The Young Smug Marrieds
2008-08-12, 8:41 a.m.
So, my cousin Alicia and her longtime boyfriend Travis are now engaged. At the Eiffel Tower a la Tom and Katie, no less.
This isn't a massive surprise- the guy wanted to propose around oh, sophomore year or so, and he's pretty well been adopted into the family for years. I already call him my cousin-in-law in my head. And they are of the Right and Suitable Age for marriage around here (i.e. 23-24). I hear the wedding date is "May," so I'm hoping to God they don't schedule it on Whole Earth weekend. (Wouldn't surprise me if they did, they are not hippies. But maybe they'd rather avoid Mother's Day drama. I HOPE.) I gather Travis's mother is already screaming for more grandbabies, and my aunt is all, "Alicia wants to wait until she's out of grad school, and if she brings it up again, I'm saying something." Good for her.
They have been together since freshman year of college. I'm so jealous, as I always am of couples that started out young and lasted. I have another friend (named Jennifer, ahem) and she and her boyfriend have known each other forever, the families were friends, and even though they've been together for years, you'd think they were still a fresh new couple. They are STILL cuddly in public, which is kinda flabbergasting when you think about it.
I no longer hate happy couples the way I used to, but I am certainly still jealous of people for whom it worked out EARLY. Dating is no fun and "dating around" has never been a worthwhile experience to me, and frankly, I would have rather have found the one early on and be done with. And when a good 80% of my relatives are of the "it worked out early" variety, there's some pressure.
Like I said, this is not a surprise to me. When I was 19 and at the last family wedding (the ill-fated from the getgo wedding of Ron and Laurie), my great-aunt Helen said to me, "You're next!" And I thought, "No, I'm not, ALICIA is next." Which is terribly sad when you think that she was 14 at the time. And it's even more terribly sad that I was RIGHT. And so here we are, Aunt Helen is dead now, I'm still single, and Alicia is next, and I'm the biggest old maid LOSER in the family on both sides ever since my cousin Janelle got married.
Realistically, I know better. Technically speaking (though it wouldn't count with the relatives), I have been engaged. Technically speaking, I could "catch a man" if I wanted to- unfortunately, I just don't want any of the fish in my sea. I know darned well it's better not to be in an unhappy marriage just to catch a man and have the relatives (and everyone around my own age that's married) treat you as if you are adult and worthy.
It is entirely possible that this is getting to me a bit because I spent the weekend with a good chunk of Young Married Women (i.e. my classmates and/or instructors), and listening in on their conversations during lunch break was interesting, in the "me as anthropologist studying this strange foreign society" sort of way. I am sad that I won't ever be one of those people. I'd like to know what it's like.
But that said...none of that sane thinking is gonna stop some people from nagging my old and unmarried ass throughout the entire fucking wedding and/or wedding drama. And I will feel like a Loser all damn day when it happens. Ugh.