i have adventures (sometimes)

Monday, 12 December 2011

For Whom the Bells Toll

It's starting.

At first, it was just peripheral. It was only people who were older than me. Then it was people I used to go on camp with. Then it was people I sort of knew from varsity. Then it was girls who were in my year at school. And... it was ok. Sure, it was scary. Sure, every now and then I'd log on to Facebook and scream, but I got over it fast enough.

And today, it finally happened.

One of my school friends is getting MARRIED.

Hint: it's not me.

This afternoon, my classmates went off to lunch, leaving me in the lab trying to pretend that staring blankly at the screen counted as working diligently on my report, when I checked Facebook for perfectly valid and academic reasons.

And saw that I had an invitation to Anny's wedding.

I didn't even have time to consider how very 2011 it was to receive a Facebook wedding invitation before the hyperventilation and terrified screaming took over. My first reply was "NO FREAKING WAY." My second was just a string of exclamation marks. In fact, so was the third. So I decided to get my screaming and panicking out of the way before I tried to send a fourth, so that Anny wouldn't think I'd gone mad since we last saw each other and uninvite me.

I eventually managed to scrape together enough coherent syllables to make something along the lines of "WILL BUY PLANE TICKET WILL BE THERE OMG", and then returned to my regularly scheduled screaming.

You may not have noticed, but it freaks me out just a little when people my age get married. It's not that I feel like it puts pressure on me to do the same. It's not even that it sets my biological clock loudly ticking, because since I decided not to have kids, that has absolutely no relevance to my awesome life of adventures, cats, and not-being-covered-in-jam. It's not even because of my vague and poorly articulated feelings about weddings and marriage in general, because I can mumble words like "problematic" and "heteropatriarchal" all I like, but I still think pretty dresses are kind of great, and I do like the idea of being with someone fantastically awesome forever.

No, what freaks me out is that I just don't feel grown up enough to make a decision about who I might want to spend the REST OF MY FREAKING LIFE with.

It probably says a lot about what I'm conditioned to think of as important that I've never logged on to Facebook and freaked out because one of my friends has done something else grown up, like get a job or buy a house. But at the same time, maybe it's because those things don't seem quite so permanent. I don't think anyone goes into a job, no matter how real and grown up that job may be, thinking, "Right, this is the job I'm going to do forever, at considerable cost, inconvenience and heartbreak to myself if I change my mind."

Yeah, no pressure, or anything.

I can't get over the fact that there are people the same age as me who feel sufficiently grown up to make that sort of decision. I barely feel qualified to decide what to have for breakfast in the morning. If there's one thing I've learned this year, it's that I really don't know myself as well as I think I do. I have very little in common with the person I was a year ago (although I like to think that I'm the one who's less lame). It sort of puts me off making major life decisions, especially those that involve other humans.

And of course I'm happy for Anny, and I'm looking forward to the wedding, and I'm excited to ditch lectures to fly off for a reunion with my old friends in an exotic location where we will wear pretty dresses and drink cocktails like ladies in a movie (or whatever people do at this sort of thing).

But I'm not sure I'll ever stop feeling like a child playing fancy dress.

Playing fancy dress and screaming.



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