Happy days! I got to dress up this past weekend! Being unattached and the fact that my work doesn’t really have a Christmas party, I don’t really have any festive celebrations to go to that require getting all prettied up. But this past weekend I did a Christmas show with the community theatre that I’m heavily involved with. I enjoy community theatre, as I have met some wonderful people and made some really great friendships. There’s an eclectic mix of us thespians, young and old from different walks of life, it truly is a great group.
So, I went to our Christmas performance, and there’s a little refreshments “party” beforehand where we mingle with theatre goers and spread Christmas cheer, with yummy treats and chatting. I’m there, dressed up, hair done, make up sparkling, a smile permanently etched on my face; fluttering about the room, chatting, and posing for pictures. I am feeling pretty good, I’m not on anyone’s arm and I’m managing to work the room during the semblance of a Christmas Party 🙂
Then I notice one of our younger theatre members (I think she’s about 18) gazing at the young man on stage we have playing some Christmas music for the gathering. Ah ha! I recognize that look of admiration, I think I’ll have a bit of fun and tease her! I come up beside her and totally break her concentration on the young musician. “Have a thing for the musician? You could say hi to him during his break you know, and I bet we could even find out if he’s single”, I tease her with a cheeky wink. “No, I don’t need a date right now, I’m good”. She replied laughing. “I hear you”, I agree with her, “I’m not really trying much for dates these days either, the opposite sex is too bothersome for me at the moment”. To which she agrees, and we both have a little shared “girls’ moment” giggle on our lament about men. And then out came the words, “You know, I’ll probably be like you are at your age”….
The wind in my sails just deflated, and I’m pretty sure my permanently etched smile faltered for a second. I am all of a sudden painfully aware of my almost 30 years on this earth, and I struggle to remember how I viewed 30 when I was only 18 years of age. This girl and I were just laughing about shared troubles, we had done some shows together, been to meetings, we were acquaintances, I tried to coach her and guide her in the theatre group; surely she didn’t mean this as insultingly as my mind at that moment processed it… Old! I’m pretty sure she just called me old!
I continued the laughter we had just shared in our own private joke, and queried, “um, my age? You speak as if I’m ancient!…and what do we mean, like me?”. The poor girl started back peddling furiously, “well, I didn’t mean anything bad, you just, you know, you’re single, older, and seem ok about it”…Ah, ok, she was trying to say she felt ok about her pending doomed future, 12 years down the road of being single. I resigned to her train of thinking, and said “I haven’t always been single, I’ve had a few attempts at relationships hon, I’ve even been married. I joke when I say I’m swearing off men. We have to take chances to be happy. But I’ll never say that I NEED someone to be happy. Go say hi to that cute musician, could turn out to be a good thing”. I continued on with the party and the show. My character was a housewife, with a loving husband, and two beautiful children; I tenderly held my fake husband and looked at my stage children with admiration, it was nice to pretend…You know… How I am… At my age….
I got home that evening and stripped down, looking at myself in the mirror at every angle, searching for that expiration date that I’m sure my younger thespian thought I had somewhere on me.. You know, at my age. Do we have one of those? A predetermined date or age in life where we have to throw in the towel, and accept a life of solitude? (and procure alot of cats for my cat-ladyhood and spinster life?) Yes, I realize as a woman there are biological aspects that I have to worry about (and my wonderful, loving mother likes to remind me in jest at times that “I’m not getting any younger”), but when is the pressure to be applied? Ideally, I would love to meet that special someone, settle down, have a family, and a household together. I think a child would be best influenced by both a mother AND a father. But realistically, I know that the biological aspect isn’t a reason to rush at finding a partner either (despite what my mother tells me). I’ve always been well aware that medical science is a wonderful thing and I could certainly provide more than enough love and support for a child on my own (with my wonderful, supportive family and friends). Even from an extremely young age I’ve been aware that you don’t need a man (partner) to have a baby– (really, it’s been a prevalent idea in my mind, as my parents can attest to having the school phone home because their 8 year old daughter is explaining exactly what artificial insemination is and claims that if she doesn’t find a good, suitable husband she can still have a baby – true story and what made it all that much better is, I went to a Catholic school! Lol). But if I want that baby and/or partner, surely there must be an age I should put as a cut off, shouldn’t there? I mean, I am a healthy, young woman, childbearing should really be done by my mid thirties to be at optimal health and avoid health/developmental complications with the baby. But then, if I want that partner thing too, and I don’t find Prince Charming by my mid thirties and make a go of motherhood on my own, having a child makes dating a whole new challenge. If that comes to be the case, you all could be stuck reading this blog for quite some time with a whole other slew of challenges and lifestyle!
These are things that weigh on my mind, and I try really hard for them not to. But being around coupled friends, and having your mother reminding you of your age and her lack of grandchildren, it becomes a harder thought to place on the backburner. I am a firm believer of “everything happens for a reason” but I also believe in having some control over my own destiny (hence the logic at a young age about having babies), so this inner battle will probably take place longer and have an eventual outcome, Prince Charming or not.
As it sits, you’ll be relieved to know that I never found that expiration date anywhere on this body. So, for now, I think I’m good. Prince Charming has a while yet to get his act together and cross my path.