I am writing in response to the lovely lady graduate of Princeton who recently admonished young women who were attending that prestigious university to find and marry a man as soon as possible. If they don't they will regret it for the rest of their lives.
I disagree. I didn't get married until I was 48 -- almost 49.
I am man repellant.
I am a woman who lived through my twenties and thirties mostly as single woman. I had a few relationships here and there. None of them were too important. A couple of trysts I treated as more important than they were, and a couple of affairs I probably should've paid more attention to, but I didn't.
The truth is that if I had married anyone that I met when I was in college, I would've regretted it for the rest of my life. I wasn't ready to be loved or give love in a way that makes a long term relationship successful. My dad always said that I was a late bloomer. It always got under my skin when he said it, but now that I'm older I'm able to admit that he was right. I am a really late bloomer.
Sometimes I wish that I had gotten involved with someone enough to have children when I was in my late thirties or early forties, but I know that I wouldn't still be with that person. Or if I was, it would only be for the children. And I don't think that's a good lesson for children. I think you should teach children about happiness by letting them see how you find yours. I think that's one of the most important lessons that you can teach children.
But what do I know? I'm not a mom. I am not a teacher. I am, however, someone who struggled to find their own path for many years. And I could choose to regret all those years out in the woods while I was trying to find my own way. But I wasn't lost. That's not what it looked like to me. Just as I am now, I was a vibrant and active member of society. I was caring and giving. I learned. I worked. I played. I loved. I lost. I won. I lived. I think it would be a poor decision to regret any of it.
I'm not saying that I'm a better person because I waited until I was 48 until I got married. I'm just saying that I'm a better me because I waited. I waited for me to be grown up and ready for love and, most importantly, for the right man to stumble into my life.
And that's when every woman should get married -- exactly at that very nebulous time in her life. And until then, she shouldn't ever feel like she's man repellant. And shame on anyone who calls her that behind her back. For that is what's truly repellant.
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