Seriously, it doesn’t make sense to me how many women have decided that they need to achieve everything on their bucket list before tying the knot as though they’re going to subsequently turn into a completely different person afterward.
Obviously, there are some things like bedhopping or extreme emotional issues and personality disorders that need to be abandoned or worked through before getting married. But that’s not the kind of thing I’m talking about. You’ve heard the lists: achieve a certain career status, travel to Europe, have girls-only weekends, lose fifteen pounds, buy the dream car, or something else that some have erroneously decided is only an option for single women. Even something as silly as “enjoy sitting home alone with nothing but your t-shirt on” makes some before-I-get-married lists.
I’ll never forget the time Wendy Williams admonished girls to wait until their 30’s to get married saying:
“You should never get married until you have stayed in your own apartment—no parents, no roommates, you can come home, sit in your bra and panties in front of the fan.”
Never mind the fact that I had my own apartment well before I was thirty. In fact, I lived alone at 23 and had a serious love/hate relationship with the arrangement. It was cool when I wanted to be by myself during the daylight hours. But it was not cool at all when I was sitting on top of my kitchen table for nearly an hour in a standoff with a ladybug clear across the room because I’m deathly afraid of insects. Nor when I heard a noise in the middle of the night and became convinced I was about to become the next victim profiled on Nancy Grace. Nor when I was having to close my bedroom door in a lame attempt to convince the cable guy that my big, strong, scary, (non-existent) boyfriend was sleeping in there in case the cable was up to no good. Honestly, staying in my own apartment is the last thing I miss about being single.
But, beyond that, why does Wendy (and so many other women) believe that getting married means not being yourself anymore? Is there a wife on the planet who feels that the ring on her finger means she can’t sit around in her bra and panties in front of a fan? If so, it’s probably because that “Dual Income, No Kids” life means being able to afford Central Air. In all seriousness, what exactly are women expected to change about themselves as a result of getting married?
I’m asking because personally the change in my life has been fairly unremarkable since I modified my last name and so maybe I’m missing something. I haven’t been hitched that long, but if the other shoe didn’t drop at the altar then there’s no reason to believe it will happen tomorrow. I strongly believe that getting married doesn’t have to mean giving up who you are because the person who marries you is marrying who you are.
For some reason, despite this Age of Overshare we live in that’s devoid of any mystery whatsoever, women seem to be convinced that they’re going to marry a man who doesn’t know them that well or like them that much. That’s highly unlikely though. Think about it: You tweet 456 times per day, every single thought that pops into your head, yet have this baseless and unfounded fear that you’re going to marry someone who isn’t aware that you want to keep your last name? I know personal information via Twitter about people whom I wouldn’t recognize if they sat next to me on my front porch. Therefore, it’s pretty safe to say that a potential husband would have some sort of clue about the woman he’s with and conversely you’ll have a clue about him. If you don’t want to be the kind of wife married to a man who expects you to iron his boxers, then know that being married doesn’t mean having to iron your husband’s boxers and don’t marry a man who expects you to do that. It’s truly that simple.
Granted, there are definitely women who have allowed their marriage to change them in enormous ways. Notice I said “allowed.” If a woman had a bourgeoning career, close friendships, and dreams of the future before she exchanged vows and has now only become a former shell of herself, then somewhere in there the choice was made to change. Those types of women are the exception and not the rule. This isn’t to say that things won’t change at all if you get married, of course there will be some differences. However, an altar is not going to do for you what a phone booth did for Clark Kent and transform you past the point of recognition.
If you have a list of things you want to do before you get married then by all means check them off. However, I hope you don’t feel like if you don’t do certain things before you jump the broom then you’ve missed your opportunity because that’s just not true.