Monday, April 29, 2013

I Am Man Repellant

 UPDATE: Turns out Mitt Romney disagrees with me. I guess I shouldn't be surprised.

I am writing in response to the lovely lady graduate of Princeton who recently admonished young women who were attending that prestigious university to find and marry a man as soon as possible. If they don't they will regret it for the rest of their lives. She did it twice. Once she wrote about it, and then she went and visited the campus and repeated herself in person.

 I disagree strongly. I didn't get married until I was 48 -- almost 49. 

I am man repellant.

I am a woman who lived through my twenties and thirties mostly as a single woman. I had a few relationships here and there. None of them were too important. A couple of trysts I treated as more important than they were, and a couple of affairs I probably should've paid more attention to, but I didn't. 

The truth is that if I had married anyone that I met when I was in college, I would've regretted it for the rest of my life. I wasn't ready to be loved or give love in a way that makes a long term relationship successful. My dad always said that I was a late bloomer. It always got under my skin when he said it, but now that I'm older I'm able to admit that he was right. I am a really late bloomer. 

Sometimes I wish that I had gotten involved with someone enough to have children when I was in my late thirties or early forties, but I know that I wouldn't still be with that person. Or if I was, it would only be for the children. And I don't think that's a good lesson for children. I think you should teach children about happiness by letting them see how you find yours. I think that's one of the most important lessons that you can teach children. 

But what do I know? I'm not a mom. I am not a teacher. I am, however, someone who struggled to find their own path for many years. And sometimes I was lonely. I could choose to regret all those years out in the woods while I was trying to find my own way. But I wasn't completely lost. That's not what it looked like to me. Just as I am now, I was a vibrant and active member of society. I was caring and giving. I learned. I worked. I played. I loved. I lost. I won. I lived. I think it would be a poor decision to regret any of it. 

I'm not saying that I'm a better person because I waited until I was 48 until I got married. I'm just saying that I'm a better me because I waited. I waited for me to be grown up and ready for love and, most importantly, for the right man to stumble into my life. 

And that's when every woman should get married -- exactly at that very nebulous time in her life. When she's ready and she's found the one. And until then, she shouldn't ever feel like she's man repellant. And shame on anyone who calls her that behind her back. For that is what's truly repellant.


Veronica Scott said...

Best wishes to you, all things happen when the time is *right*!

Lynne Marshall said...

Oh this is a topic close to my heart. If I'd met my husband in high school, we would have hated each other. If I'd met my husband in my twenties, I would have called him a lot of stereotype names (because he was a police officer). But the good news is, I met my husband in my early thirties, after I'd recently told a friend - "At this point, I even date a cop!"

ha ha - I was the doofus. Not him.

I am also a late bloomer. Some of us ladies are. I met the right man at the right time. We were good for each other.

Waiting to find the right person to commit to is hard, but it is worth it!

Hang tight those in holding pattern out there. Life has a way of sending us in the right direction. (early or late, it's our pathe)

Christine Ashworth said...

This is an AWESOME post by an AWESOME woman. I was lucky - I met the guy I could see myself grow old with when I was seventeen. Were there rocky years? Hell yeah. But he was patient, and I finally grew up, and we're still together. But I am hyper aware that we were lucky - especially since we're more in love now than we ever were.

But I agree - marry when it's that nebulous "right time" and "right guy" - not just because someone else says you "should be".

Hugs hon!

Kady Winter said...

Yeah Sarah! Acting out of fear is the real danger, not waiting for the right one. And when he's right, we know. We don't have to talk ourselves into it - whether we're 17 or 48. Mine came when I was 24, and he was 44. I never would have imagined, but here we are, 2 kids and many years later and going strong! xxoo Kady

Samanthe Beck said...

Hey, you don't have to be single, or over any certain age to be man repellant. I have proven that many times over. :)

Susan Bloomingdale said...

48 or 84, it doesn't matter as long as you have found LOVE! Some people go an entire lifetime and never find it! Count your blessings, friend! Wonderfully written post with great insight!

Janie Emaus said...

So well put. Society puts too much pressure on us to conform to others. We should marry when we're ready. Or not. Have kids. Or not. Individuality is what makes the world go roung.

Carol Ericson said...

Waving hand - another late bloomer here. I got married when I was 36 and had kids at 38 and 39 1/2. I don't regret it. I had unencumbered fun in my 20's and 30's - traveled and had affairs with inappropriate men I'd never dream of settling down with! (Lovely pic!)

Roz Lee said...

What a lovely post! I was considered a late bloomer by my mother's standards. I waited until I was 21 to marry my high school sweetheart! LOL I raised my daughters different - told them to make a life for themselves first, and if they found someone special to spend that life with, then to go for it. I've been happily married for 30+ years now, but I applaud you for not compromising your standards. You found the right guy and I have to say, he's one lucky fellow to have found you. I think I may have even told him that! If not, feel free to pass it along, but then again, I'm sure he's already figured that out.

Beverly Diehl said...

IMO, the point is, you didn't just grab the nearest available man because he had a pulse and a penis. THAT's where many women make a terrible mistake, IMO.

One of my favorite aunts married my widower uncle; she was 59, he was 62. They had more than 25 very happy years together.

I am single now, and happy; I have been paired in the past, sometimes happily, sometimes not. I often think people who are so desperate to enforce THEIR choice on others are not so sure about it, themselves. Man-repellant! *snorting*

Christine London said...

"You should teach children about happiness by letting them see how you find yours."

You are a wise woman indeed.

How come more folks don't talk about living a little before and if you settle down? This was the definite drawback before thee sexual revolution where all were admonished to 'save it' for marriage. How many 'Seven Year Itches" did that spawn?

Now I am not saying that the pendulum swinging to the far left is all sweetness and light either. Women are now expected to sleep with a man by the second or third 'date'--if you can call "hey lets chill sometime" a date. Dating today leave a woman very vulnerable indeed.

This is such a great post, Sarah. Thanks for sharing your heard earned wisdom. Oh--from one late bloomer to another who is still not all 'growed up' in her heart --we savor the success so much more than to those who it comes easy and early.

Jennifer Haymore said...

I found the Princeton graduate's advice pretty disturbing on a number of levels. Yikes!

From a woman who met her husband in college and has been happily married since, I find yours to be a voice of reason. You find your permanent partner when you're ready for it to happen, whether you're 18, 38, or 108.


Kathy Bennett said...

What a poignant, and emotionally involving blog post.

I'm one of those people who got married too young. Naturally, it didn't work out because we grew up and realized we'd made a mistake.

My next attempt at marriage left me as an abused wife, so that didn't work out either.

Ah, but good things come to those who wait (and learn) and I finally met my soul-mate and rock at age 36. More amazingly, he had never been married and was willing to take a chance on a twice-divorced woman with a teenaged daughter.

I'm a firm believer things happen for a reason and I needed those two previous 'not so right' experiences to be the 'me' that my present husband fell in love with.

Love is just like writing...there are many different kinds and paths to take to find success.

One of my favorite blog posts - ever!