Sunday, December 19, 2010

One from the archives

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I have lots to update you on but no time to do so. The holidays are busy and I've been totally caught up in the spirit of Christmas spirits of Christmas and been out and about partying way too much. And the spirits just keep on getting in the way of me finishing a proper blog post (that and all the other Christmas hassle).

But just in case you were missing me... I decided to commit the crime of a re-post and bring up a post I wrote back in March when about 3 people were reading my blog.

And I promise to write a real post soon and update you on all the hot Christmas messes I've been getting myself into - starting with our work holiday party...

Hope you are well and enjoying the Christmas spirits as much as I am! 

I was once asked to join a Facebook group called My Friend are Getting Married, I'm Just Getting Drunk. I don't think I joined the actual group, but the name of the group really struck a chord with me. It seemed like (still seems like) the perfect description of my life. In fact, I think a more apt description would be All my Friends are getting Married and/or Having Babies while I'm just Getting Drunk.

Once upon a time in the not so distant past, it seemed like all my friends were single. Together we enjoyed girl's nights out that consisted of talking about all the men in our lives over glasses of wine, getting drunk, dancing, flirting with men, possibly going home with some man after flirting and dancing with him, then calling your each other the next morning trade stories and laugh about the many shenanigans that took place the night before... You know the deal.

But sometime, when I wasn't paying attention everything changed. It was like the rest of the people around me suddenly grew up and started being adults and I just stayed the same fun-loving immature single gal. Suddenly I look around and everyone is either married, getting married, getting divorced, getting married again, or having their first - and in some cases their second or third - babies!

Let me give you some statistics to prove my point. Since last November, 5 of my close friends have had babies, this summer I will attend 5 weddings. And sad but true, I can only count 4 single friends and unfortunately not one of them lives in London. And with Facebook bringing you into up-close-and-personal contact with the daily lives of your 500+ friends and acquaintances through exuberant pictures and status updates (seems like the thing to do is post your baby's picture as your profile picture), I can't help feeling like there is some kind of massive marriage/baby boom going on out there? And how have I managed to miss this? When I decide to just get drunk and not get married?

I try to think back to when I was a little kid and what I envisioned my life to be like when I was older... Where did I see myself at 31 years old? Honestly, I draw a big blank. Besides wanting to live abroad and become an International Woman of Mystery (seriously - I actually saw that as my destiny but that's a whole other blog in itself), I didn't really ever see myself getting married and having children. But I didn't actually see myself NOT doing it either though. I just never had a visual picture of myself with a baby and a husband. I guess I just thought that at some point there would be some natural progression towards that lifestyle - that like all the others around me (or so it seems) I wouldn't have to think about it - it would just happen. However, so far. It has not happened. And actually, I still have trouble conjuring up an image of myself with a husband and a baby - I mean can any of you see me with a baby on one arm and a man I go home to every night? Exactly... See... that's what I'm talking about.

The very strange thing is that I feel that my childhood and upbringing should have given me a good view of marriage and kids. I mean my parents are still married. I had a great childhood. I love my parents and they love my brother and I and they brought us up well (although admittedly I might be a little biased here). And despite the fact that my brother and I both currently live abroad, we have an extremely close family and enjoy spending time together and try to do so as often as we can.

But if I reflect back on my childhood, I have to say that I have never really seen myself as a very maternal person, nor have I ever seen myself as a traditional wife. To me the word HOUSEWIFE has always equaled a dirty word. I knew early on that I was going to be a career woman. I think this in part comes from having a very strong and dominating Mother. There was no question who ruled our household. Even today she is more driven and ambitious than my Father - and she makes more money than him (Dad - if you are reading this - don't worry I love you anyway, you were the "fun" parent).

