Saturday, January 4, 2014

My Take On The 23 Things To Do Instead of Getting Engaged at 23 and Backlash Nonsense

Hello Friends!

Ok, have you all read that article 23 Things To Do Instead of Getting Engaged at 23?

If you haven't, here's the link:

I read it, I chuckled, got offended, reevaluated my life, assessed my life is pretty damn great, and moved on.  Then, I started seeing all of this backlash about the article and people fervently defending young marriage.  It basically boiled down to two camps:  Those who are engaged at 23 and those who are not.  Well, let me be the Bering Strait, of sorts, in regards to this discussion.  I think we all need to take a chill, take a big drink of grateful, and realize there are bigger fish to fry.  Honestly, my true feelings about marriage are this:  The only marriage I care about is my own.  What other people do or don't do in their marriage/their opinions about marriage are none of my business.  If your marriage doesn't affect my life or my future marriage, I really don't care.  Also, if those 23 year old marriages fail, it's not your problem/doesn't affect you/doesn't matter to you.  I think you should be happy about other people's life accomplishments.  I love seeing people get engaged (except exes--I am by no means saying you have to be happy for mean exes.  You don't.  I'm not.  I don't feel bad about it either.), married, or have babies.  I also am happy when people get to go on great vacations, graduate, get jobs, etc.  I just like when everyone's happy!  In the words of Barbra Streisand--don't ran on their parade!

Everyone is entitled to their own opinions and feelings about marriage.  That is the beauty of marriage:  It is yours and your loves.  If you want a husband, wife, open, closed, with children, without children--that is yours and only your decision and right.

I personally do have friends that are 23 and engaged.  They are deliriously happy and I admire their relationship very much.  I look to their relationship as a beacon of what love actually means and I am so excited for their future.  I can't wait for them to get married and I am excited for their bright future!  Also, weddings are a blast!  Some sage Erin advice here folks--don't trust anyone who hates weddings. They are probably bitter and have unresolved issues.  Also, weddings have free food, free cake, free alcohol, and a free dj or band.  Why wouldn't you love them?  The more friends that get married, the more of all this I get to partake in.  I'm so on board!

Yes there are plenty of statistics about young marriages ending in painful divorces and there are a million reasons why marriages, with people of any age in them, fail.  These are statistics.  It's just math. It's just numbers.  Also, statistics are based on things that have happened in the past.  American marriages have a 50% success rate (optimism right there) and in this life full of uncertainties, I'll take 50% chances.  That number is high enough for me to make that proverbial leap one day.

Now that I have defended 23 year olds getting married, let me return to the article.  As a 23 year old non-engagee I feel that I have a firm enough grasp to debate the author's issues and point.  First of all, I'm putting my lucrative history degree to good use and assessing the tone of the article.  The tone is bitter my friends.  Bitter like an olive my friends.  The author needs to calm herself because no one likes a Bitter Betty.  However, she is allowed to her own opinions and I'd be a hypocrite if I pretended I haven't rolled my eyes at a lovey dovey couple or thought, oh yea that will last when I saw an engaged couple squabbling over a china pattern at Bloomingdale's.  But this was a different kind of bitter.  A bitter that comes from one too many broken hearts, one too many unreturned phone calls, one too many exes moving on way too quickly while you are left still nursing a broken heart.  It was bitter with a jealous undertone.  The worst kind of bitter there is my loves.  Anyway, here are my feelings about this:

