that wasn't on the registry.  And going in on it together is cheap!"  That's right.  The bitch called me cheap.  For the record, a $118 platter is hardly cheap, but her polyester pantsuit?  That's another story.

Now I'm all fired up and ready to go three rounds with anyone rude or ignorant enough to imply that because I have yet to get married or reproduce, I don't know how to give a gift, build a sucessful career (in progress), afford my own home (done), car (done) or toiletries (here's to hopin') or cook an edible meal.  Although I have yet to give birth, ( thank you, Depo Provera!) I do know how to hold (and soothe) a baby, fix a bottle and change a diaper.  I know that being a mother is both a blessing for those who choose that path and the most frustrating and difficult job any woman can take on.  Even though I'm not married or even engaged, I understand the complicated dynamic of a relationship, seeing as I have been involved in one or two of them.  I'm not a child.  I understand that life is messy, relationships are difficult and that there is a time and place to laugh and a time an place to be serious.  I know how to (although I rarely do) hold my tongue and am proud to have built an incredible relationship with my family.  Although many have shared their opinions regarding the fact that they view my closeness to my mom, dad and sister as immaturity and dependence, I consider them to be my rock, my support, my biggest cheerleaders and lately, the only people in my life who don't view me as incompetent, incapable and immature.  To all the haters I say, "You just wouldn't understand my life because when you got married and had kids, you forgot how to have fun and live life and you're just jealous that you can't be me!"

I'd like to dedicate this blog to everyone in my life who doesn't act like an ignorant asshole and chooses to support my life choices instead of bash them, especially Julia, who reminds me daily that I'm really not missing out on anything.

1 comment:

  1. Annie B! Clearly we are sisters from another mister!! I am sending you a facebook message and you really got my blog-juices flowing!!



About Me