Today I was talking to Bill, a good old friend from high school and he asked me why I’m not married yet. Actually, he more specifically asked HOW I’m not married, not WHY.
Is it really a foregone conclusion that all girls want to grow up and get married? I know I did for the longest time, maybe even up until this year. I answered my friend as if he’d asked me WHY I’m not married – I work too much, I think I’m too independent and set in my ways anymore, I just don’t know. Now I’m really thinking about that HOW.
Growing up I dreamed about finding a mate and living happily ever after, staying together forever like my grandparents did. As I grew up and dated I’ll admit that I did rush to think “Is he The One?” and usually I was too excited to answer myself honestly. That’s part of growing up though, trying different flavors and finding out what you do and don’t like and why. Bill has known me through all of these periods, especially on my journey out to the desert to follow our other friend Ogre because he was the love of my life. Naturally you think I would have settled down already.
It’s not that there haven’t been opportunities. I dated a guy very seriously in college and we wanted to get married, but when he wanted to buy me a ring and propose I asked him not to because we had bills to pay. Even though I still loved him and still planned on a future together, he saw that request as me not loving him enough. I saw my decision the other way around – sacrificing something pretty for food, clothing, shelter and a promise that we can stick together through thick and thin. Things went south in a nasty, drug-fueled break-up later that Fall. Still, I kept hope that I would find a mate.
The turning point might have been two and a half years ago when my relationship with J went sour. After Ogre and I went our separate ways I met J online and after a few spurts we started dating. We started dating seriously, a really passionate thing early on and he even started talking about getting married. I didn’t see it then, but looking back I see how expertly he played me. I let him manipulate me – I thought I was pretty smart and I’m insecure enough to blame myself for the stupid shit he would do to me.
Let me get to the turning point. Somewhere in this disgusting tale J told me his ex was having his kid in the Fall, started cheating on me and I was testing the waters by leaving – my dumb ass didn’t just pick up and go outright. I went to see my younger brother in San Diego since he’d just gotten back from deployment and this was a huge problem with J. I went, I came back, we stupidly had sex.
Without getting into the sordid details my period was a few days late so I used it as an opportunity to play a farewell FUCK YOU and tell J I was pregnant. I wasn’t pregnant, he didn’t know – but the fake pregnancy and miscarriage I used to fuck with this guy’s head turned out to ACTUALLY be something. After this shit was over I went to the doctor and explained what happened, the specialist said it was most likely a miscarriage. Go figure. (Yes I know this was fucked up – it’s the only time I’ve ever done something that crazy, and after all the shit this bastard put me and his family through I thought it was justified.)
This really screwed up my head. Any crack whore or high school teenager can get pregnant and have a baby. Ridiculous women get married all the time. How is it that my body can’t keep a fetus alive and I can’t keep a relationship going for more than 8 months? I live a pretty healthy life. I’m college-educated, I have a good job. What the FUCK is wrong with me?
In the end I think I’ve dealt with this like I’ve dealt with my shitty family relationships and I’ve just swept it under the rug. I sincerely enjoy my job, I have my health to look after with the injury; I don’t think this whole settling down thing is really a priority anymore. I’ve looked out for number 1. I’ve done what I thought was best for me and the people around me, and in the end I think I’ve just shot myself in the foot. Bill says that the right person is out there and it will happen – I’m not sure I want it to though. I always feel guilty when I do what I feel is necessary to take care of myself, I don’t know that I want to drag someone else in.
What’s the conclusion here? I don’t think there is one. I’m blessed enough to have some wonderful people in my life, especially ones who take care of me. I know that I’m a good person and my self-esteem isn’t an issue, I guess I just haven’t learned to trust other people to have my best interest at heart, or I don’t trust myself to make tough decisions about what I do and don’t need in my life. I don’t handle people very well. Maybe once I learn to do that settling down will happen.