The Dating Game

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So, I think I’ve done an excellent job of putting this topic off for as long as humanly possible. Truth is, what can you say? Everyone goes through it and it’s equally as interesting. What can I impart on you regarding the single most ridiculous thing I’ve had to do in my twenty something years (well maybe not the only ridiculous thing – but it’s up there). No matter how you slice it, dating sucks. Now I’m not saying it can’t be exciting, maybe fun and leave you with some great stories because it does. However, I have found that in the almost year that I’ve been “out in the field” it takes a really long time to find someone that gives you the warm and fuzzies you may have once had. At first I thought, “Crap, am I just insanely picky?” and even “Ugh, maybe my ex was just so amazing that I can’t find anyone to compare!” (NEVER true – kid was great don’t get me wrong but that’s dramatic. There’s a reason it didn’t work out in the first place, and that bottom line doesn’t change). So below find the different methods and a few stories, more to come I’m sure – make sure to ask Lans about the Celtics game with a convict. We have yet to find a story that tops that.

Dating Friends

This one is tricky. There’s always flirty tendencies between guys and girls within friendships or otherwise, but choosing to act on that can go great or horribly wrong. I’ve had both. So back in college one of my close friends had been in a long term relationship much like me and we bonded over that, not to mention he wasn’t half bad to look at. Most of our friends were out on the prowl at the bar so it was nice to have a guy to hang out with and not have to worry about hitting on you and in essence act as your pseudo boyfriend (Topic for another day – work and separate city boyfriends. Sounds kind of promiscuous, but isn’t). Well fast forward and we both ended up single around the exact same time (which back then I thought was a sign – not a thing). He’s wonderful on paper; very smart, handsome, active, great sense of humor, can read me like a book, and the list goes on. Turns out when you flip the switch from friends to dating, things change quickly. My good friend who I could tell anything to was trying way too hard to get my attention and reel me in. Friends that were mutual before were all of a sudden objects of jealousy. Things were awkward when it came to being close in the matter of holding hands or coupley stuff. Things had to be extravagant when we went out, almost like putting on a show. Needless to say it didn’t work out, he wasn’t please, and unfortunately we don’t talk anymore. Note to self: maybe not the best idea (Though it’s worked out for me in the past – actually, since they ended, maybe it hasn’t).

Dating First Timers

I tried to figure out a good term for someone you meet either through a friend, out at night, or through your general path of the day and could only come up with “first timers” (hitting that 3pm feeling right about now – creativity is at an all time low). So these ones I found are better, because there’s never a lack of things to talk about. You meet through friends or out, hit it off; you know nothing about each other and literally can bring up any topic so long as they are a decent conversationalist. The worst case scenario I’ve seen on this is what I call “the sales pitch,” which I guess is kind of the point in dating but this is to another extreme. Basically you feel like you’re getting preached at by a consulting company (since I am a consultant, go figure this is how I see things). For example: Problem: You’re single; Solution/Action Plan: Date me; Benefits: I’m awesome because.. The perks of dating me are.. I spoil my girlfriends by.. If you’re around in a couple months I’ll take you.. Next year when you come over for Christmas with my family we can.. andddddd check please (I cannot tell a lie, this actually happened to me and it was the longest lunch of my life).  Guys, please I am begging you do not preach AT me on a date. I get preached at all day at work, I preach at people all day at work, I don’t want to listen to myself try to pitch a project let alone have you try to pitch one to me. My favourite topic of that lunch was his catch phrase had something to do with “understanding his worth.” Again, can’t make this shit up.

