We have been taught that everyone does their own thing on their own schedule. No one should compare their lives to others, especially when it comes to the monumental events that happen in life. Back in the day, everybody did things on the same schedule:
- Dating when you’re 15/16
- Getting married anywhere between 18-22 ( divorce never being an option)
- Having kids at an early age
- Women staying home, figuring out how to make a full course dinner 7 days a week
- Men working in the city, riding fancy trains home at night back to the suburbs, like the guys on Mad Men
This was the life schedule many adhered to, and it was the acceptable way to live your life (at least here in ‘Merica). If there was a deviation from this plan, an individual was most likely frowned upon, and the town wondered what was wrong with them. A 25 year-old woman with no suitor? She must be mentally unstable, or not come from a good home. A man living with his girlfriend, even though they’re at the ripe age to marry and have 6 kids? Oh, they must be heathens.
Fast forward to today, and society is much different. Yes, we still have women who are following the old-fashioned tradition of marrying young, having babies, and staying home, but we also have the hit television show “16 and Pregnant”, so there’s that. We still have men out there who are snatching up women at their ideal birthing age and marring them, which is great. However, we also have swinging bachelors who are 44, but also have 34 children out-of-wedlock. Please, look for the latest episode of “Iyanla, Fix My Life”, and you’ll thank me for it. Now, that I think about it, you actually will be pissed off.
There has been an obvious preconceived notion of a certain “window of time” in which life-changing events such as these are supposed to happen. You date early, you find your mate in college, marry young, and have babies. And this is all done before your Dirty Thirty birthday. Currently, we have so much more freedom to do whatever the hell we want, and most people couldn’t care less. I have friends who have been divorced twice over, and just now are finding their true love. I know women who had their first child at the awesome age of 33, because they did it when THEY were ready, and not when they were “supposed to”. Although the times have changed, many people still hold on to that traditional way of thinking, assuming that everyone must find love at a certain point in time, have children soon thereafter, and never get divorced. And if anyone hasn’t done any of these things before, let’s say, 35, they may be looked upon with pity, and have people thinking they don’t have much time left. Their proverbial “window” on love and happiness is closing quickly, and it’s about to be shut, leaving them inside with 32 cats and a DVR filled with shows from the OWN network and Lifetime movies.
Now let’s talk about my hot mess life ( this is my blog’s namesake for a reason). I’m “30-whatever”, still single (thanks, last boyfriend!), and no children. I have had countless discussions about the course of my life when it comes to these scenarios, and everyone has an opinion. Luckily, my mother hasn’t given me too much flak for not settling down yet, but she did ponder about me having a baby the other day when I lay my hand on my stomach after eating too much pizza. My two very best friends are great examples of doing these on their own time, and I haven’t felt any pressure from either to follow in their steps. One has the husband, the cute ass baby, and brick house, and she did it on her own time- she rocks! The other is still single, and it’s awesome, because she does what she wants, with a rocking career and car she drives way too fast for my own liking.
However, I’ve had discussions with others who send these questions to me on the daily:
- “How old are you?!?!”
- “Why don’t you have kids?”
- “You’re 30, and you’ve never been married?”
They’re usually followed up with a discussion on windows of time, some even suggesting that I don’t have much time left, because I’m slowly reaching a new age-box on formal forms, and once I reach the 35-44 box with no rugrats and a husband to annoy me, I may be deduced to a life that will be soon featured on an episode of “Snapped”.
But I have to believe that there are others like me out there, who still have their window open, even if it’s just a crack. My love/family life has gotten to this point through a series of both fortunate and unfortunate events, but I know there are men out there like me who have gone through the same crap, yet they still remain hopeful. There has to be someone out there who also went through college without a care in the world, tried dating during their early career years, and failed. There has to be a guy out there who is just unlucky in relationships, maybe even gave marriage a try, and it didn’t work. Now they’re looking 35 in the face with a cute kid and no one to call their own. And no, we are not crazy people who can’t get a date. Our windows aren’t closed, we just haven’t looked through each other’s yet.
See more hot mess at Hot Mess Life