Single and Childless in the South
The great majority of the time, I love living in the south. The people are friendlier, life goes by at a slower pace, cost of living can’t be beat, and my family has been here since the 1700′s – the south is part of me.
But lately people have been pointing out that I’m approaching 30 and haven’t hit any of the “appropriate” mile markers – meaning marriage and kids. They ignore that I’ve owned my own house since 24, finally have a job I adore, am currently finishing my master’s degree, bought a horse, am on the board of the WTHJA, just lost my father and grandfather, volunteer for the Brooks Museum weekly, and took 31 fabulous trips in 2012. Please don’t misunderstand, I don’t need a pat on the back. But some acknowledgement that I’ve done something instead of simply find love and procreate would be nice.
Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t know love would be this difficult to find. It has been hard. I can’t believe how many losers I’ve dated (which is not what a southern lady should say, but it is the truth). And I envy those who found it so easily and quickly (i.e. right out of college). But what am I supposed to do? Sit around and wait until I finally get to walk down the aisle? Does my life not even start until then? That’s ridiculous.
My mother always told me to never get married until I knew exactly who I was and to be honest, I am just now figuring out who I am and what I want out of life. As my best friend once told me, “When I first met you, I was like, “Who is this bitch?’” And I would have to agree. I have undergone a transformation, and one I am proud of. I wouldn’t want to meet my life partner or have children when I was still in a selfish point of my life – and I have only just now emerged from it.
But why do people make assumptions that I simply don’t want children or a husband because I haven’t done it yet? I stood in my doorway with my mouth hanging open this afternoon after my yardman (who is extremely kind by the way) announced he felt moved by God to tell me that as a woman I needed to get married and have children immediately because that is my job and I am headed down the wrong path. He rambled a bit more, but the only thing that truly touched me was when he said hearing his daughter call him Dad is when all is right in the world for him.
I get it – having children is the miracle of life. And one day I hope to be blessed with it. But to be told I’m going down the wrong path because I haven’t gotten married or had children yet is ludicrous. I almost choked when my lady doctor assumed this year I didn’t want kids because I wasn’t married yet or when another friend mentioned I didn’t seem like the mother kind. I put my dogs in diapers for crying out loud – I want kids…eventually. And a husband would be nice too.