Why Are We Getting Married and Pregnant at 23?

It seems every Sunday night, Mark Zuckerberg likes to play this game with my Facebook Newsfeed. People keep changing their relationship statuses and uploading photos of their left hands with sparkly diamonds. If I am REALLY lucky, a sonogram photo makes it onto the list of most recent news. I have no problem with people getting married (or the gender of either party). I get excited for old camp counselors and baby sitters and family friends when they announce their engagements, their pregnancies. My issue lies with the people I just graduated with, who are still struggling to find stable jobs, who have just recently moved out of their parents’ homes, and who are committing themselves to this one person who they met in the basement of a fraternity for the rest of their lives.

I can’t commit to a nail polish color without a minimum of six minutes of deliberation, let alone a husband. The word alone makes me break out in hives.

Maybe this has to do with me being selfish. My last relationship ended because the guy felt I prioritized every other aspect of my life over him. I didn’t see the problem with this. Happy hour invitations and Homecoming weekend at Penn State with my friends will always rank higher  than a date night. I refuse to be the person who drops her friends for a guy or changes my opinions just to appease someone else. At twenty-freaking-two, my priorities are my career, my gym’s class schedule, and the current sales in the Nordstrom shoe department.

I am still learning about chevron and the difference between left and ring wing politics and the rules of Olympic handball. I am still learning about myself and how to make myself a happy, fulfilled person. How are you so comfortable with who you are as a person, at 22, 23, 24, that you know who you plan to spend your ENTIRE life with? The way science is improving that equals EIGHTY years with one person. Hell, I wouldn’t even want to spend 80 years with Justin Timberlake. (JT, if you’re reading, I am lying.)

The people my age who are pregnant, on purpose, scare me even more. If you knew the current state of my bedroom or the backseat of my car or the inside of my purse… you’d know I am not responsible enough to take care of myself, let alone be in charge of another tiny human. I can’t sew a button, I can’t iron a shirt, and I can’t make a meal that doesn’t revolve around eggs and bacon. There would be a lot of googling of “how to change a diaper” and “are babies able to eat cold, leftover Chinese food.”

It’s not that I don’t like kids. I like them when they are clean and funny and smart and in cardigans and in bow ties. I just like returning them to their owners even more.

It should come as no surprise to anyone who knows me that I was never the girl growing up who had planned her wedding and her fairytale family. I had plans to write books and travel and become a lawyer and a plastic surgeon and a forensic scientist and a detective. Whatever, my Grandma introduced me to Law and Order and CSI when I was ten. It happens. If a husband and two kids and a picket fence fits into my plan of “having it all,” it would be breaking news to me.

I don’t understand when we switched from being career-driven, focused, creative young professionals to girls fawning over baby onesies and wedding registries. I will continue to spend the next few years focusing on making myself a better public relations executive while these others girls get their official MRS. degrees. Maybe by the time I’m 36 I’ll consider getting married. If I have the time. And if I do get engaged, you better freaking believe I’m getting a manicure before I mupload that photo onto my Facebook page.

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6 thoughts on “Why Are We Getting Married and Pregnant at 23?

  1. Came across your blog from Gridiron Lipstick. I completely agree with your sentiments here. Facebook has become Marriage/Babybook and there is nothing I find less appealing than seeing someones uterus on Facebook. I also have issues with other people making major announcements for you via their own pages.

  2. PREACH, sister. I’m 23 and graduated in 2011. I don’t have any sort of job figured out; I haven’t been anywhere in life; I haven’t figured out any of my true “values”; and I most certainly love/need a good happy hour.

    I’m getting there though..so far I’ve worked my butt off and got a job I love after I graduated and have plans for career advancement in my field of study; I travel wherever I want, whenever I want with the money that I have earned (i.e. not money from my parents); I live entirely for myself and have a pretty good idea about where I stand on the whole “left vs right wing” debacle. I frequently receive invitations from my friends to attend homecoming(s), happy hours, and even trips to the mall to shop for the afternoon (love me a good Nordstrom sale) and I enjoy every bit of it! My cooking leaves something to be desired, but I get by. And at the end of the day, I still manage to make it to the gym for a little “me time.”

    At twenty-freaking-three my priorities are making myself happy and the things that make me happy are surrounding myself with people I love. I feel confident in who I am and what defines me as an individual. I have had consistent beliefs for as long as I can remember and don’t foresee going through any life-crises that could alter that (but who knows, maybe something will come up that I’m not prepared for.. but that’s life). I am career-driven and 100% focused on my life goals. I will be attending graduate school to receive my doctorate and eagerly await what my future holds. I am also engaged.

    Next year I will be marrying a man who supports me in all my endeavors – someone who wants to travel the world WITH me and who enjoys a good happy hour beverage as much as the next 9-5er. Are we joined at the hip? Nope. Do we have our own values and respect each other for our differences but want to experience life together? Absolutely. I am thrilled to spend as much of my life as possible with a companion, someone who I know will always be there for me in more ways than one.

    To individuals like yourself who criticize others for making big decisions early in life, I say this: life is short, embrace it. We don’t know what tomorrow will bring, so I want to hold what is near and dear to me as close as I can, as soon as I can, and for as long as I can. The future is new and exciting whether you experience it on your own or with someone.

    I will not pass judgement on you for how you choose to live your life just as I would hope you would do the same for me. If you are tired of reading about engagements and pregnancies on Facebook that you deem “too soon” then I suggest you delete your account. If I am happy, I will share that news be it in person or online.

    So please, enjoy your travels, nail color decisions, and that new spin class! Just know that not everyone agrees with how you’re living YOUR life, but those are your choices and no one is writing blog posts criticizing what makes you happy. In all honesty, I wish you the best.. just maybe take a second to realize that not everyone has the same plans or goals in life as you.

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