Monday, May 08, 2006

Engage

The single are dropping like flies…

First the best friend from high school (brown silk and hot pink bouquet, Peninsula, soft jazz and mimosas complimenting Sunday brunch).

Then the one from college (pink strapless and beige bow, sweeping Pacific Ocean view, the band playing late into the clear, dark night).

This summer the childhood one (with fiery hair who spanned the shore for colored glass with me on all the Kielkooky Crawfish Cookouts while crawdads steamed silvery in pots under a canopy of willow trees).

And then, horror of horrors, the used-to-be-my-assistant.

Engagement, commitment, combined bank accounts, standing plans, asking permission, respectfully sharing the remote, overcooked chicken, obligation, nagging.

Trading turns in favor of togetherness.

Sacrifice, coordinated outfits, arguments over kibble and sour milk, proud and weepy mothers now asking “where are my grandkids?” not two moments before doing away with “when will you get engaged?”, splitting the last brownie, I’m-tired-take-me-home-right-now-I-don’t-care-that-you-just-bought-that-drink-I’m-ready-to-go-and-so-are-you…

Psychological hurdles to overcome.

Mortgage, budget, agreement on all things possible, harmony as the ultimate goal, plumbing, car repair, mowing the lawn, dusting.

Of course, none of that is guaranteed—all imaginary, all clichés.

They never joke of coffemates, cooking Sunday dinner for two, an arm to intertwine at the dog park while pointing out our favorites for the future, seats together at movies both pretentious and mass, foot rubs and pillow-swapping, video games versus a real person, unwavering affinity, surprise flowers, make-ups…

A positive force and supporter of every word, brushstroke, and cockamamie get-rich-quick-scheme.

One driver and one DJ to a car, reading aloud magazine quizzes, reruns on rainy weekends (because so much of what makes a twosome is this, and just this—the space between events and party shoes, between pomegranate margaritas and love songs).

Understanding. Knowing a team of two is impenetrable; cannot be defeated except by itself.

A ring, a dress, a fabulous party. All extensions of this. Not the culmination of knowing, but the next and legitimate stage in learning.

Still, the stigma remains.

I don’t want to be boring.

I don’t want to be old.

I don’t want to be an adult.

Just yet.

I want to hide his keys and watch the freak-out for 45 seconds, immediately after exiting the cab.

I want to make a fort from all the couch cushions and eat Cheez-its for dinner. And watch The Simpsons.

I know for me, no matter when, I’ll still have all these things. But still, that cliché of death-of-the-single, birth-of-one-trades-for-two, always in consideration, to agree, to conform, hangs over me.

It’s not right, it’s not true, it’s all in my head.

Maybe if I grew up a bit, I wouldn’t feel this way.

Sure, there’s nothing like a nice piece of jewelry to coax a girl into acceptance. Even as third graders we pontificated on what beautiful ladies we’d grow up to be, dreaming if we couldn’t be tiara-crowned princesses now, we always had our wedding to fulfill the gown and glass slippers.

But even when the bended knee happens, if it happens, I’d think I’d agree with one small condition. I’d want to put off that party for just a little while.

Because even the illusion of un-responsibility is worth it.

13 comments:

ThursdayNext said...

This post was timely; my best friend became engaged this weekend! Beautiful last phrase...

Cheetarah1980 said...

I just watched one of my younger sorority sisters get engaged last week, and I am the flower girl in another's wedding next month. They are happy and I am happy for them. But honestly, I can't help but have the feeling that we're still so young. I'd like to be selfish and irresponsible for just a wee bit longer.

debo said...

Ruh oh, T...

M said...

exactly!

Derick said...

I think it's funny how folks get married... and all of the sudden forget they had a life or any friends before.

Jake said...

Marriage is an elite club for the selfless...

lem-n-ada said...

Marriage to the wrong person is the lonliest experience one can have. Wait as long as you can. Wait until you are sure. Then wait just a bit longer. Then you'll be ready.

Sober In the City said...

Okay... Are we thinking alike, or what? Last night I wrote on this exact subject. Although not as brilliantly as yourself. Well said!

Anna said...

Aww, well-said -- I think it's so easy to look at marriage as something that won't really "end up" mattering - just a "legal status" or something --- but there is SO MUCH more to it. Good post.

Anonymous said...

i totally agree with you. i want to go back reading wayside story and watching cbs storybreak!

Serena said...

Thirty and single I still ponder when I'll grow up and be ready to settle down. I rejected it at 19 but am almost ready now. Let's just hope giving myself time to grow didn't back fire.

Noah said...

I had Cheez-its and a popsicle for dinner last night.

emma.mae said...

i expect mine to be the most irresponsible of marriages, in the best possible way