It’s been more than six months since I turned the big 3-0, and I have to say, so far it’s not so bad. The Buzzfeed articles are pretty spot on: I’d much prefer brunch, complete with bottomless mimosas and a few of my nearest and dearest to downing shots of Goldschlager while gyrating to the latest Pit Bull song and actively avoiding douchebags trying to grab my ass. (Actually, that’s a lie. I still enjoy the occasional shot of Goldschlager. At home. In my PJs. While watching Netflix.)
This new decade of my life has ushered in an influx of friends reproducing like jack rabbits. Apparently your twenties are for weddings and your thirties are for popping out babies. At least among my group of compadres.
About the time I attended my fifth wedding single and dateless, I started to feel like I was enduring a cruel and unusual form of punishment. It almost felt as if I were being repeatedly taunted and continuously reminded that I was nowhere close to that milestone. And then of course, my irrational and emotional side would take over and convince me that I would never get married – that I was destined to life as an old maid with nothing but a horde of Pomeranians and cats to comfort me.
Now, as more and more of my friends take on the role of mom and dad, things seem even more complicated. For starters, I’m no longer single, but still nowhere close to getting married, and even further from feeling ready to reproduce. Actually, I’m not sure if I ever want to have kids. And that thought sometimes makes me feel like a failure as a woman, like I’m abandoning some pre-ordained life role. I worry that I won’t be accepted or have anything in common with my friends who do have kids. I’m terrified that I’ll be left behind, stuck in everyone’s dust as they progress further through this journey called life while I continue to buck societal norms, albeit not always intentionally.
Will my friends, as well as society, continually reject me for being a single, childless woman? And will I have the confidence, backbone, and grit to write them off should they do so?
As with the conclusion that I am doomed to a life of solitude, I know these fears are in many ways irrational and unfounded. But, such is the curse of having a vagina. It makes you worry. It makes you blow things out of proportion. It makes you freak you the fuck out when those close-knit bonds with your girlfriends seem much more delicate than they used to be. That extra X chromosome makes those qualities run rampant. It’s just science.