I don’t know what it was exactly that made me go off like I did yesterday morning, but I do know how it started. I was flipping through the channels and came across A Baby Story on TLC. A Filipino couple was expecting their third child, and the two they already had were adorable little girls with loads of personality and spunk. As they filmed the family adjusting to their fresh-out-the-womb arrival, the camera panned to her sitting in her baby seat — and something just snapped inside me.
I’ll admit that I knew better than to watch it. I banned myself from it probably four years ago, when I was putting myself through the most vicious, self-deprecating TV lineup of Whose Wedding Is It Anyway? and A Baby Story. I would be kinda sad for about an hour after they went off, so I put myself on punishment from it for an undetermined amount of time. But I thought I was over it, so I watched. Unfortunately, I called my boyfriend immediately afterward.
Things did not go well.
I’ve been wanting another baby for at least the last 9 or 10 years. My daughter will be 13 next month, and I’ve always hoped for a chance to raise a family with a good man by my side before I became a second-time-around mom. There ain’t nothin’ glorious or cute about this single mother thing — I don’t care what kind of cape-wearing heroines we’re ballyhooed and cheerleaded for being — and I’m not standing in anybody’s line to do it again. But I’m also not getting any younger and after chatting with The Mister yesterday, seems like no ring or coinciding proposal are anywhere on the horizon, which means prospects of having another little one are slim.
So instead of keeping the fires of hope burning with ‘maybes’ and ‘possiblys,’ I’m forcing myself to come to grips with the reality that I’m not going to get married and with that, not going to have any more children. It’s a hard pill to swallow because, in between all of my grand career scheming and strategizing on how I was going to help the world and take it over at the same time, I’ve always envisioned myself becoming a married woman, somewhere in between the PhD and the best-selling book.
I’ve fallen in love four times, and three of those times, I expected to eventually walk down the aisle with the man I was smitten with. (The fourth one was a fluke I’ve got to chalk up to just really digging the wrong dude at a really vulnerable time in my life.) It was a blessing that I didn’t haul tail to the courthouse with the father of my child — I’ll go on ahead and insert a resounding “Thank you, God!” for foiling that plan to go to the courthouse like we intended — but this last one, as far as I’m concerned, is The One. If there’s even such a thing as The One.
At the same time, at this stage of life, when you’ve crossed the threshold out of your find-yourself 20s into your more stable and secure 30s, I don’t see any reason why it should take three or four years for a man to propose. If you have a fantastic woman who possesses all of the qualities that you say you’ve been praying and looking for, I can’t imagine what in the world would keep someone from sealing the deal as swiftly as possible to experience the joy of having her around every day. Maybe that’s just me and my idealistic thinking again.
But hey, there are a lot of single women out there, fabulous ladies who are crazy intelligent, accomplished, ambitious, fun, and stimulating with good heads on their shoulders and credentials to be somebody’s catch. But they’re still single. So what makes me so special that I should be the one to get hitched? Survey says not much. It’s exhausting to meet a man, fall in love, and want to take the next natural step to spend the rest of my life with him only to somehow discover that he plans to marry me someday. You know, when he gets around to it. And I certainly don’t want to feel like I hogtied the guy and forced him to the altar.
It’s really therapeutic to write this because, even though I have to stop and wipe my eyes or blow my nose every five or six sentences, it’s also liberating to mentally free myself of something that’s been such a hefty source of disappointment. I’m not in the business of being anybody’s marathon girlfriend, so I’m officially taking myself off the market. For sanity’s sake.
Single ladies: do you still believe you’re eventually going to get married?
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