Maybe married life isn't so bad
We singletons just imagine that it's boring – my parents prove it isn't.
My parents are celebrating their 35th Valentine's Day as a married couple. I, however, embark upon another February 14th husbandless.
Don't get me wrong – I'm cool with being 26 and single. The majority of my friends are in the same boat. But as we crawl further into 2008, I look at what my parents have sustained for 3 1/2 decades, and must admit: I'm envious.
It's not that I want to get married. In fact, my friends and I refer to marriage as a "social death sentence," where fun goes to die. Two fewer people on our texting list. Two more subscribers for Netflix.
But my parents have escaped this death-trap – in fact they've reinvented marriage in a way I have yet to see in any of my married peers. My mom and dad are still in love. They share home-cooked meals and stare into each other's eyes as they discuss the most recent snafu at work. They travel independently, but insist upon calling each other for updates on the day's happenings.
And they're not boring. They throw great parties. My dad commandeers the food and beverage table, never letting a guest pass with an empty glass or plate. My mom, meanwhile, works the crowd, catching up with every guest, remembering to follow up on their children and most recent journeys.
The morning after these parties, I'll often find them in the kitchen debriefing about the evening. My parents will laugh, sip their coffee, and choose where their brunch will be. How easily you could insert my friends into this scenario. This is married life?
I'm at that strange age where my friends are seceding into the "marriage track" and the single, quasi-swinger track. You choose a side, and you stick by it. Worried that you made the wrong choice, contempt for those who made the other choice manifests as pity. "Oh look at so-and-so, I do hope she finds a boyfriend soon." A few sighs later, and so-and-so makes a snarky comment about long-term relationships.
A quarter century into life, you're trying to sort out jobs, understand what you want. You're insecure and constantly justifying your choices. Sure I'll graduate from this master's program tens of thousands of dollars in debt, but I know it will lead to a better job. Or at least a better sense of the world, you hear yourself say testily at a party.