I always tend to run into the problem of too much too soon. So I don’t know if I’m a special case or what, but slow and steady wins the race for me. I don’t need you blowing up my phone, wondering what I’m doing, or getting moody about me having other plans or not being around. I’m a busy kid, I have shit to do and I don’t stay still often. Chances are I don’t want to sit around the apt and “just chill.” Yes I’m going to see my friends; yes I plan things way in advance and tend to travel a lot. No I won’t chase you around, I don’t put up with games, and I’m not going to sit around and watch the clock for half an hour after you text me to make it seem like I’m busy or to make you sweat it out. If I like you, it’s obvious. If I have time, I’ll spend it with you. I’m not going to bullshit you or hold your hand, I’m straightforward about pretty much anything and I won’t lie to you if it’s not working out. If I want to talk to you, I’m going to text you (if you’re lucky, call you – but I hate talking on the phone and am quite possibly the MOST awkward person EVER using that mode of communication). Plain and simple. Or so I thought.

Online Dating… DUN DUN DUNNNNNNN

Alright, our generation can’t do anything themselves these days. Everything is run by technology, even dating apparently. So I was 150% against this. No way in heck was I going to create a profile with my statistics, write a blurb about me and what Im looking for like a wanted add, and “shop” through other profiles to find people to virtually wink at and start a conversation with. Well it only took one glass of wine (or maybe just a Hershey kiss – but the wine at least paints a picture of defencelessness) for me to be coaxed into making a profile. So it’s been three weeks and I have to say much like a new toy, it definitely took up a lot of my time. Interesting to talk to new people and hilarious to see what some people come up with to try and get you on the hook. What I’ve learned – I attract a plethora of ethnicities (thank you Crossfit for increasing the size of my rear end – I can only assume that is my main selling point there) and much older men with a few ex wives or baby mamas. I have nothing against the latter, just not particularly what I’m looking for. Please find my favorite profile below – yes this is real, no I can’t make this shit up, and yes he did email me looking to “connect on a deeper level”:

“I believe in taking care of myself and a balanced diet and rigorous exercise routine. In the morning if my face is a little puffy I’ll put on an ice pack while doing stomach crunches. I can do 1000 now. After I remove the ice pack I use a deep pore cleanser lotion. In the shower I use water activated gel cleanser, then a honey almond body scrub, and on the face an exfoliating gel scrub. Then I apply an herb mint facial mask which I leave on for 10 minutes while I prepare the rest of my routine. I always use an after shave lotion with little or no alcohol, because alcohol dries your face out and makes you look older. Then moisturizer, then an anti-aging eye balm followed by a final moisturizing protective lotion. There’s an idea I have towards myself: only an entity, something illusory. And though I can hide my cold gaze, and you can shake my hand and feel my flesh gripping yours and maybe you can even sense our lifestyles are probably comparable I simply am not there.”

All I can say – to each his own. Needless to say I think I will be closing the book on online dating very soon, like now.

Well, I have a plethora of stories in the bank for a later date. I know Lans can’t wait to tag onto this and share her side of things as it’s equally as entertaining. Hope you at least got a little chuckle, or feel less awful about the ridiculous date you had last week or last month.

Toodles!

Turkey Meatballs and “Homemade” Sauce

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Hey kids! Lots of interest in the goodies I posted on instagram this week so find the recipes below. The turkey meatballs and easy “homemade” sauce is one of my favorite meals. Clean eats with lots of protein and flavor – who said healthy eating can’t be delicious?

Turkey Meatballs

  • 1lb lean ground turkey
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/4 cup almond flour or bread crumbs
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat your oven to 375. Finely dice your onion and put it into a large mixing bowl. Add the rest of your ingredients and mix well. Line a baking dish with aluminium foil and roll your mixture into balls (about 1.5oz or a palm sized – or heck, whatever your little heart desires). Bake the meatballs for 20-25 minutes until they are browned and cooked through.

