I’m 29 years old, and in the past five years one of the questions I’m most often asked is, “Why aren’t you married yet?!”
This question always makes me screw up my face at the person posing the question, like, “Did you really just ask me that? Is it any of your business? Why do you care?”
But I don’t ask those questions, because I know that in many cases it’s just a way of making conversation. I’m not hideous and I don’t seem like an awful person, so why wouldn’t I be married?
Depending on the person asking, I have a variety of canned answers. My favorite used to be, “Because I’m smart.” But now, after doing the someecards meme, I think it just might become, “Because I’m waiting until my age group’s first batch of divorces.”
It’s not that I’m particularly FOR or AGAINST marriage, it’s just that for many years I’ve watched more friends break up or get divorced than I’ve been in their weddings. I’ve weathered in the periphery of my parents’ marital storm (now enjoying smooth sailing), and watched several sets of friend-couples weather similar difficult spots. I’ve helped a friend set up her apartment when she left her husband, and I’ve even gained a new friend in the aftermath of her separation. I’ve been the listening post to several friends who needed to vent and gain new perspective on their relationships, and I’ve quietly prepared myself to be there for some of them when I wasn’t sure how serious they were in their discontent. I’ve even offered my spare room on a few occasions where distance seemed the best solution.
So when co-workers, extended family members, and yes, even postal service workers ask me why I’m not married yet… I feel like slapping my forehead in honor of their total Homer Simpson “D’oh!” moment. Obviously, dear interested persons, I haven’t met anyone worth the effort! No one worth the agony of frustration, indecision, confusion, disappointment and quietly sustained hope. Nor one single person yet deserving of the effort, joy, creativity, excitement, understanding and undisguised comfort.
And while I may joke about evolving into the world’s youngest Old Cat Lady/Nun, I am not making my way towards the animal shelter/convent just yet! You see, I’m not in such a hurry to find Mr. Right that I’m going to rush into something that’s not what it appears/feels to be at first. I’m not trying to put myself on a timeline; my eternal, coupled happiness does not belong on a to-do list!
Marry Someone. Check.
What does belong on my to-do list is standing in four states at once, and photographing the beautiful, natural red arches in Utah’s national parks. These things I’m going to accomplish in the upcoming week, as I fly out to Salt Lake City on Friday and spend the following ten days making my way towards Denver. I’ll do it campsite by campsite, sight by glorious sight, and often on my motorcycle. I hope to visit some or all of those famous parks (Arches, Canyonlands, Zion), to hike down into the north rim of the Grand Canyon, and to show my goofy touristy side at Four Corners.
With the “right” man I could take a trip like this as a happily married person, but I haven’t found that person yet. So, I’m gonna keep enjoying my life, and I’m going to keep crossing off items on my to-do list. And eventually, I’m gonna find someone I want to share my travels and my tent with… forever.
I want to get it right the first time… I know it’ll be worth the wait.
How’s that for an answer?