Turning 30 means a lot of things to a lot of people. To many it means: “SHIT!?! Hurry up! Get married, pop out some kids, and quit messin’ around!” Women especially cringe about 30 (and aging in general), because of the looming threat of dried ovaries and sagging boobs. A middle-aged co-worker told me the day before my birthday that I “Better hurry up and make some babies because that clock is ticking!” A relative told me it was time to move back home, get married and start a family. Both things were expressed kindly, but with a wink and a nudge.
In the past I have been guilty of asking, “Do you think you’ll marry him/her/it?” But it wasn’t until I started to plan my cross-country move with my boyfriend of a year at that time, that people began to ask me. Suddenly being on the other end of that question made me feel uncomfortable. I wrote about it back then and you can read it here. The thing that has changed in the last few years is that the asking has turned to telling. Oh, and now there’s mention of babies. I mean, I’m old as the god damn hills so, what do I expect?!
My boyfriend will turn 30 next year and he has yet to be asked about marriage and family by anyone. Probably because he doesn’t have ovaries or boobs. I have been asked about marriage by friends, family and perfect strangers so many times I have lost count. Despite it being the year 2015, a huge part of a woman’s value is still wrapped around her left hand and stored in her ovaries – especially in the traditional Catholic culture where I was raised. To those well intentioned nudgers I mentioned before, it’s simply seen as a gentle push: a lighthearted nudge. It’s never intended as rude or intrusive. The thing is, though, that it is rude and SURE it’s well-intentioned, but it’s actually bullshit.
Humans like sameness. It’s crucial for us to be able to relate to each other. I search for that too! I’m always telling people that they should listen to This American Life. Or to read a really good book I just read. I’m always telling people that Favereds are the best Starburst option by far. I am not, however, telling people that they should get married and have kids. You know why I’m not saying that? Because how the HELL do I know what they want to do with their lives? I know this couple who are in their late 30’s and a few years back they just decided, “Kids? Let’s not have’ em!” These people are not mutants. They are nice people, interesting people, and…happy people. There are others like them too! It’s not for everyone, so maybe stop acting like it is.
I might marry my boyfriend. After that, we’ll think about a kid. (They are expensive and they poop in their pants, so we’ll see.) But I can’t say when either of those things are going to happen exactly. So, if you have a calendar and you have been waiting to find out when I’m going get married and start family, just put, “Kate’s wedding day and Kate’s baby’s birthday: TBA” on every single day for the foreseeable future.