“Homemade” Marinara Sauce

Thought process behind this – let someone else do the hard work of stewing tomatoes and seasonings until it’s just right and creating the perfect sauce from the Italian gods. DO jazz it up a little and make it your own. Here’s my take:

  • 1  24oz jar of marinara sauce (look for low sodium and as natural as possible – If you can’t pronounce something on the label, pass it up)
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 2 large carrots, or handful of baby carrots
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3/4 cup of red wine

Dice your onion and carrots into roughly the same sized pieces.  Heat a medium pot and add your olive oil, onions and carrots. Let them cook until the onions are translucent and carrots are softened (5-8 minutes). Deglaze your pan with the wine and let the onions and carrots simmer for another 5 minutes. Add your jar of marinara, a little more salt and pepper to taste, and let the sauce simmer for 15-20 minutes. Presto! Marinara sauce with a whole new flavor (a delicious one at that).

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This is an easy meal to make ahead of time and eat off of for the week! Happy cooking and let me know how the recipes come out 🙂

“Why it’s easier to write when you’re sad…”

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Over the past few weeks (15 days) since I wrote my first blog, I’ve started to feel a little less anxious, more focused, and generally present in life. The light is on and someone appears to be home! It’s not that blogging helps me get through my work or solve any specific problems (yet), but it does allow me to take the thoughts that are usually doing cartwheels in my head, and get them down somewhere in order to make room for the other important things I need to think about. The term “Monkey Mind” refers to, “A person who suffers from a consciousness whose constituent parts will not stop bouncing from skull-side to skull-side, which keep flipping and jumping and flinging feces at the walls and swinging from loose neurons like howlers from vines,” and I definitely have a monkey mind (Monkey Mind by Daniel Smith is an incredible book and I highly recommend it!).

About a year and a half ago, during a time I’d most certainly refer to as my own personal dark age (you all know what I’m talking about), I started writing in a journal to attempt to remove the gymnast monkeys from my brain; to help me sleep and to help me figure out WHAT THE HELL I was doing wrong to end up upset every other day (at best). When writing, I figured that one day I would re-read my entries and learn from my past mistakes as well as feel more fortunate for the better situation I was currently in. Like Kelsie said in her last post, I was hoping that I’d look back to the events that at the time, seemed to represent the end of my world, and laugh at how silly they really were. Over time, I noticed that my entries were becoming more and more depressing. It seemed that I would only write when I hit rock bottom and didn’t want to bother my friends and family with the same issues I already cried to them about on a weekly basis. When I was happy, I barely wrote. I was so excited to be out in the world living my life that I didn’t want to be cooped up alone in my room, writing a “diary” entry to my future self. I recently remembered two Thought Catalog articles that perfectly articulate this little phenomenon: Why it’s harder to write when you’re happy and Why it’s easier to write when you’re sad. Not only does this blog force me to be more positive (because it’s still making it’s way to the e-mail inboxes of my friends and family anyway), but it also makes me WANT to be more positive. As important as reflecting on mistakes is in order to not make them again, I’d much rather share and remember the happy times, and the positive lessons I’ve learned from both good and bad experiences. So while you all continue to be wonderful and supportive readers, I will continue to write because not only is it therapeutic for me, but I hope it can also be helpful and hopeful for you!

 

Its a Small World After All

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When you grow up, your mom and dad always talk about what a “small world” it is. You look up at them with your big eyes thinking the entire world is small?! Heck the town you live in seems big, let alone the whole WORLD. It’s like in A Bugs Life when they are little microscopic things hanging out in the big blades of grass (Disney movie references will happen often, and are probably the only movies I can reference off the top of my head – kid at heart). Well since moving to Boston, I have to say mom and dad – you might have been on to something.

I use to live in Michigan where I went to middle school and some of high school. I moved to Connecticut my junior year and really didn’t keep in touch with too many people in my old town. So flash forward a few years and I’m at the Harpoon Beerfest in Boston this past September.  I see someone who looks shockingly identical to a friend’s brother from Michigan. I think, no way – that can’t be him and even if it’s not I have to tell Kaitlin that her brother has a twin! Turns out, it was him and he had ended up moving from Michigan to go to Harvard. Even crazier, one of my best friends from middle school had also decided to take a job in Boston and she now lived ten minutes from me! Cue the soundtrack to the Disney ride, “It’s a Small World After All.”

