So… usually when I blog I tend to steer away from controversial topics, or note-worthy topics, so as to, obviously, avoid controversy. For whatever reason I just don’t have that burning desire to get into debates and stuff. Unless you want to diss Shakespeare. Bring it. Just kidding. It is much more fun to relate unimportant, hopefully entertaining moments from my life that end with some sort of “moral” or “learning experience.” Whatever you want to call it. But I am actually going to talk (or, rather, write) about something a little bit more “important” today. At least it is important to me. Now with that preface, I will say that I am not writing this with the hopes of sparking controversy -I was trying to explain that my opinions are my own and I don’t expect anybody to agree with them and if anything, I hope the topic will just allow for some personal reflection/introspection. I know it helped me do a little bit of that! I also admit that I will be making some generalizations and doing some stereotyping, and I am aware of that. I know that the things talked about are not “the law” and are not the absolute truth. There are exceptions to everything discussed and I am aware. NO JUDGMENT HERE!!! SAFE ZONE. You have been warned. And you should only proceed to read if you really want to:)
I am in a fairytale class (and I LOVE IT and you should NEVER ask me about it because then you will find out WAY more about the topic than you EVER wanted to know even though it isn’t even POSSIBLE to know more about fairytales than you would want to know because fairytales are great. Actually, you can ask me about the class and I promise I will just say something trite like “I love it” but then you should avoid asking ANY FOLLOW-UP questions because then I will take that as an invitation to blabber. On and on and on. And on. And yeah, I know, who even KNEW there was such a thing as a FAIRTYALE CLASS. I’m over it. NOT. I’LL NEVER BE OVER IT. I love it like I loved Shakespeare class and WE EVEN GET TO READ SHAKESPEARE IN THE CLASS. #dreamsdocometrue#happilyeverafter#dontneedafairygodmotherhere). And in this fairytale class, obviously there are a lot of stories that we read with the perfect “happily ever after.” Known to us ‘talers’ as an “HEA.” Yeah, we are that cool, don’t even worry about it.
But, in reading these tales one thing becomes pretty clear: EVERYBODY is just looking for that HEA. Not all HEA’s are the same, but everyone wants one. And there is no shame in that, because it is an HEA after-all. Who wouldn’t want an HEA? In fairytale land, everybody does. Now let us define, shall we, the stereotypical HEA. AND STEREOTYPES ARE STEREOTYPES FOR A REASON. No shame in stereotypes. Unless they are really shameful ones. But I digress… (anybody get that reference? Not from a movie but a famous Russian writer... rhymes with Schmostoyevsky.) Anyway, the typical fairytale HEA includes boy and girl that overcome various difficulties (like the fact that they don’t even know each other) and hardships (like the fact that they don’t even know each other) and trials (dragons, long-term narcolepsy, crazy family drama) and end up participating in the m-word. (And no, we are not speaking of mutiny. Or a mangonel. Or mascalephidrosis. Or even mammon. Though those are all unfortunate “m” words). I’m talking about mawage. Mawage is what brings us here together today. And wuv, trew wuv. (name that movie, though it is wayyy tooooo easy.)
As I write this, I can’t help but feel that some people are thinking, “she is wrong, I legitimately don’t want to get married. No HEA for me. No thank you.” And that may be true. But I would also suggest that you are the exception, and not the rule. Because if you weren’t the rule then I wouldn’t hear so many guys/girls walking around campus lamenting their love lives, or lack thereof. If people didn’t care, why would they get so frustrated that “so and so” didn’t call or “can’t make up their mind” etc etc. They would maybe never say, “I am frustrated with my love life because I want to get married and this relationship isn’t helping me out much.” But in their hearts that is the reality. There are a plethora of frustrations. That I do know. But it’s only frustrating because we want that HEA. AND THAT IS OKAY TO WANT.
Sometimes you are a missionary and you live in black and white. You know marriage is a good thing that you do NOT have to worry about. Then sometimes you aren’t a missionary anymore and you remember that marriage is a good thing, but everybody around you (or most the people), have all these different opinions. Except actual married people. Actual married people want it for everybody else. But the rest of the people like to pretend, or have forgotten temporarily, that they want that HEA too. Marriage has become like this super uncool “goal” that nobody wants, except for the few people who actually own up to wanting it who end up getting scorned for their honesty.
Think about the girls you know (or think you know) that admittedly WANT TO GET MARRIED. What are the stereotypes surrounding these girls? Now I am going to make a list, but just remember these aren’t my opinions, but the stereotypes for the category, okay? These are the girls that bake and sew and love kids (they want ten!) and maybe even love giving massages…let’s be real, they are often made fun of and then put into a category where their IQ drops. Just because they are brave enough to admit that they want to get married. And they come in direct contrast to the girls that CLEARLY DON’T WANT to get married because they don’t cook, they plan on going to graduate school, they sometimes want to be doctors, they like studying. All of those things CLEARLY suggest that for them career comes first, family after. Who has time for babies when you are going to be the youngest [fill-in-the-blank-awesome-accomplishment]. No man will stand in her way. It may be a man’s world, but she is going to beat them at their own game. And let’s not forget the “other category” of “not homemaker” and “not academic.” Not sure what to call it… but this is the girl that is always up for a party. Why would she have to have one guy when she could have ten?! We mock category one, we are sometimes of afraid of category two, and we don’t ever commit to category three. But do categories two and three want to get married even if they aren’t broadcasting it like category one? Yes. (Again, not the LAW. Just a generalization of my observations). They are just afraid of getting put into category one. Because when you have a lower IQ you don’t get into med school.
