Platts: Matrimonial Mischief
There’s a saying that I often see online or while browsing my photo feed on Instagram that seems to accurately fit with the millennial generation, particularly the sect from 24 to 30. The phrase reads, “I’m at that awkward age where half of my friends are having kids and the other half are too drunk to find their cell phones.”
This phrase is one I never get tired of seeing. I’ve been tagged in it or tagged others more times than I can even count. As ridiculous as it may sound, it’s entirely accurate. We are at an awkward age. And whether we are the drunkard who misplaced their iPhone, the hormonal crazed woman who is about to pop out a baby or we are somewhere in the middle, there is no doubt that we are all in a transitional period.
This clever saying was on my mind this weekend when a childhood friend finally tied the knot with her boyfriend of nine years at a wedding in Kansas City. They’d been together since they were teenagers. They’d even birthed a beautiful child together. But last weekend, they decided to combine forces and exchange vows, making a statement to the world that they were ready to take the plunge into the rest of their lives as a unit.
The wedding was not a surprise. If anything, I think most were asking why they waited so long to marry. But it got me thinking about that phrase and where my friends are at in their lives today. All of us are somewhere between a one-night stand, deciding on someone we want to potentially be with for the rest of our life and co-creating something that we are stuck with for the rest of our life (i.e. baby).
My friends run the gamut on this scale. Some are married with kids, others are in serious relationships, a few are heavy into the dating scene and still others are truly enjoying the single life.
And where did I fall on the spectrum? I haven’t lost my cell phone recently. However, I have gotten intoxicated enough that it wouldn’t have been a surprise to lose it. As far as relationships go, I’ve been in a solid one for more than a year with a guy who I’ve been good friends with for about six years. We are nowhere near marriage, but this September we are moving in together, which may be a small step for mankind, but it’s a colossal one for us.
Last Saturday at the wedding in Kansas City, in between mingling and dancing, we exchanged thoughts on where we we’re at in comparison to others. The funny thing is that we felt a bit behind when it came to our Midwestern friends (I was born in Kansas and he in Minnesota). Just at the wedding alone, it felt like most girls my age were already married. Others weren’t even hitched but they had babies (yes, plural) running around on the dance floor. Yet in Aspen, we felt like an extremely serious couple, light-years ahead of most of our friends who are still enjoying the casual dating scene that is so common here in this town. We just didn’t know quite where we fit in, whether it be in our respective hometowns or our current residence, but more importantly, we weren’t sure it even mattered.
After college, we all expect to follow a certain path. We are told that it is best to get a career-related job, date around to find the love of your life, at which point you will become engaged, married and with children. All the while excelling in your career and maintaining relationships with good friends and family members. There’s a cookie-cutter route that many of us, myself included, feel like we should end up following.
However, as I get older, I realize that nothing is ever what we expect and sometimes that’s where the adventure lies. We have friends who are in their 60s and never had kids and they’re some of the happiest people we know. Others have waited until they are into their 40s to consider reproducing, making sure they explore the world as much as they can before they settle down. No, I didn’t anticipate being this crazy in love with another person at the early age of 25, sharing a dog and a place. But I wouldn’t trade what I have now for anything. With him, every day is an adventure. I feel like we are both constantly growing as a couple and, more importantly, as individuals. We fall in that gray area, somewhere between losing our phones and producing offspring. But, luckily, that’s exactly where I want to be.
We all seem to have lingering doubts about where we fit or where we should be at this point. But maybe we needn’t worry so much. Like most things in life, I think we just have to roll with the punches and see where we land, never compromising for less than what we think we deserve. Even if we feel like things aren’t entirely on schedule, I still think they will work out in the end, no matter how out of order our paths may be.
Now, where the hell did I put my cell phone?
Barbara Platts is slowly learning that making her own path is the best way to experience life. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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