 My Mother taught me that being a strong woman was important. She was my role model from day one and I have admired strong women ever since. I can honestly say that I was shocked to find out that women were not the dominant sex in the rest of the world. In fact, it was my neighbor who pointed this out to me. I still remember the day that he tried to tell me women belonged at home with the babies cleaning and cooking. From that day on we became rivals and I set out to prove to the world that women could in fact dominate the world and were absolutely the superior Sex.
Another unusual reflection from my childhood involves "playing house." It is a natural thing for children to want to mimic the lives of adults or imagine how their lives as adults will be. Playing house is a natural part of childhood. However... being the strong-minded (and admittedly sometimes strange) child that I was, I had very strict rules on how I thought you should play house. I never ever ever played house in the traditional sense. In the elaborate stories I created for my friends and I to act out (I'm sure you are all very surprised to hear that I was a bossy child - shocker) we never had a traditional family unit with a mother, father, kids, dog, the house with the white picket fence etc. Instead I always insisted that we play run away children or even better, I liked to play that I was a single woman (an Aunt maybe) who adopted children. Although I often convinced guys to play with me, I never once wanted to be the mom or wife in the game of house.

Can you believe that? Even as a child, I could NOT even pretend to have a husband or pretend to get married. It seriously grossed me out! And I never pretended to be a mother as in having actual children that were supposed to be my own. When I played with my dolls - it was the same thing. Barbie and Ken were always either boyfriend and girlfriend or brother and sister or more likely just plain friends. Actually, usually I was too busy enacting camping scenes in the woods and having them drown in the river and need rescuing to really care too much about the intricacies of their relationship (I was a bit of a Tomboy as a child). So, even as young as 5 years old, I already knew that I couldn't see myself as a mother or as a person who gets married. Or perhaps even at that age I was already doubting myself as the kind of person guys would want to marry.

It will probably come as no surprise then that Peter Pan was my favorite book as a child. I used to make my father read it to me over and over again. Even at an early age I felt a strong identification with Peter Pan and the lost boys who lived in Never Neverland and never wanted to grow up. I remember telling my Father that I was never going to grow up either. But I guess even Peter Pan had to grow up... I mean we all saw the movie Hook right? If you haven't, seriously - watch it. It's great!

The thing is... I'm not exactly ready to trade my international life and my career in tomorrow for a husband and kids - just the thought sends me into a semi-panic attack. But I'm starting to realize that kids, a husband, stability are probably things that I want in the future. I'm also realizing that partying every weekend, working long hours, and jet setting around the world is not exactly conducive behavior for fostering any kind of permanent relationship or settling down and there is absolutely no way to fit children into this lifestyle. I kept thinking I could do it all. But now I'm realizing that maybe it's just not possible. And since I can't run away with the Lost Boys to Never Neverland and hide away in some ageless world full of fun and games and pirates, the clock - oh that scary clock (much like the one that the alligator in Peter Pan swallows - I'm SO getting the deeper message of this book now) continues to tick, and no matter how hard I wish, I'm not getting any younger. So, if I'm really serious about settling down sometime soon, I guess I should start thinking about some making some changes in my life.... But don't worry! NOT YET! Fear not my faithful blog readers. At least for now, I will continue to amuse you with my silly stories of international singledom.

Luckily one of my 4 single friends is coming to visit me in London for the long Easter weekend. So, while my friends are all at home with their babies and husbands and boyfriends, well you know that we'll just be getting drunk!


Sarah Elizabeth said...

I've tagged you in a post on my blog. Don't feel obliged to play along if you don't want. I just though it would be nice to know you a bit better x x

Lifebeginsat30ty said...

Eh, I think you've done it the right way: living the life you wanted and being who you wanted to be. So that when that right guy comes along (and he will), you know who you are and who you want. It's just a numbers thing, there always has to be a last one!

Now the kids thing I can relate to. I've got 2 girlfriends who gave birth in the same week! One is a second child. A high school friend has THREE. Unlike you, I have imagine the kids and husband. More of an urban family than a white picket fence one, but the same. It'll come.

Great post!