On Crackpot Theories, Kelly’s birthday, and being unmarried at 34

Today is my friend Kelly’s 30th birthday. I envy her the magic of turning 30. Without a doubt, my 30s have been the best decade of my life. Of course, when I was in my 20s I probably would have said the same thing. But when I look back I realize I was entirely too psychotic during a good part of my 20s. One of my crackpot theories (Crackpot Theory #84) is that all women in their 20s are psychotic. The more a woman progresses through her 20s, the less psychotic she gets. By the time she’s 28 or 29, she’s just normal woman psychotic and not full-on 20something psychotic. It’s different, trust me. I try to tell all my men frriends this, but they never listen.

While I have loved being in my 30s, one of the things I hate is that upon my 30th birthday, unbeknownst to me, I became defective. Sure, I always suspected I was somehow defective, but now in my 30s, people have no problem pointing it out.

I’m 34 and have never been married. Pshaw, you say, that’s no big deal. But it is. It totally, totally is! Especially here in the Midwest where you’re like a freakshow if you aren’t married by the time you’re 26. To illustrate my point:

My friend Seamus (32 and never been married) had the unfortunate luck to get quizzed on his marital status not once, but twice in a single week. One of the quizzers asked him, upon finding out his never been married status, “So are you gay?” Seamus was dumbfounded, and a bit outraged when he relayed the story to me.

“Oh yeah,” I told him. “Once you turn 30 and you’re uncoupled you totally turn gay. I should have warned you.”

During the same week Seamus had a contractor of some sort over to give him estimates on windows or fixing his driveway or something home-reapair related, and the guy was asking Seamus about his marital status.

“He asked me why I wasn’t married,” Seamus said. “And the worst part was, that I started justifying myself to the driveway guy. I should have asked him if my mom sent him here.”

Moms generally are the worst offenders when it comes to the “what’s wrong with you, why aren’t you married” thing. I think it must be some sort of Darwinian impulse in the genetic make-up of moms that they want their offspring to reproduce, thus proving the superiority of their gene pool.

Married Friends are second on the list because according to Jodi’s Crackpot Theory #29, married people want you to be as miserable as they are.

What all these people don’t understand is that none of us over 30 can figure out why we’re not married or have never been married. The more you ask us, the more we think something is wrong with us.

When you say, “Oh, I just want you to find someone.”
We hear, “What the fuck is your problem?”

When you say, “You just need someone like. . . ”
We hear, “Clearly you are defective in some way.”

When you say, “What do you want/are you looking for in a partner?”
We hear, “Yes, you are an idiot.”

So here’s where I throw myself on the mercy of the public. If you were married anytime in your 20s, please kindly shut the fuck up. Thank you. Because, honestly, you have no idea what it’s like to be singe in your 30s. It’s a totally different ballgame than the one you played. Really.

Like my birthday friend Kelly is so fond of saying, “If I had known I was supposed to get married in my 20s, I would have worked much harder in college at finding a husband. I could have gotten a degree any time.”

Now if you waited until you were in your 30s to get married for the first time, give me a call, because I really am kind of curious to know just what the hell my problem is.

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  1. kara 19.Jun.06 at 7:37 am

    I will be 31 in a couple weeks and I’ve never been married, either. And yeah, most of my other friends are married, or at least coupled, but that’s okay.

    Think of it this way – I have a friend who’s just a few months younger than me and she’s been divorced twice. At least we aren’t in that boat. 🙂

  2. kelly 19.Jun.06 at 9:14 am

    Preach on, Sister Jodi!!!!!

    So I will be a 30s married, god willing, and the older I’ve gotten the happier I am that I’m single. At the risk of offending my 20-something married friends (only one of which will likely still be married in five years), people who marry in their twenties lose out, I think, on a huge part of life.

    I blogged about this somewhere…must try to find it.

    At any rate, I’m so happy to leave my twenties behind I practically cry every time I think about it. I also know that with each passing day the chances of my seeing a divorce lawyer, having a “divorce party” and losing precious hours with my friends complaining about a loveless marriage and an asshole husband decrease.

