Tonight and many days and nights since I said "I do" to my husband of almost three years, I had a glimpse backward into the days of before. Before I was married. Before I made it to the end of the journey of obtaining a man. I have written elsewhere on the blog about how much social pressure there is on women to this early and to choose well.
But I haven’t really dipped into the pressure women put on themselves to find a man of their own. It must be subliminal because almost from the instant a woman even hears of a man she is imagining how it will be to "pick out curtains" as they say.
Is this because picking out curtains was a woman’s main occupation in much of the world – and still is – only forty years ago? Or is it another longing to be part of something larger than oneself? The urge to nest, to use another oft repeated phrase does it come from our environments or from within ourselves?
What’s strange about this whole cat and mouse game is that now from the vantage of a married woman I am much more often engaged in conversation by men. Young, old, it doesn’t seem to matter, they want to talk and about anything from what they had for dinner to what they will have for dinner tomorrow. This is counter to the myth that men aren’t as verbal as women or uninterested in the pieces of daily life. I don’t know how else to attribute this change but a mixture between two facts: marriage and age.
Or is that I myself am older and less panicky about where the man I will have will come from? Less anxiety means men feel more comfortable around me because the hunting look in my eye is missing?
It’s true that since high school I have not enjoyed male friendships as I did between the ages of eleven and seventeen. While throughout childhood my best friend was a boy which was very taboo in my conversative family, throughout college and graduate school men largely faded into the periphery.
Now at the age of thirty, as a married woman, I find that I enjoy their company once again. They are funny, they are silly, and most of all, they do care. It’s amazing how all of that becomes clear after you take the desire for a committed relationship off the table.
Why does the chase warp us all so?