After a gruesome, albeit slow, day at my office job, I could only think about one thing: my fluffy pig slippers. They are bright and pink and as annoyingly juvenile as the posters that riddle your bedroom walls at your parents’ house. You know what I mean. I genuinely believe a good pair of slippers is necessary for self-care and as a millennial, I’m all about that self-care.
I shuffle from my beat up minivan and quickly into my house, which is shared with my roommates that I will dub “The Elders” from here to eternity. The Elders are also known as my grandparents. Regardless, they put my mail in the same place everyday and I ignore the old magazines, scams, and bills. This day, however, I received a parcel. A package. Elusive, dangerous, curious. I open it giddily, excited that perhaps it is my new set of essential oils that I depend on to keep my Quarter-Life Crisis at bay. No. It is a bridesmaid invitation. And under the package is a save the date. As a rush of dread pours over me, the ominous buzzing of my Quarter-Life Crisis rapidly approaching scares me enough to run to my room and slam the door.
I am 25, I live at home, and I file “single” on my taxes. Don’t get me wrong, I am happy for my friends and I wish them seriously happy lives. I want to be there on their big day. I like dressing up, I like drinking wine, I like pretty flowers. Weddings are my fucking jam, ham. This is not about raining on their metaphorical parades. This is about feeling like you’re not doing a single fucking thing, day in and day out, and everyone else is getting fast-passed to the Adulting Successfully Ride at Disneyland for Grown Ups.
That being said, I’m not single. I’m actually in a pretty great relationship with a pretty great dude who likes Lord of the Rings and my pig slippers. So why did I feel like I was doing the Relationshipping wrong? Probably because left and right, forwards and backwards, every-fucking-where SOMEONE is getting married/engaged/purposefully having a child and posting it on everything and I’m over here happy to spend a night in with my boyfriend watching shows about serial killers and Neil Gaiman while eating donuts.
We both live at home, we don’t spend the night with each other. No sign of a ring in sight. We’ve been together four years. Transcontinental long-distance at a couple of points. Major depression on either side at many points. We’ve been through it, y’all. Basically like a Nicholas Sparks novel but real and more cheesy. Despite proving that we can stick it out, why have we not made the big ol’ step to opening a joint savings account? I get stuck in this constant internal struggle of “what are we doing wrong” and “is it me” and so forth.
Of course I get excited for my friends, I tell one “yes” to being a bridesmaid and the other how excited I am to throw plates at her wedding. And I mean it. I do, however, feel pretty lost in it all. I’m basically this old lady in a beat up vehicle driving 40 in a 70 while everyone is going 100. Not just passing me, but flying right over me. Fast and the Furious: Marriage Licenses. One day, while actually driving and succumbing to road rage (people kept cutting me off because my minivan doesn’t go as fast as the other cars), I shout about how we’re all heading in the same direction, there is no need to drive that fast!
I almost wreck as soon as the epiphany hits (and I’m glad I didn’t, I can’t afford a new beat up car guys). I’m in a bomb relationship, why am I feeling a need to rush if we’re all going to get to where we’re heading anyway? FOMO. And that, like nostalgia, fades as time goes on. As Engagement Season approaches take this advice, relationships are more complex than happy engagement photos. People are more complex than their social media accounts portray (except that guy that posts Nietzsche quotes, he is not as complex as he thinks he is). Today, actually, a friend told me about a wedding he went to last weekend. The couple was together ten years (!!!) before they got married. Go at your own pace, if your relationship is going well, just let it go well. Put yourself on cruise control and let people pass you, you’ll still get to the store/work/school/home/wherever-the-hell-you-decide-to-go.
Kathleen is a native of the Republic of Texas who got a degree in English Literature because she flipped a coin. She enjoys Star Trek, impulsive shopping, and existential dread. She can be found @beevisbovis where her personal life crises are well-documented in 140 characters.