Stunted adolescence.

When you’re 29, either you’ve friends who’re married or who’re divorced. Some of them even have human babies added to that mix (well, ugh?). There are only a select few people in my team right now, you know, the unmarried ones who have no fucking clue about life. Don’t get our tribe wrong. We do want to get married someday and we are aware that our so-called biological clock is a gong at the moment, swaying dangerously around our ovaries as a constant reminder. But you see, I don’t believe in getting married for the wrong reasons.

I’ve never been the person who thought societal and/or peer pressure can ever make me succumb to the happily-ever-after BS. I always knew I’d get married the day I want to – the day I feel as happy as a unicorn on LSD, running around on a mountain made of sprinkles. The day, in my eyes, he’d look like Fawad Khan and I wouldn’t be able to keep my hands off him on the D-day (reference: the Cutiepie song from Ae Dil Hai Mushkil). You get the drift. If it’s anything less than this, it’s not worth it. Why settle? The closest I came to marriage was when I was 24 and my the-then boyfriend was 25. We had been together since we were teens, were in love and marriage seemed like the most logical step to both the families and us. I’m 29 now, and he’s 30 – successful in our respective careers and seemingly happy about the decision I made years ago to not marry so early.

With age and experience, you gain varied perspectives. You start seeing the different shades of grey as opposed to only black or white. You become more independent, financially stable and may I add, more attractive than your scrawny early 20s? The need to get married and stay with one man for the rest of your life, keeps diminishing. If I continue like this for the next two to three years, at 32, I *might* just abandon the thought of marriage completely. You see, what’s the need? Unless… and this is a big reason, I’m swept off my feet and I’m in love (plus, if he’s rich, good-looking, funny and intelligent. Let’s be real here, sister). The idea of love and basically the idealism behind it is gone. I look down at the 22-year-old lovestruck, innocent me now and smirk, while sipping some expensive wine, because hey, now I can f-ing afford it. Now, it’s not just love, there are so many factors added to the checklist, if at all I think about an ever-after.

It’s just called being a realist. I know, it sucks. Sometimes, I envy that scrawny girl of early 20s, dreaming of a life in suburban Canada, with the only boy she’s ever known and loved, and thinking of making fat babies together. I envy her because I cannot be so carefree anymore. I cannot be so innocent. I cannot live life with such abandon. You can say, it was a transition of an Imtiaz Ali heroine from the first half to the second half. That’s a life I knew once. And hey, I grew up. But at the same time, never grew up enough like others around me, juggling a husband, baby and work with equal prowess. I’m stuck in an infinite loop somewhere in between, something I call ‘stunted adolescence’, a phenomenon where I’m grown up to know better but not enough to take such a big leap involving commitment. But you know what, beneath this cold exterior of the Night’s King, I know there’s still that girl somewhere, a little rusted perhaps, with a layer of dust gathered on top, but she’s there… and when the time is right and the guy is right, I shall be that unicorn on LSD, delirious with happiness on her wedding day. I shall embrace the idea of an ever-after and of making some cute potato babies, without having to wear converses under my wedding trousseau as a last minute resort. That day, I shall happily let my stunted adolescence give way to adulthood. But till then…. Hello Netflix and red wine.

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