Apparently 2011 is the year of weddings. In the past month three of my good friends have gotten engaged. I’m very happy and excited for them and wish them lots of happiness. As a kid I dreamed of the day when I would be a bride. I imagined everything about the ceremony in my head – the dress, the flowers, the music – of course when you are seven years old you do not have the best taste and you think wearing a pillow case on your head as a veil is pretty awesome. I recall doing this several times in various fake weddings that my sister threw for me in the backyard or hallway of our house. I was pretty popular back then. I remember my first “love,” Teddy Deary. It was in Kindergarten at Grace Church School. We were totally enamored with each other, not to mention Beatrice Deary is probably the best name ever. I remember wearing a pillow case veil and one of my mom’s slips at our wedding which was witnessed by many beloved bears and other stuffed creatures. I am not sure what happened to my husband after that – we went on to separate schools for elementary school and lost touch, but I always wondered what happened to him. Maybe in a strange twist of fate we will find each other, perhaps we really were meant to be Mr. and Mrs. Deary?
Now that 1990 has long passed, I sit here 21 years later surrounded again by marriage. A lot of things have changed in my life since then. Aside from the obvious physical changes, my mind is now in a different place as well. As a little girl you love the idea of a wedding, but you do not know what getting married actually means. You look to your parents as role models and want to do everything that they do. As far as you are concerned you grow up, get married and have babies. Isn’t that how life works? So what does a child who grows up in a non-traditional household do? Do they have a different set of values or ideas about how they should live their lives as adults?
In today’s world the divorce rate is nearly sixty percent. Less and less people are getting married all together, and yet it seems that everyone I know is heading down the aisle. Not to say this is bad, I am very happy for my friends and I truly hope they have found long-lasting love. I just feel that society sets up these “standards” for how we must live our lives. We must graduate from college, get a good job and then get married and have children. These values are true especially for women. So if we do not reach these goals are we failures? What if someone doesn’t want children? As a twenty-five year old single woman I already feel the pressure to settle down. You always get the inevitable “who are you dating?” questions from parents friends and if you say no one they figure there must be something wrong with you. Well, maybe there is, maybe I don’t feel like dating a cookie cutter preppy guy who works fifteen hours a day and is still acting like a frat boy at 27. Pardon me for not be attracted to guys who treat you like a piece of meat. New York City is a toxic dating environment and I think us females should be given a little more credit for all that we put up with. I know I still have that seven year old girl inside me somewhere and I hope to be as happy and in love as my engaged friends some day. For now, I guess I will have to keep searching for my Teddy Deary, whoever he may be.