Happily Never After. A Statement.
When I first started writing blog posts, the first idea was to write about the daily life applications of mathematics. (Boring and can be found anywhere!) Then this intention turned into writing about being a woman in academia. For the last couple of months though, I have found myself making monthly notes of my experiences in life and I am loving it. I would be lying if I said that I don’t care how many people read my posts and if they enjoy them. Still, the most important thing about all this documenting is to go back and forth in my personal timeline and keep track of how my ideas have evolved.
I have been living outside my regular social bubble for the past year and I have met a lot of new people during that time. My life might seem unconventional to people, and I find myself having to convince them that I am happy. This can be very annoying sometimes as I am very proud of this little world of mine that I have created for myself. This post is dedicated to answering some of the personal questions I get asked frequently. Enjoy.
Question Number One; How old are you?
I am “Get off the internet, I need to use the phone” years old. I was born on the 28th of May, 1984. I am a 90’s kid. (I did not write the foregoing sentence in the past tense on purpose. Once a 90’s kid, always a 90’s kid!) I had to put the camera right up to my eye to see what I was going to take a picture of. I had to research school assignments in encyclopedias. I had to wait for my favorite song on the radio so that I could record it on a cassette tape. Last but not the least, I watched Princess Diana’s funeral on TV and saw William and Harry walk behind her casket.
Once I have answered this question and people have had enough time to figure out that I am old enough to be married the next two questions are always…
Question Number Two; Are you married? AND Question Number Three; Why Not?
I am not married. I have never been and I honestly don’t think I ever will. For a while I expected it to happen one day, but as the years passed the idea of getting married started looking less likely. Now I don’t have any appetite at all for tying the knot. So, whether you believe me or not, I AM HAPPY. Please don’t feel sorry for me, and please stop preaching that the classic fairytale formula will start working when I least expect it. I have heard it all before, one day I’ll meet Mr. Right, fall madly in love, and live happily ever after, and so on. If that happens, great, but I have no expectations. I am just celebrating the life I have. Being unmarried is no better or worse than being married. My self-actualized dreams for my future do not need to be inspired by anyone else’s limited life experiences. We are all unique individuals and we all have unique and individual destinies.
After some silence the next question is inevitable.
Question Number Four; But how about children? Don’t you want to be a mother?
No, I don’t. I have zero interest in being a mom. Wanting not to be a mother doesn’t make me a monster and it certainly doesn’t make me less of a woman. I love children – as long as they are someone else’s. I don’t have a biological clock. I didn’t suddenly develop an uncontrollable urge to have a baby at the strike of midnight on my 30th birthday. Sometimes when I spend time with children, especially when they are sweet and adorable, I wait for my biological clock to kick in, I expect it to explode into pieces and rip my heart to shreds to tell me I need a baby of my own, but nothing happens. The explosion, regret, and panic never arrive.
Oh, and before I forget, there is of course another question which is also inevitable.
Question Number Five; You are young and attractive right now, but this is not going to last forever. Who is going to take care of you when you get older?
First of all, I don’t know. As long as my body cooperates, I can take good care of myself. And since I am taking good care of my body, I think I will be good for quite a long time. I may end up in a nursing home and I am totally ok with that. I may make emotional connections with other people. I can befriend the younger generation, and I can volunteer to tutor/mentor children. I will find something to manage. Second of all, as far as I am concerned, this is the most annoying and the least sincere part of any marriage. If I address “the one” with whom I am supposed to live happily ever after as “personal retirement insurance” where is the genuine love in it?
July 2022, Willow Springs.