I actually had dinner with her last night and it was insane how much had changed around us, but it felt like I was talking to my old friend. I had completely lost my southern accent (womp womp), which definitely weirded her out, but she was the same great girl I remembered from my 12th birthday party. We caught up on families, where we were in life, dating (I still owe you a post on that – can you tell I’m procrastinating?), and where everyone we grew up with was now.  Some of the mean kids had karma catch up with them (I guess my parents were right about more than just the small world – shhhh don’t tell my mom), our favorite teachers were still around, old cheerleading coaches had all the latest updates on the girls we spent every afternoon with, our siblings were off to become real people and our parents were still as goofy as they were back then.

It’s funny how life all has a way of working out and surprising you. I never thought I would end up in the city or catching up on life with the girl I use to play “Pretty Pretty Princess” with after school. Its little things like that I come to appreciate a lot more as I get older. One of the common themes of my conversation with her last night was that life seemed so tough back then. The girls that wouldn’t invite you to the party, the boys who liked the popular girls instead of us, middle school/high school drama that sends every girl home in a fit of tears once or twice at least – it all seemed so important back then. Like it was the only thing that mattered and our whole lives were RUINED when the boy in math class never asked us out. I remember lying in bed closing my eyes so tight and saying “pretty please God, I’ll never ask for anything ever again if Matt just likes me!” (I’m not even ashamed to admit it, because I know almost every girl reading this did the same thing) Long story short, I guess everything has a way of working out.

Veering off from the small world theme for a minute, I look around at some of the troubles I have right now and think in five years from now is this all going to matter?  The reality of it, probably not because in five years I’ll be on a whole other adventure and all these little stressors aren’t going to be what I remember. I’m going to remember the dinners with my best friends getting lost in a bottle of wine and stories for hours. Spending my whole afternoon at the Crossfit gym not because Im working out, but because I just want to spend time with some of the coolest people Ive met. The apple picking adventures with my sisters and parents, complaining that mom is taking too many pictures and dad keeps eating the apples we have. Spending hours in an old Ford Ranger on the top of a hill in my New England town getting lost in figuring out life with an old friend. Those are the things I’m going to hold on to five, ten, fifty years from now.

So take a deep breath, and look at all the good things around you.  Take those memories and hold them tight in your heart. No matter how crazy life gets, those are the things that will always matter the most.

How much is too much?

Yesterday during my orientation, a professor recited a quote that he often tells his undergraduate business students…something along the lines of “If you are on top of your work and feel that you have done it all right, you are on your way to being fired.” Of course, the undergrads didn’t quite believe the words of this wise man and it makes sense because this generation of college students are SO efficient that it wouldn’t surprise me if they got everything done (and done perfectly)…but for my sake, I hope it’s true.

Up until recently, I had a wonderful weekday morning routine…get into work at 7:30ish, grab a coffee, change out of whatever comfortable shoes I was wearing into some more professional (but less comfortable) footwear, and then proceed to check Facebook, Thought Catalog, Yahoo, Gmail, and the New York Times (all in that order). By the time 8am rolled around, I had read and forwarded a few inspirational Thought Catalog articles to my roommates, read the latest celebrity gossip and promptly texted Lans about it (Chris Brown’s neck tattoo…you heard it here first), was mostly up to speed on my world news, and had sort of replied to my personal e-mails while getting distracted by online sales at Bloomingdales. Within the past few weeks, everything changed. Even with grad school a month away, I was getting to the office earlier than usual, skipping my morning ritual (except for the coffee and shoes part), and diving right into my piles of work until around 6 or 7pm when I would start to see spots and go home…to answer a few more emails before bed. In a nutshell, if I cloned myself and added another 24 hours to each day, I would probably still feel incredibly behind (and I’m not even talking about my personal life!)…so if my professor is right, at least I have some job security? (I’m still looking for those extra hours in the day. Lans and I are convinced that we left them in Vegas…or the old and moldy lost hours are what is making our fridge smell).

