Last month I went home in time for my hometown’s eggstravaganza. Yep. A celebration of eggs. It was really an excuse to go see my favorite three-year-old nephew and niece (I also have a favorite one-year-old nephew). It’s the perfect opportunity to pump him full of ice cream and candy and set him loose on a muddy playground (the niece isn’t quite ready for that kind of sugar rush). Normally, going home is solely tied to family. None of my friends from high school stayed behind.
Over the years I’ve spent a lot of time assessing the importance of Valentine’s day and what it means for the single among us. My opinion, more often than not, rested somewhere between Valentine’s sucks hard! and I love Valentine’s day; it gives me an excuse to wear pink and have a fancy “we hate men” dinner with my friends. And now, I’ve found The One™, so it’s totally different. There are bluebirds that swirl around me every February 14th. I receive entire menageries of stuffed animals and gardens of roses. Everyone in the world knows how in love I am.
After engagement number one, but long before meeting The One™, I began my longest relationship to date. It started off on uncertain footing as many of these things do. In fact, the first time I brought my special someone home I stared into those big green eyes and wept to think that this was all the romance I had in store for me. At a fresh 24 years of age, I imagined all my opportunity for love had been squandered on the wrong men and no one would ever want to spend their life with someone who had nearly gotten married.
Adulthood is comprised of a series of rites of passage strung together until our final rite. Learning to drive. The first time your dad pulls you out of a ditch. Your first legal drink. The second time your dad pulls you out of a ditch. Your first legal hangover. An apartment all your own. The third time your dad pulls you out of a ditch. Running back to roommates after realizing living on your own is lonely and expensive. Running back to an apartment all your own after realizing the additional cost is worth it because Kelly just can’t remember to rinse her damn dishes. The fourth time your dad pulls you out of a ditch.
What a splendidly hypocritical way for me to come back to the blogosphere. Scolding relationship/dating experts who are desperately seeking page views, shares and retweets. But this topic has been weighing on me for some time and I wanna talk about it, dammit.
Our attention spans are getting shorter in every regard, including romantically. A study released last month made the observation that the one-time seven year itch has inched it’s way closer to three years. Granted this study came as an effort to promote Hall Pass, so it should be taken with a grain of salt (as any study should), but it’s still disconcerting. The article speaks more to the staling that naturally occurs rather than directly about the cheating that has become a symptom of the itch. This I understand. Relationships will ultimately become familiar and it will take a concerted effort to (for lack of a less cheesy phrase) maintain the spark. But I feel like it’s at this point where that real love stuff everyone is always babbling about comes in.
Gloria Steinem once observed, “Some of us are becoming the men we wanted to marry.” This is something I’ve discovered and embraced recently. Beyond the idea of feminism and the independent woman, this can go a long way toward ensuring your happiness as an individual. I noticed that when a relationship ended I often missed not only the person but the things that they brought to the relationship that I lacked in both characteristics and interests as well.