I'm Ready to Join the Well-Behaved Wives Club
This is my 91st post. I have been blogging for about 4 years now. This year I will be 34 which means, I started blogging when I reached the age every single woman dreads. Although I wasn't single when I turned 30, it most often felt like it so I got used to considering myself 30 and single. And I can see how far I've grown in my thinking since then. I'm grateful to God for this growth in me - in mind, body and spirit.
And speaking of the body, yeah, let's talk about that growth. With 30 up until now came a new appreciation for my body. I pay better attention to it now and I'm aware of every little movement and feeling of discomfort, usually followed by a brief moment of panic. "Oh my God, something's wrong in there!" "Please God, don't let it be my uterus!You have yet to give me children. Remember that!" "Please don't let me turn 35 and still be single and motherless, I'm such a good person to go to waste." Not to say that women who are 35 and single are not good people or that women who are 35 and single are a waste. It's just that in my moments of panic, that's just how it reads! I'm sure if I was to turn 35 and still be single (God forbid) I would buy into the notion that 35 is the new 25 and that I am still "35 and fabulous!" Which I will be, by the way, but that's not the point. The point is that I've come to begin wanting something I never thought I'd ever want this much. And I never thought it would take a party full of miserable looking wives to get me there.
Last night, I attended a party with a friend. It was to celebrate the birth of a child, so there were lots of children on the loose, wives and mothers multitasking, and fathers and husbands just having fun. At the party, something caught my attention, and I left thinking, "I can't believe this crap! I'm ready to become one of those well-behaved wives who sits in the corner at parties with one eye on her kids and the other on her husband while her husband has a good time on the dance floor with every single woman in the room, and her children have a blast spinning on their heads and just carrying on."
Oh yes, the men were having a blast all right. They were hitting on everything in a dress and blaming it on their 4th and 5th drinks while their wives looked on helplessly and glared at us, the single gals, the leeches, trying to cheat dance with their husbands. Of course, the only other women who seemed to be having fun in that room was us - the unattached and unchaperoned. We had come simply for that purpose - to have a good time. We had brought along no responsibilities with us, and we did not need to keep an eye on anything except the wives sitting in the corner glaring while we danced with their husbands. Occasionally, to appease the women, the men would go over and take their wives' hands and bring them unto the dance floor where the men would let loose and the women would dance with their feet planted in the same spot. At this point, all the single ladies would either disperse, or huddle up in groups and dance with each other. (As you have already guessed, there weren't very many single men in the room. Married people with children tend not to have a lot of single friends.) The dynamics in the room was fascinating to watch. And I paid extra attention with a writer's eye because I was looking for a story.
I can't really explain why married women put themselves in boxes once they are married, but I felt sad for them. I had no trouble going to the drink bar and fixing myself a drink. I didn't care who was watching. And when a man was hitting on me, my only concern was "where's your wife you old fool?" Besides that, I was carefree, laughing and dancing the whole time. My sit down minutes couldn't have totaled more than a quarter of the time the party lasted. I was up on the dance floor most of the time. The sweat napping up my straightened out natural hair was evidence of just how much fun I was having.
The wives on the other hand seemed so uptight and so on guard. Its like they couldn't take their eyes off their husbands for one second to enjoy themselves. So with one eye on the little kid trying to spin on his head and break his neck, another eye was on the big baby on the dance floor spinning on his feet in all kinds of acrobatic moves. They seemed so well-behaved. The wives I mean. On the dance floor. In the way they walked across the room. The way they glared at their men. And even in the way they crossed their legs as they sat in the corners watching. They were all so grown up, so responsible. They were the ones keeping order and watching us misbehave. And even though many of them seemed so busy and miserable just sitting there, it was easy to envy them because they seemed to have it all together. There was a sense of maturity in them - even the ones who couldn't have been older than me.
As I watched and paid attention, I thought to myself, I can't believe I want to be one of them. Is this how my life is going to play out at parties once I'm married with children? I've always been the type to want to have a good time when I go out. This is why even when I'm in a relationship, I prefer to go out with my girlfriends. Its less constraining and I don't have to worry about hurting anybody's feelings. The reality of my drifting thoughts, however, became even bigger as we all began to trickle out towards the end of the party. The married women gathered their children, shoes, purses and husbands, said good-bye to the host, and went off together. Home. To a place where I'm sure even if their lives are as dull as they had portrayed them to be at the party, they would at least be surrounded by their family - something they have created - whether perfect or not.
And as I walked out to the parking lot with the girlfriend I had come with, followed by the host and his friend who had come to see us off, I was hit with the realization that once we said good-bye and got into our separate cars, we were going to drive home to the silence of our thoughts, and open the doors to the silence of our thoughts when we got there. Home. Alone. And as much as I have enjoyed every waking moment of my single life, and never thought I'd ever wish to give it up, I can't help admitting something that I never would have admitted only months before: if being a family means getting to go home to/with my family at the end of a party, then I'm ready to have that. Even if it means I don't get to have any fun at the party. Even if it means that I get to be perceived as miserable and dull (and it would hardly be the truth. That I swear!) Even if it means I have to argue with my husband about his flirtatious and unacceptable behavior on the drive home while the children snore out their exhaustion in the back seat; I'm ready to become one of those well-behaved wives. I never thought I'd be ready, but here I am, FINALLY READY!
PS: Please note that this entry was written in a cultural context that might not neccesarily relate to everyone who reads this.