Don’t worry, I won’t leave the gentlemen out of the fun. There are those guys that self-proclaimedly WANT to get married. We all know they are creeps. (Again, these are the stereotypes speaking, not me). They bought their ring on their mission and aren’t that picky about who they give it to, just as long as she can bake! Their mission president maybe said something like “be married in the next five months” and they took that as law. They will do what it takes. STEER CLEAR!!! And that, of course, is in direct opposition to the “too busy” guy. “Oh, I’ll get married eventually,” he says. “But right now I just need to focus on…” He is wayyy too coooooll, tooo busy to get married. Wouldn’t even entertain the possibility. Girls think they can change that. Usually they can’t. And let’s not forget the “best friend” who spends so much time with girls we wonder why HE of ALL people doesn’t want to get married….
The point, however, isn’t to discuss all of the various stereotypes of boys and girls and the kinds of “daters” or not they are, but rather to emphasize the fact that people that actually WANT to get married are often put in that “sad category.” They become “Molly Mormon” and “Peter Priesthood.” Just because they are trying to follow the plan. And that is where the missionary black/white comes in. Marriage is a part of God’s plan. For everyone. Period. And usually such bold statements accompany various opinions and “what if” scenarios, and obviously there are circumstances where marriage doesn’t happen for everyone. And I get that. But that doesn’t mean that it isn’t an encouraged and critical part of the plan. The purpose of the blog isn’t to discuss people that haven’t gotten married, and extenuating circumstances
Now you are asking what the purpose is and I guess that means I should probably tell you my purpose… and I wish there were an easy way to sum it up. But the line comes to mind, “What e’er thou art, act well thy part.” I believe that one of the “parts” we have been given in this life is to be in a marriage. And part of acting that part well is not being ashamed to recognize the part and striving to start acting the part. And that includes sometimes putting your pride at risk, your heart at risk, even your reputation at risk. Why do we not want to admit that we ACTUALLY WANT TO GET MARRIED?! That is the point of this post, to ponder upon the reasons that wanting to be married is viewed as such a shameful mindset. I would say probably because we don’t want to risk the above things. We would never want people to KNOW that we want to get married and then have them see us remain single. How shameful! Or, we would never want a significant other to tell us that they don’t actually want to get married when we do. Ouch. Or, if we end up being really successful at something and people know we want to get married, it becomes because “we couldn’t get married.” Obviously nobody could ever accomplish anything if they wanted to get married too. And I have been guilty of this mentality too. Pretending that I don’t want to get married because I had “things” I wanted to do. And in my mind the things I wanted to do did not go along with marriage. Or at least that was how it was in my mind. In reality, I always wanted to get married, but I never wanted to be “that girl.” THAT girl that WANTS to get married. Because we all know what THAT means. (see above list)
Consider this for a second. If this blog were written by a guy, a really cool guy even, who admitted, “I want to get married,” what would reactions be? You KNOW girls would all be trying to figure out who it is and then they would be queuing up to be the next potential. But, being a girl who is not particularly cool, and writing this blog, what does that say about me? What conclusions will be drawn? That I’m desperate, perhaps? That my career isn’t promising and I would do anything to avoid the future I have picked out for myself? Or, maybe that I am sick of getting rejected? Maybe I am THAT girl.
Or MAYBE, when I meet a right guy, I can become THAT girl. Which I think is probably the truth of it. We refuse to wear our hearts on our sleeves until we meet the right person for our HEA. And then once we do, it is okay to be THAT person. You know, the kind that wants to get married. Because you now have another THAT person. But I am going to be a THAT person now. Heart recklessly on my sleeve today.
I’m Tara. I am a returned missionary and saying that makes me feel old. I like musicals and I was really bummed that they got rid of "showtunes saturday night" while I was on my mission. I have some really great friends. My family is awesome. I am going to be a teacher in the near future, and in the far future I have no idea where I'll end up or what I'll end up doing -and that is okay. The possibilities are endless and they keep life exciting. The sky has always been the limit. Sometimes that has led to some really awful, falling-without-a-parachute-moments. But mostly it has led to some great learning experiences. If I never got married, I would do a lot of really cool things and I would have a lot of great adventures, which is why I am in no rush to get married. Or, I should say, "I don't mind being patient until I find my THAT person." But, I want to get married. And I am willing to admit that. Sometimes, probably like a lot of us, I am worried that it won’t ever happen, or that it will be very far off. And that is okay. Because I like what I am doing, and one day it will probably even be hard for me to give up some of what I am doing now. Those hopes and dreams that get me up in the morning and keep me up late will maybe need to be partially-abandoned one day. And that is okay. Because someday I want to be Mrs. Not-Pearce. I want my HEA.