I can’t tell if this was intentional or a coincidence but this afternoon, my boss made a point to tell me how I should protect my time outside of work, especially since my “free time” will soon be replaced with group projects, classes, and exams. I’m sure my boss had seen the occasional e-mail I reply-all’ed to on the weekend or after 10pm, but I was hoping that she would see and appreciate my dedication, especially as my review is less than a month away. Even though I sometimes suffer from the “Capability Penalty” (doing so well and working so hard that you are given more and more work and responsibility to the point of a panic attack) and thought that doing work tonight would take some of the edge off, I decided to blog instead…because it makes me happy and I enjoy it. The moral of my story is still a bit unclear but if you take only one thing away, take away this…

Don’t lose sight of the things that you love, even if you feel like you’re drowning in the corporate pool. If your life and happiness suffer, your work will suffer too. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll still be back at work by 6:30am tomorrow but tonight, I put my fuzzy socked foot down and it felt AMAZING!

And so it begins…

I knew this day would come quickly but I never realized that 4 months would pass SO quickly. I’m currently sitting on the 57 bus heading to my business school orientation and trying to imagine how I am going to get through the next three years. The idea of balancing full time work, almost full time grad school, a be fit workout program, friends, and family seemed a little less daunting at the time I applied, but now the panic and anxiety are sweeping in and I’m mentally shuffling my priorities around…who needs sleep anyway? I’m definitely the youngest in my class but I also look 5 years younger than I am. Will anyone take me seriously? Will people be friendly? Will I be able to keep up? That is yet to be determined…but I’ll try and tackle each day one at a time. On the bright side, I liked the first outfit I put on which NEVER happens…really, never.

Anywho, it’s too late to change my mind now so all I can do is jump in with both feet and hope that there are no sharks in the water (or eels…I really hate eels)…

I hope everyone has a wonderful and stress-free day!

Tell me I cant, and I’ll prove you wrong

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Have you ever heard the saying, “Tell me I can’t, and I’ll prove you wrong 50 times over”? That’s always been my mantra and view on life and the older I get the more true it rings. Especially within the past 2 years or so, I’ve found that people are always going to doubt you. If you can run the mile fast enough, finish the presentation to high standards, or something as simple as showing up on time. The faith we have in each other is dwindling by the day and it fuels me to push myself farther than anyone believes I can go. I was reminded how motivating those words can be today at work, but they also brought a couple other stories to mind as well.

When I first started working, I was on a project that had me travelling four days a week every week. In and out of airports, calling the Sheraton and Marriott my home, making friends with the concierge staff and living out of a suitcase was my reality. It wasn’t so bad as I’m pretty much on the go all the time regardless if I’m crossing state lines or in my own town, but I found you meet some really interesting people when you travel and this man was no exception. I had a few months of bumpy flights which led me to be pretty fearful that every plane I got on was going to spontaneously plummet to the ground at the smallest sign of turbulence – good times. I had just gotten off a pretty bumpy flight and settling into my connection when the man sitting across the aisle from me struck up a conversation. Nice guy, average joe, telling me about his family and the fact that he built radiation machines within hospitals and was on his way to repair one at that moment. Upon hitting our first bit of turbulence I immediately grip the arm rest and he sees me do so. He laughs and asks if I’m scared and I explain that flying through Hurricane Irene can make you a little leery of turbulence. He follows by asking me if I understood what turbulence was. I say of course, it’s the warm air meeting the cool air in the atmosphere (which I had actually just learned from the pilot I sat next to on my prior flight – handy). The look of shock covers his face and he says, “Wow, pretty AND smart. Never would have thought by the looks of you.” I’m sorry, what did you just say? Nevertheless, our conversation was over and I was noticeably peeved. First of many moments I realized there were some seriously numb minded people out there.

