The idea of living in a house, a place where I will likely be for a few decades with a man I am legally obligated to has never been my idea of happiness. It would likely evolve into the tragedy that was the movie “Revolutionary Road.”
In movies and in life, I know the boys always feel like they’re losing their buddy, whenever one of their friends get married, while women seem to rejoice and celebrate the event. All I know is that I have lost more friends to weddings than to traffic accidents, alcohol, or anything else for that matter. As I watch my friends lives change outwardly, families pulsating and growing, finances ebbing and flowing, I have remained outwardly one of the most static characters in my own life. On the inside I have changed but haven’t coupled up or even had the desire for children.
I’ve had a lot of time to think about weddings, in between going to them. I know if I got married and there was even a handful of people as unenthusiastic as myself sitting in the audience I would consider elopement. Why must we all attend these events? I know they need witnesses and maybe a wedding is a means to prove something to the other person- professing your love in front of a large audience and all.
Last year when I went to my friend’s wedding, I had an issue finding a dress. It wasn’t until night before that I actually found the dress. It was perfect and beautiful, black satin with white satin bows. It surprises me that this year I’ve found nothing. Procrastinating usually works in my favor and this time it blew up in my face, it is a first, I might add.
I went to the mall today to look yet again for a dress to wear to the wedding I am going to in a few days. I have been dress shopping every weekend for the past two months and have found nothing. As I was searching through one of the racks of dresses I had a vision. It was a flashback of me and an old friend, Jenifer, rifling through Forever 21’s sale rack. This seemingly mundane vision happened at least five years ago, and in Arizona. I felt an aching as this thought passed through my head. Where are my friends? I wondered.
I could very well go back to Arizona and go on a shopping trip with her, but now she was married and about to give birth. It wouldn’t be the same trip to the mall with a baby in tow. This wasn’t the Jenifer I remembered. What happened to her, where was my friend?
Another of my closest friends also happens to live in another state. While she was still engaged, we were able to get away from the menfolk and hit the boardwalk of her local beach to check out stores and vendors. Then we stole away to the mall for a little bit. I have visited her four times in the past few years, and she has promised to visit me, but hasn’t using her engagement and work life for excuses. I know she will never come to see me and that we will likely never have girly time again. I’m not exactly the girliest of women, but it’s certainly a type of impulse I need to act on every once and a while, similar to men and arm wrestling. What happened to my friends?
In my mind they are still the people who had less commitments and more free time. In my mind, we are still young. I intend to remain single for as long as possible. I am not ready to be permenantly attached to another person, no matter how dazzling. As I choose this path, I see my friends, one by one evolve into families. I still have no desire to do this but am beginning to understand why people feel the pressure to get married as they age. Like musical chairs, no one wants to be the last one standing. Still this is no reason to get married.
As a child watching movies where the happily married couple drives off with “Just Married” written on their car trailing tin cans, I never imagined that as it drove off, my friends would be driving out of my life forever.