I’m on a number of social networking sites, and on some of these, there are introduction threads. On one of these, they asked us state our long term goals and I wrote what I considered to be the basics.
• graduate from college,
• get a job I don’t hate,
• write and publish books,
• hold the leaders of the free world hostage and make them listen to Abba,
• beat Stephenie Meyer with a hard back copy of Breaking Dawn in a pillow case.
You know, the important stuff. But apparently I missed the memo. The one that says somewhere in the long-term goals section, a girl must list the desire to marry and procreate.
Just to set the record straight, I’m not going to say that the idea of finding a nice guy, having a big party to celebrate the finding of said guy, and making little people out of our combined genetic material doesn’t sound like a potentially good time. But as a child of divorce, I also recognize that it could be a potentially disastrous time! And I think it’s a bit stupid to plan my life around that possibility.
What really irks me about it is that it carries the unspoken understanding that, if you don’t have these – a partner and children – your life has less meaning, less worth, than someone who does. For some reason, your life is not complete until you have these things. Admittedly, men do feel this pressure too. But I haven’t noticed it being quite as intense as it is for women. For my brother, the question is ‘don’t you want a girl friend?’ For me, the question tends to be ‘don’t you want a husband?’ For guys, there is an implication of impermanence; that girls are transitory. Women are burdened with permanence; we have to lure in a man, beat him over the head with our rolling pins, and drag him to our happy home.
I want to know why can’t we all just follow our respective bliss’? What’s wrong with writing my stories, starting my small business, having some good friends, and being happy with that? If I find someone I want to spiritually, economically, and emotionally tie myself to for the rest of my life, then YAY ME. But I refuse to be burdened with societies’ judgment that I have failed at life because I lack a significant other. Marriage is a wonderful institution. I’m just not ready to be institutionalized.