My best friend is getting married, and I am the maid of honor. For some women, this statement may conjure feelings of nervous anticipation and hormonal dread. The best friend who will soon be a bride, is yet another piercing reminder, that you are not one nor are you on a path to becoming one. You may assume, that at my age this feeling might be an everyday occurence. I assure you, it is not. Other than the fact that I am genuinely happy for her and thrilled about the man she is about to marry, there is no internal bell that is tolling for my potential spinsterhood. I am ok that I have no ring.
Now this isn’t to say that I don’t want one down the road, but let me explain. As someone who has been married and gone through the pains of divorce, the topic of my second marriage brings up feelings of well deserved apprehension. It does not however, make me think less of the sanctity and honor that is the civil union. Sure, like all little girls, the fairytale wedding was one that I dreamt of ever since I married my Barbie to GI Joe. But the older I got, surrounded by divorced couples and people on marriage two or three, it made me wonder what the rush was for?
In my case, when I really looked at it, what I was truly excited for was the reception. I wanted the party. The one that you see in movies with people dancing, kids sneaking booze, grandma grinding with a groomsman and me and my girls red in the face laughing. It was that atmosphere that I looked forward to and it wasn’t until I was married that I realized, there’s a whole other part to that fairytale that we don’t pay attention to- the actual marriage. The ups and the downs, and the parts that are often left out in the big screen version. The everydayness, the paying of the bills, the compromise, the financial issues, the moves and travel and the things that you sometimes have to sacrifice for and in a marriage. In other words, real life. During this time, when the glitz of the big day wears off and you come to the very real realization of your vows and that whole “better or worse” part, is when the work begins. Because that’s what a marriage is, work.
It can be hard work or easy work. Sometimes you might want to dial in your efforts, and sometimes you excel at it. You may want to call in sick, but you can’t. And you may have a boss you can’t stand, but for the sake of the job, you suck it up and keep truckin. Marriage is work, whether it’s a good marriage or a bad one. And just like any job, it depends 100 % on your efforts first. The amount of energy, drive, determination and love you put into any job, will ultimately drive the outcome of its success.
I guess that’s why I’m not in a rush for a ring. It took me all this time to realize what I have to do, to put in the work to make a marriage…work. I can honestly say, I still don’t think I’m ready. There’s still so much I want to see and do, places I’ve never been and dreams I want to chase. But at the end of the day, hopefully tackling the big world that is our universe will prepare me to apply for the position of “Wife”, and hopefully by then I may have a life’s resume worthy of being hired to play the role.