I thought for sure after I had gotten married I would be rescued from the judgment of smug married people (SMPs) after all I’m in the club now. I’m an SMP! Huzzah! I can’t wait to be insufferable and offer wisdom-filled gems to the poor singles of the world, like “when you stop looking, you’ll find love” and “you really have to love yourself first,” and “you just have to open yourself up to love,” and “he didn’t deserve you.” Okay that last one is always dripping with truth, so I get a pass when I say that.
Anyway. I found I was not immune from the judgement of SMPs fairly quickly after our the nuptial glitter settled to the floor of our apartment. (It turns out all people are terrible, all the time, who knew.)
The first true twist of judgement came on our honeymoon, in fact. We had spent much of our Jamaican adventure free of both stress and side eye. (Despite feeling like Disney had designed everything we encountered on the island. Thanks, Cool Runnings!) We had even met a number of pleasant fellow honeymooners and retired snowbirds (because those are the only demographic groups who go to Jamaica) who lavished us with well wishes.
Then on the last day, the judgement came. From a Canadian couple no less. We met them in the hot tub and started chatting about our time in Jamaica. He was a firefighter who apparently gets more than a month of vacation each year (so, moral of the story is, move to Canada if you can stomach it). She was a stay-at-home mom who eventually worked part time as a waitress or secretary or sales associate or something. That part wasn’t entirely clear.
The judgement seeped in quietly as she insisted that The Guy (I’m still trying to figure out a husband pseudonym that isn’t gross, so work with me here) and I use social media too much. She had no idea how much this was at this point, mind you. The Guy hasn’t logged into his account in months and when he told her as much, she loudly exclaimed that he uses it too damn much, showing the world our business and invading the worlds of others by perusing their profiles and life was much simpler when she was a kid, etc., etc.
I thought little of it because she was a generation older and with kids who were just entering or now exiting the precarious teen years, I can understand how she might fear the vast and oftentimes depraved and unfiltered world we live in via social media. She continued to question various decisions we made as we discussed our recent wedding, but, unruffled (with no where else to go), I continued the exchange as the menfolk headed to the bar for another round of Dirty Monkeys or some other such ridiculous rum-based and vaguely racist drink.
It was then that she found out I was 30. And put together the fact that I had not been married before that fated age. “You’re 30? And you just got married?” Her question was saturated with judgement. “Do you have kids?” When I replied “nope,” she immediately went into the “when are you having kids?” line of questioning.
I should note that this is one cliche I successfully avoided the entire wedding weekend. Despite having more right to the answer than this stranger, people who I’ve known intimately my entire life didn’t think to ask such an audacious, none-ya-business kind of question. When I politely explained that we were going to wait a couple years, she looked horrified and matter-of-factly said , “your mother must be heartbroken.”
At this point I was done. I replied that my mother was fine with my choices and I couldn’t be happier with my life. And then, like an answered prayer, The Guy appeared by my side and whispered frantically, “we have to get out of here.”
I look to the firefighting husband and notice he’s jawing. I immediately think he just offered my husband coke and that’s why we had to leave. But, the fact that he was coked out was apparently the least of our worries.
Turns out The Guy was having a very different conversation with this sanctimonious woman’s husband at the bar. It seemed the firefighter was woefully disappointed with the beginning of his month-long Jamaican vacation because they had been displaced from their intended resort due to a booking error.
Yep. Apparently while his wife was criticizing my life decisions, her husband was proposing some truly terrible ones to mine. I don’t know if she was unhappy with her marriage and that’s why she felt the need to speak out against my sparkly new one or if she was completely satisfied with her husband’s equal opportunity sex life, but only because they had done the right thing by getting married at 20 years of age.
Whatever her twisted reasoning was, I just can’t understand how she could reconcile these two apparent truths in her head:
- It’s wrong to wait until you’re 30 to get married.
- It’s right to sleep with other people when you’re married.
The mind boggles, man.
All I could conclude from this encounter is that people are weird. And they will always feel their weirdness is more right than yours. So you do you, you freak. Just don’t push your freak streak on honeymooners if you can help it. It makes them uncomfortable.
Cover image via.