The next story happened a few months ago when I was in my office. Now like I said, I made the spontaneous decision to move to Boston months ago and it kind of shocked my family, friends, and co-workers since I had just been asking them for apartment advice in CT days earlier. So I’m roaming around the office (still haven’t figured it out as it’s about 10 times bigger than my last) and I run into a coworker from my previous office. Small talk ensues then he asks, “So is your rash decision to move to Boston still worth it 6 months later?” Again, cue the blank stare and I am SURE I didn’t hear him correctly. I ask him what he means to which he replies, “yea a few of us assumed you would be back in Hartford before the end of the summer.” I can only assume he thought this because I use to be a very calculated person and planned everything to a fault. If I wasn’t 100% sure something was going to work out just how I thought it would, I didn’t do it. If there was even an inkling trouble would be looming around the corner, it didn’t happen. Feeling my face turning read, I turned on the southern charm and a smile I like to muster up every now and then (thank you mom!) and replied, “120%. Great to see you, keep in touch.” You would have thought I was on a runway with how precise and hard my feet were hitting the ground. I walk pretty heavy, but my stiletto could have cracked concrete that day.

So here we are today. Little background, I had a director who is close to impossible to please. For some reason I have a bull’s-eye on my forehead that they liked to throw darts at daily whether it be embarrassing me in front of the client, having me stay up till 4am working on a document they never planned to use, or having me redo something five times over because they couldn’t figure out what they wanted. I have recently been taken off their service (you can’t see it, but I’m doing a happy dance over here) and they are not pleased. The administrative assistant is no longer and they now have to fend for themselves. So I’m finishing up some work today and I get a message from them regarding a previous proposal I had put together. They are nit picking things like the font being 0.5 off and the color a shade too light and saying I missed things I know they never asked me to put in. I’m sitting there going through the motions and listening to their feedback, but not getting too down on myself knowing that half of this just came to their mind to add today. They ends the conversation with “It’s fine, you’re young. You don’t know any better.” I’m all for learning and taking constructive criticism, but this isn’t me being young and naive. Biting my tongue (they helped me perfect this skill) I apologized, hung up the phone and proceeded to scream.

My past approach to these situations had been something of a temper tantrum to my then boyfriend, friends or parents. I actually explicitly remember storming into my parent’s room after that flight and exclaiming “YOU WONT BELIEVE WHAT HAPPENED TO ME!” Guess what? Doubt is going to follow you absolutely everywhere. We live in a world that is constantly asking us to prove ourselves and I don’t foresee that changing anytime soon. Let it fuel you. Let it ignite that pilot light in your chest that lets you smile back and think, “Oh yea – watch me.” Above all, never let it make you doubt yourself. Be your biggest advocate. If someone thinks you can’t do something, don’t give them the satisfaction of letting them be right. Run that mile as fast as you can. Do your absolute best on that presentation even if there are still a few things wrong at the end. Look fear right in the eye and never let it win. If we start letting the words and negative thoughts of others overtake our mind and take our strength, then we’re making the ultimate sacrifice. I’m better than that. You’re better than that. Never forget it.

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Impossible is j…

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Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.

So I’ll tell you right now, I LOVE quotes. I have a book full of them I like to skim through on bad days, a whole pinterest board of catchy motivation and inspiration, and whenever I can’t exactly figure out what to say I often find someone said it better first.

The quote above is one of my all time favorites. A healthy reminder whenever faced with something that just seems utterly impossible. Channel that energy into solving the problem, facing the challenge, bettering yourself inside and out. A little self help book? Maybe. But your attitude has EVERYTHING to do with how you see an obstacle. Why not see it as a stepping stone.

