A few days ago, I was talking to a friend, let's call her Sam, when she said something that forced me into a state of mind which I hate: defensiveness.
Sam and I were roommates in college, she's finishing up her last semester, and I graduated a semester early. We were just catching up, I was telling her about my life in Indianapolis, and she was explaining to me why her birthday weekend was a complete disaster. Upon ending the conversation with her, Sam said, "Ok, I'll talk to you later, I miss you my little housewife."
Queue images of me with a spatula in hand and an apron tied around my waist. Um, no.
I'm sure she meant nothing by it, but a few hours later, her goodbye was still bugging me. So, I did what anyone of maturity would do- I didn't pick up the phone and call her, I sent her a text message, in which I defended my present lifestyle by saying that I was actively seeking employment, that I did not seek to be June Cleaver now, or ever for that matter. And, for that matter, even if I did want to be June Cleaver, if that's what made me happy then what was so wrong with it?
Sam replied that she knew, but that myself and Jenn (my very best friend who also lives in this city with her long-term boyfriend) act like married people, and we make her feel like a little kid.
I wasn't going to press the issue further, though I did respond by saying that I was happy with my life and all that it entailed, and I even enjoyed what, to her, would seem like an extremely boring Friday night.
I get really tired of defending my life to those who don't understand it. I know Sam meant no harm with her comment, but I'm disturbed that that's the way she looks at me. No, I no longer get drunk five nights a week. No, I no longer make out with random boys at random parties. And no, I don't miss that lifestyle in the slightest.
I had a lot of fun in my college years, and I know how very young I still am. My fun isn't over, it's just different now. I resent that me living with my boyfriend and having a full-time job conjures up the notion that I am this wrinkled old lady. I'm not finished living my life, and long-term commitment to another individual does not automatically mean that you stop having fun.
I've always been a bit of a serial monogamist. My Psych degree leaves me with unsupported theories as to why this is the case, but it is the case. There have been a few brief points in my life in which I was unattached and I lived accordingly. I do not feel that my worth and self-esteem hinge upon whether or not I have a boyfriend, but I do not like being single. I'm a relationship person. And I'm also a person who appreciates stability.
Maybe this sounds boring to some people, and maybe the word 'stability' to them is the equivalent of 'boring' and/or 'finished with my glory days'. That makes me sad because I don't see it that way.
I'll give you a Cliff's notes version of my psychobabble- but I believe the reason that stability, certainty, and comfort are so important to me now is because they were so foreign to me for so long. What I have now is what I have never had. A lot of people my age want to test the stable ground that's been underneath them all throughout their childhood, I want to find mine.
Ok, so I'm finished being defensive now, and I feel better.