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.