10 Reasons I Don’t Want To Get Married Right Now

Starting the second I graduated from college, it seemed that people were getting engaged by the day. Facebook friends who I forgot about would suddenly post pictures of big shiny rocks – some of which were gorgeous while a few others made me feel better about not being engaged yet – but to each her own. When Lans and I lived together last year, I would, on the reg, storm into her room with my open laptop in tow, freaking out about the latest couple that ‘can’t wait to spend the rest of their lives together’. Listen, if anyone believes that romance still exists, it’s me. I want the amazing husband and a house with a nice backyard for my (preferably) 3 children to play in with a dog that (preferably) looks like this:

Scouty

Anyway, I am a traditional girl at heart but also recognize that we are currently living in 2013 and not 1950.

If two people love each other and know that they are going to eventually get married and spend the rest of their lives together, I guess I can see why they would just get engaged and start the rest of their lives sooner. But what’s the real point? If it’s going to happen eventually, why not push each other to explore new things, mature, and grow as a person before jumping into adulthood? As my mom is a family lawyer (aka divorce lawyer to most) and my parents went though a decade-long, grueling divorce, I have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly when it comes to marriages and what can come after. Marriages that fall apart due to mental illness, cheating, gambling, abuse, criminal acts…the list goes on and on. Although these youngin’s are currently on the romantic cloud 9 and feel that they have an unshakeable and unbreakable bond, rarely are the important things discussed (i.e.: how the children will be raised, religion, etc.) and the possibility of divorce considered (it’s depressing because no one gets married planning to get divorced). Everyone’s personality, wants, and needs are constantly changing, and I always wonder how others can know themselves well enough and be comfortable enough with themselves to jump into ‘I do’, when they do.

I came across two articles this morning relating to engagements. One is written by a fellow sorority sister The Things I Learned From – All My Friends Are Engaged and the other is from one of my favorite websites, www.thoughtcatalog.com.

Here is the thought catalog article “10 Reasons I Don’t Want To Get Married Right Now” along with my own personal commentary which I felt compelled to add (in italics):

1. I’m 24.

Back in the day, I realize that there was enormous pressure to get married early, because you could die of malnutrition, the bubonic plague or a peasant uprising, so you needed to get it in while you still could. However, I’m lucky enough to live in a day and age where I’m not being politely forced into matrimonial slavery by my imperious mother, Mrs. Bennett, and sold off to the highest bidder. I have the right and the privilege of being picky.

Also, there are things I want to accomplish in my life before I tie the knot and have a bun in the oven. I want to start (and finish) Business School, travel the world, and make a few more bad life decisions (see #2 below), all of which could probably not be done (or as easily) if I had other commitments such as a husband, children, and a dog.

2. Let me reiterate: I’m young, and not dying.

As a twenty-something human person, I’m at that age where I don’t even know if I want to get into a relationship, as I relish my ability to make mistakes and get messy. I like being able to go out and do something totally stupid with a stranger — that I will definitely regret next week — and trying to find myself and getting hurt. I like being the only person who is accountable for my mistakes and being able to take pride in them. This is the time where I’m supposed to find out who I am, with all the misery and joy that entails.

I definitely do not believe that I have fully grown into the woman I am going to be for the rest of my life. Who, at 24 (or younger), knows this? Also, not only do I like being the only person who is accountable for my mistakes, but I also like to be the only human I am responsible for in general.

3. I want a better marriage than my parents.

My parents got married when they were 18 and 19, not because they were pregnant, but because they were in love. They were young and dumb enough to think that they’d each met the love of their life — instead of “the person who will spend the next decade driving me insane.” Most kids of divorce nostalgize their parents’ marriage, hoping that they will get back together. (The Parent Trap ruined a lot of childhoods.) I don’t think my parents should have ever gotten married. Because my mother got married and had kids so young, she never had a chance to figure out her own identity as an adult. She always had to live vicariously through her husband and her children and it took her until she was in her forties to even figure out who she was. I don’t think that’s a life anyone wants.

