I’ve had a big hangup about my age for a while now. I don’t like getting older – not in a botox-injecting, animal-print-wearing, cosmo-swilling-at-a-cheesy-stripclub, loud-’woo-hoo’er kind of way. More in a lights-out, sad music, quietly self-critical, bad poetry-writing kind of way.
I’m that girl. The one from high school with burgundy hair wearing a scowl and black and white striped tights and Doc Marten Mary Janes sitting on the huge speaker on the dance floor in the grungy alterna club ‘reading’ The Bell Jar but secretly hoping some cute boy dancing (more like flailing, none of us really danced) to Siouxsie and the Banshees would flail right by me and go “You’re deep, I so get you.” Ugh, that is so embarrassing. I can’t believe I survived my teens. My poor mother.
Deep inside, even when I pretended to be interested in other things, I was always hoping to get some guy’s attention. Even while I was so obsessed with being cool and staying in my weird teen angst character and would make false comments to my parents like “I’m never getting married, I don’t need a husband”, I was internally counting down the moments to my wedding day that never came. So disappointing.
As I’ve grown older and farther away from that mental age I set for marriage and then the one I set for marriage after independence, and then the one I set for marriage mid-career (everyone does that, right?) I’ve grown angrier and angrier with God for withholding. And thanks to our culture, I think men only want young women, and thanks to our culture again, I think 35 is old.
I hope that I take this thing seriously and that it’s not just another Bell Jar moment, feigning disinterest, hoping I get what I want in the end. I’ve made the “I’m so done with dating/men/relationships” threat before but never followed through with it. I think I thought I was tricking God or something. I mean, they always say you meet someone when you least expect it, so I would always pretend like I was not expecting it in the least and I was so surprised that my mental bamboozle didn’t work. At least God can see through me when I’m being fake – sometimes I’m not even sure myself if I mean something or if I’m just trying to manipulate my fate.
How do I know if I am making a change in my life out of a pure desire for something good or if I’m being phony?