The Aisle: An Olympic Sport?

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What comes with having three 20-something girls, each with their own large circle of girlfriends, is the realization that no news travels faster, spreads wider and cuts like a light saber through general conversation than Guess who is getting married?!

It is 2012 and we all just giggle, gasp and guffaw at nuptial news like women at the “Meryton Assembly Ball” in a Jane Austen novel.

My girls, in particular, have been cursed/blessed with a matriarch that was wedded at the ripe ol’ age of 22. “Ugh,” they all sighed.

It wasn’t planned or arranged. It just happened. Just like they cannot plan or arrange when it will happen for them. (Although their father might just like the opportunity to “arrange” their partners.)

There are plenty of books, advice and well-meaning analysts and bloggers like Penelope Trunk that have written volumes about not only how to find and land your mate, but WHEN you should meet “Mr. Right.” Someone even came out with “rules”. Remember that brouhaha? There is even a book by Tracy McMillan based on her popular two-part essay on The Huffington Post telling you WHY you haven’t found that right person just yet.

Even my mother-in-law, a champion for women’s rights, a celebrated educator and author will most likely ask the girls if they have a boyfriend before she inquires about their job, school or general health.

So much has been written lately about “having it all” with the media swirling around the rise of the new Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer. She will have the opportunity to balance pregnancy, marriage, motherhood while running a major company, right before our very eyes; her every move, no doubt, covered by every media source from the Wall Street Journal to People magazine. (My guess is that they probably already approached Naomi Watts to play her in the movie. No?)

My Google Reader is not filled with articles in regards to a “cure” for bachelors or advice on landing Mrs. Right. I cannot recall any story about a newly appointed male CEO having to discuss how marriage or fatherhood would affect his job performance.

What is the fascination with women getting married?

I personally feel, the honest truth, is that it will happen, when it happens. And, it is most likely inevitable.

I will conserve my opinions of working women having it all, to focus on young, smart, single women just starting out and say this:  There isn’t only one version of “ALL”.  That is the beauty of it. Your version of “all” will change and grow as you change and grow.  Live your ALL, now. Make the most of “singlehood.” 

Don’t live your life in preparation or anticipation for something else. Live your life, today! See the movies you want to see, travel to the destinations you long to go, eat at the cool, new hip restaurants you want to try, sip cocktails at that new swank, bar opening. Go to the symphony, the ballet, the opera. Take that pottery class or that cooking class. Do whatever moves you.

In a very short time you will be in an adult relationship that requires care, concern and compromise. So, while young and single, ditch the compromise and put the care and concern into your life. Full steam ahead on your career. Put in the extra hours. Network around the clock. Take advantage of every opportunity that is presented before you and grab it up with full, unabashed gluttony.

Don’t waste a minute waiting.

Live an interesting, attractive life and you will be interesting and attractive. Live your life like a hot mess and, well, you probably have already met what comes your way.

One of the benefits of aging gracefully with big deep pockets of wisdom…ahem…is that I can sit back and see the bright radiance of young women who are making their own lives work. I can spot them a mile away. It is a confident glow. They are productive, taking exciting challenges and turning them into opportunities for their benefit and well-being. I am so amazed at the endless possibilities that lie ahead for young women.

When I hear of a young woman, taking the reigns of her life and creating her own success, I am compelled to share that story with my own girls. Other girls getting married doesn’t draw the same fascination for me. I will not cut out engagement announcements to show my girls when they visit. (And it’s not because I don’t receive an actual newspaper.)

Don’t get me wrong. I love marriage. I love being married. I love that I found my soul mate at 21. Yes, I believe in soul mates. And, Larkin is definitely mine. However, I also love that my sister Jen, found her love, Tim, at 37. They’ve been married for two years, laughing, traveling and living the life. And, no kids! Talk about living the life!

Walking down the aisle is not an olympic sport. We shouldn’t time our girls or measure for distance.

It will come soon enough.

We will eventually have the added place settings at our holiday table along with the added awkward explaining of our family’s sick, twisted obsession with turning every comment into a movie line. We will declare which “Friends” character the new addition is. We will go from four kids, to eight kids. We will have to show care, concern and compromise.

We have raised our children to believe in love. “Love is a many splendored thing, love lifts us up, all you need is love…”  We believed in soul mates and told them to believe, too. We showed them that your “better half” brings out YOUR better half. We lived the example that marriage to the right person is more fun than two people should be allowed to have.

And, that is what I want for all of my girls. Someday. No stop watch. No timeline. No pressure.

And, I want it for The Boy, too. But, seriously.

“Is anyone ever going to be good enough for HIM?” cried his three sisters, his aunt/godmother, his two grandmothers and his Latina mother.

That is a whole other blog post, entirely.

 

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