Three days ago, in the middle of my midterm season, something absolutely terrible happened to me. You hear about it, you read about it, but somehow you never think it’s actually going to happen to you. For the first time, one of my high school peers posted on her Facebook status that she and her boyfriend are engaged.
This girl has about the same impact on my everyday life as about 75 per cent of my Facebook friends (that is to say, she has no impact at all). I’m not crushed that the pretty, dimwitted girl from high school is getting married before me, or that I’m not on the shortlist to be a bridesmaid. But she is getting married at the age of 21. Which means that I have officially left the realm of oppressive relatives who ask if I have a boyfriend before they ask about my life; instead, I’ve now entered the world of “So is he going to pop the question?” Contrary to what Beyoncé Knowles and Glee had everyone so chipper about a few years ago, not every girl is slavering to get a ring on it. Frankly, if I were given anything even remotely expensive at this stage of my life, I would promptly either a) lose it, or b) sell it for Netflix.
Initially, I thought I handled this news very well. It was late on a Sunday; I offered a tenuous congratulations to the divorcees-to-be and went to bed. The next morning was another story. My poor boyfriend woke up to me sharpening a steak knife while staring at him and demanding to know why he loved me.
That’s not to say that I don’t believe in and support the idea of marriage for any and all of those who choose to do it (except for the Facebook girl — she threw my life into a tailspin, so she can go to hell). They say that when you know you know, and all I know right now is that marriage is not a great choice for someone whose last big-purchase item was a onesie.
So if I understand that, why does this nobody’s life choice impact me so much? It doesn’t — not directly, anyway. But your early 20s are a major turning point in your life. Marriage isn’t an abstract idea anymore; it’s a legit thing that some people expect you to do. You can have a kid and no one gives you a television show or grounds you. All of which is pretty scary when your mindset is stuck at age 13 and you spend half your day feeling like you’re playing at being an adult.
Is this the part where everything gets real? I guess so. Someday I’m going to have to stop being a kid. But not today. I’m not ready to stop being interesting yet. I’m going to stay right here, nice and comfortable with my spoonful of Nutella and my furious masturbation. Twenty-one-year-old me just isn’t ready for marriage, but hey, here’s hoping for 22.