Okay, I will admit that am NOT good at blogging. But I’m working on it, I promise. Special shout outs to amazing author Alycia Ripley and Country Club Barbie for kicking me in the a$$ in one way or another so that I keep working on my blogging tenacity.
So my little merfolk, the sponsor of today’s post is: A Little Bit Married by Hannah Seligson. That’s because this is all about the A Little Bit Married Syndrome. How do you know if you’re A Little Bit Married? Well, according to Hannah Seligson, the definition isn’t all that deep. It’s pretty much anyone who’s been in a monogamous relationship for over a year, generally accompanied by a few husband-wife type things (serious vacations taken together, attending family functions like holidays, living together, ad infinitum, et al, quid pro quo and other such latin gibberjabber…you get the idea). Unfortunately, her book isn’t all that interesting word to word (sorry Hannah, but I couldn’t get past chapter 2 before going, “Ayup that sounds about right” and putting it down. At least for now) but the idea is very intriguing. If this were Pee Wee’s Playhouse, this would be the time I’d reveal the secret phrase: Serial Monogamy.
Almost everyone I know is a Serial Monogamist, or has been at some point in their lives. As HS points out, it would seem to be our generation’s right of passage. We are, after all, a group who sees 4 years as a long time at a job, thinks in terms of careerS and making sure we get everything. just. right. Or at least a bit better than our parents did it. Maybe we’re all control freaks, or rotten eggs, thank you Mister Rogers, I AM effing special. Joking aside, several of my serial monogamist female friends have had relationships come to an end as soon as the M word started popping up too much. One guy I know thinks there’s no reason to get married, that guys date a girl to keep her as HIS for a while, and as soon as she’s ready for more, he’s out the door. And really, ladies, can you blame them, if we’re already doing Wife things, aint gots the ring, what else are we gonna bring? (I’m done rhyming now, really).
My grandparents dated for 5 months, got married. My parents dated on and off for a few years, same deal (btw, they just celebrated their 29th anniversary earlier this month. My grandparents are in their 80s. Not sure what anniversary that is, but you get my point). I dated a guy for 2 years, then subsequently another guy for 5 years. Yes, my fair merfolk, the Sealion Woman herself is a Serial Monogamist. So where are we (I) going wrong? Are we giving up too much milk sans cow, so to speak, or is it just a part of our generation? Is it that we’re used to having access to so many things (I seriously blame this for many of our current ADHD, texting-while-driving, don’t-wanna-grow-up problems) that a relationship is just another kernel in the popcorn bowl of life? Or is it the fact that we women are so eager to show that we CAN be good wives (now that we no longer have that whole home-ec requirement in high school), that we don’t give our men any reason to actually settle down? In all fairness, you have to throw culture/region into the mix. My midwest friends are generally married and with child (or two). But my east coast ladies are full steam ahead on their careers…and as one good friend recently put it, she could get married now or at 40, no parental pressure at all.
I, for one, just turned another year and another grey hair closer to 30 and while my alarm isn’t exactly ringing off the hook, the clock did get to ticking, just a little. I think for women who want to have families, that will always be a concern, and a pressure. Then again, I have an aunt who willing and purposefully went the single parent route, who claims she couldn’t be happier. So which is it, do we WANT to settle down, because, well, that’s what will make us happy, or is it because we believe that’s the only correct way to bear kids? And if we do want to settle down, what are we doing that’s making it so hard to get out of the ALBM syndrome and into full fledged Mr. and Mrs. land?
I hope that despite my extended absence, you’ll share your thoughts!