  3. wendy 19.Jun.06 at 10:19 am

    So, what you’re saying is that in a year and a half my gayness will be revealed to all? I cannot wait.

  4. Aine 19.Jun.06 at 11:47 am

    My cool, educated (she’s a physicians’ assistant), gorgeous sister-in-law is going to be 35 in a few weeks and she’s never been married. She was planning a wedding over Labor Day weekend, but she and her fiance called it off. Now she’s planning a trip to Las Vegas with some of her friends instead.

    She goes on cruises, backpacking trips, etc. and all the nieces and nephews think she’s awesome. I love my family, but that doesn’t mean I can’t envy her sometimes!

    You are SO NOT defective.

  5. marta 19.Jun.06 at 4:10 pm

    38 and never been married!!
    My problem…or problemS, as it seems!!:
    attractive (blue eyed brunette, gorgeous smile, eyes and dimples, slender, great rack, nice ass, fit), funny, smart (PhD), kind, considerate, generous, empathic, engaging…. my list of problems goes on and on. Topping my list are independent and fussy! ’nuff said

    The love of my life will be 43 in 2 weeks, and he’s never been married either. He has similar “problems”.

    I think we’re just two people not willing to settle….and that’s ok!

  6. Calli 20.Jun.06 at 6:58 am

    I got married last year at 35. I’m not real sure how that happened, actually, because I still feel defective most of the time, so I don’t have much insight or advice. Hell if I know why the crazy man decided to keep me.

  7. Minnekeith 20.Jun.06 at 9:16 am

    Supergenius Jodi,

    As you know, I waited until 34 to get married because I wanted to be sure of the person that I married was the one.

    And as you now know our divorce is going through as we speak/type/read, whatever. So what is my sage advice?

    That you never know, you make decisions and you try to live with those decisions.

    Pretty lame, I know.

  8. Anna 20.Jun.06 at 12:01 pm

    hmm..now i am starting to wonder if it’s better to be 30 and never been married or be 30 and divorced…i am 29 and very soon divorced…dear, maybe i should stop this process.

  9. jodi 20.Jun.06 at 12:03 pm

    Anna, Seamus and I talked about that same thing and we came to the conclusion that if you are 30ish and divorced people will cut you slack. It’s the 30 and never, ever been married where you instantly become the freakshow.

  10. Heather 20.Jun.06 at 2:20 pm

    I understand how you feel, only on a much younger level. I’d be happy to get the 26-and-not-married-talk. Out in Utah if you’re not married a year after you’ve graduated high school you’re retarded and destined to die alone.

  11. lou 20.Jun.06 at 3:19 pm

    Allow me to just add that dating in the 30s has been almost infinitely more complicated than I thought it should be.

  12. kara 20.Jun.06 at 3:40 pm

    I’m with you, Lou. I’m ready to go into retirement just so I don’t have to deal with it anymore. 🙂

  13. PeeWee 20.Jun.06 at 6:32 pm

    I am nearing 43, and divorced TWICE. I don’t keep that a secret, and most people I work with know I am divorced. When they find out I am divorced twice, they just stare at me as if I just grew an arm out of my forehead.
    Tell me that people don’t look at divorced people like we are super bitches or defective!
    I wish I had never been married because I look back on those years as a TOTAL waste of my time! (Me bitter? You betcha!)

  14. Anonymous B. Nowhere 23.Jun.06 at 11:43 pm

    Better (or worse, depends on your point of view) are the questions in regard to a lack of offspring. People assume that I must have at least one child. Due to my age? The fact that I’m divorced? No fucking clue, but the queries get old fast. When I confess that I feel absolutely no need whatsoever to procreate, I instantly turn into a walking freak show who must also be a lesbian. What normal female doesn’t want to have a child? And, if I don’t want to have kids, I must be destined for a lonely life devoid of romance, affection, and love. Or, I’m going to hell. People can’t seem to get it through their thick skulls that having kids is not some sort of obligatory, moral duty.

  15. M 26.Jun.06 at 10:48 am

    PeeWee, why the heck have you married someone who wasted your time so, eh?


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