My parents were engaged after about six weeks…see statement above regarding their 10 year divorce. I do have to give them credit for making it through 15 years of marriage though!

4. I want to have a better marriage than Britney Spears and Jason Alexander.

You know that thing about gays ruining the sanctity of marriage? I think Vegas already beat us to it. I don’t care if my marriage meets the socially agreed upon sanctity benchmark (because what does that word even really mean?), but I have standards for godsakes. However, if Joseph Gordon-Levitt wants to get married for 55 hours, I’m okay with that. I know exactly what we would be doing for all 55 of those hours. Playing Scrabble.

Or in my previous article, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West (although they’re not married yet)…better yet, Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries. I also have to say that I LOVE Joseph Gordon-Levitt…and scrabble. Marry me?

5. I don’t want to be one of those people who just marries anyone.

Everyone has that friend who seems like they will go out with almost anyone who will have them — who values being in a relationship more than the specific person they’re in it with. God love her, my mother was like that in high school, looking for validation and comfort more than an actual relationship. And I don’t want that. I’m not going to be some Bridezilla who is looking for their SoUlMaTe and all that Hallmark garbage, but goddamn it, I want to have spent enough time to know I don’t want to be with anyone else. When I say my vows, I want to spontaneously burst into tears, knowing just how much those words mean. You can’t give them to whoever happens to show up.

I’ve learned to become more picky about who I date, so I sure as hell will be more picky about who I marry!

6. I can barely take care of myself.

Most days I find it difficult to get out of bed and dress myself appropriately. I’m still not totally sure how to work my stove, and just the other day, I found out it has AN ENTIRE OTHER OVEN. I can’t even own a fern without killing it, so how the hell am I going to be responsible enough to handle a marriage?

I have literally come to work with my underwear on backwards…enough said.

7. Great relationships are work.

When I look at all the great couples I know, the ones whose relationships I want, I think about how much work it takes to stay together. Sure, relationships are happiness and joy and sunshine, but they are also struggle and toil. They take the head-on commitment of two people who are able and willing to give all they have to making it work. And you have to be ready for that, for the load you have to carry when you say you’re in it for the long haul.

Amen.

8. Because marriage is about love (or something) and not societal pressure.

I know a strange amount of people who got married right out of high school not out of a need to be with this person, but because it was “the thing to do.” They’d been dating for a certain amount of time and were happy enough, so why not? I don’t think there’s anything wrong with marrying young (technically), but you should have a better reason for it than “just ’cause.” We think we have to get married, because it’s what expected of us (and for us Catholics and Jews, sometimes at gunpoint), but all that’s expected of you is to lead a life you love. If your family and friends love you and truly want the best for you, they’ll understand that you decide what that is.

Couples should be able to come up with reasons why they SHOULD get married as opposed to ‘why not just get married’?

9. My exes have given me high standards for relationships.

Everyone has those exes they complain about, but I feel like I’ve been really lucky to date some of the people I’ve gotten to spend time with, ones who have set the bar pretty high for my future mates. If I’m going to get married to someone, I think that they should be better match for me than all of my exes. My exes taught me what it was to have high standards — which I feel are a must when getting into something as crucial as marriage. I came pretty close to marrying my college boyfriend — who it felt right with, until it wasn’t — and I know how important those feelings are. I wouldn’t settle for anything less.

Although this is semi questionable for me, I would say that ex boyfriends have shown me what I like and don’t like in relationships, as well as what I deserve. In my next relationship, I will accept nothing less.

10. I already have a husband. His name is Netflix.

And I swear, baby, the first moment they make human-technology matrimony legal, I’m making it official. This love is the realest.

My husband could be white wine, or froyo, or Nicholas Brody from Homeland…he’s not actually a terrorist in real life! Hmm I wonder if the equal marriage rights in Massachusetts apply to Sauvignon Blanc and coffee hazelnut froyo with melted crunch bar?