  1. Get a passport--Yes!  I condone travel!  Do it!  
  2. Find your "thing"--ehh, I found my thing at age 5--I'm going to be a teacher/principal/superintendent/Secretary of Education.  Some people don't have their thing at 23 and that's ok.  You probably should look for it.  Ok, I'll condone this one.
  3. Make Out With a Stranger--NO!  Absolutely not!  I know this is a point of contention in the Feminist world, but I just don't agree.  I'm not advocating this at all.  1) It's not hygienic.  People are disgusting!  Mouths are gross.  You can get diseases.  2) It's not romantic.  Call me old fashioned but I just think kisses are more important than that.  All the good kisses come from people you like or people you love.  Remember in Pretty Woman, when Viv tells Edward that she'll do anything but kiss on the mouth because it's too intimate?  It's true.  I believe in the fairy tale.
  4. Adopt a Pet--only if you can afford it.
  5. Start a Band--only if you're talented.
  6. Bake a Cake--I'm pretty sure weddings have cake.  This really is something you could do with someone or alone. 
  7. Get a Tattoo...because they're more permanent than marriage??--Cynical much?  Only get one if you are sure.  I bet there are a lotta people regretting their I heart Ginger Spice tramp stamps right about now.
  8. Explore a New Religion--Whatever bakes your cake, honey.
  9. Start a Small Business--In this economy?  Are  you serious?  
  10. Cut Your Hair--NOOOOOO!  Never cut your hair when you are sad!  Life Rule #1!  Cutting your hair when you are sad is the primary reason I had bangs at 16.  No bueno mi amigos!  Step away from the scissors.  Back away.  Run away!  Not with the scissors, though, that's muy dangerous!
  11. Date Two People at Once and See How Long It Takes To Blow Up in Your Face--UMMMM, YEAH! No.  Don't do that.  Think about how bad those other people will feel when they find out.  Their feelings will be hurt and you will get all kindsa bad karma.  Just because you are hurt is no excuse to hurt someone else.  We've all been there, it's not pretty.
  12. Build Something With Your Hands--Sure!  Why not, right?  I'm building a pile of books to read!
  13. Accomplish a Pinterest Project--Done!  I combined #12 & #13--I built Sangria with my hands!  Overachiever over here!
  14. Join The Peace Corps--If that is what you are into, go.  
  15. Disappoint Your Parents--As a perennial Good Girl, I hate disappointing my parents and actually can't remember when I last did this.  I spent the better part of my life avoiding this scenario.  My parents have given me so much that it would be a huge slap in the face to disappoint them on purpose.  Also, this has bad decisions and things I'd file under the headings of bad idea, NO, ARE YOU SERIOUS RIGHT NOW ERIN, YOU'RE GOING TO DIE OR WORSE GET EXPELLED!  Any decision that will not benefit you in the long run is probably one you should stay far far away from.
  16. Watch Girls Over and Over--ehh, am I the only one who thinks this show is the Emperor's New Clothes of television?  It's not funny and if that is how I'm supposed to live out my 20s, I'll pass.  I don't want to be any of those girls.  
  17. Eat a Jar of Nutella In One Sitting--Done!  You got it girl!  I'm with you 100%
  18. Make Strangers Feel Uncomfortable in Public Places--Why hurt people you don't know?  Unless it is form karaoke--then go forth and prosper!
  19. Sign Up for Cross-Fit--Sure!  If you like it that's great!  I'm a huge believer in exercise and endorphins.  I just prefer Zumba and Pilates!
  20. Hangout Naked In Front of A Window--In the age of the internet?  Are you even thinking?  
  21. Write Your Feelings Down in a Blog--Duh!  I love this idea best!
  22. Be Selfish--When you can be, go for it!  However, think of others and if what you are doing will hurt someone else then don't do it.
  23. Go to the Philippines for Chinese New Year--If you want to.  

Do you see what I mean?  The tone was snarky and rude and actually condescending towards single people.  I like to think that my life is full.  It's full of friends, family, God, grad school, Netflix binges, vacations, travels, books, ideas, conversations, love, happiness, and of course some sadness.  I like to think I have better things to do as a single woman than eat Nutella all day.  I also think that yes, sometimes life would be easier with someone holding your hand through it all.  Somebody who is there when you come home from the end of a hard day to greet you with a hug and a kiss and tell you that it's all going to be okay.  But, I don't have that and I'm not going to trivialize my friends' life choices because they have that.  I'm a tough girl and there is a sort of satisfaction in knowing that I accomplished all that I have without holding (except for a very brief time lolz) anyone's hand.  I did it myself and alone and that makes me know that I can do most things alone--and that's OK!  

But as my blog's namesake clearly states, Serindipity is a fortunate accident and therefore I believe that I am exactly where I should be.  God doesn't think I'm ready for a diamond and husband and mortgage payments, and babies, and joint tax returns, and nerf gun fights in my living room (believe me, my husband and my nerf gun fights will be...wait for it...legendary!) yet and who am I to disagree with Him?  One of my favorite quotes is Just because you aren't there yet doesn't mean that you won't get there.  I'm just meant to travel a different path right now.  That doesn't mean that I'm not happy for my friends that are getting married and that doesn't mean that they are happy for me when I accomplish a life goal.  

Life's too short to be anything but happy!  I'm just enjoying my life right now and I'm enjoying (even more) going to my friends' weddings and celebrating their lives!  

So don't be bitter and in my girl Ellen's words:  Be kind to one another!



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