the noneventful life
Although I feel like I’ve just gone through (and sometimes still experience) the unacknowledged grief of never getting married or having kids, I’m realizing that, at middle-age, almost nobody’s life is a bed of roses. I’ve been hearing my co-worker’s stories lately– tales of ugly divorces, and disabled spouses, and dying parents. In comparison my life sometimes now seems like a cakewalk, although I still don’t know who I would call if I were in a real emergency.
I’ve also witnessed some unlikely marriages crumble. A woman I knew years ago who had a drug problem and who always struck me as supremely self-centered got married within a very brief window of time in her thirties and had two beautiful kids. She just got divorced and is already engaged to and moving in with a new dude, a man who will be bringing his own children into the new home. On one hand the speed with which she re-partnered is impressive; on the other, my intuition tells me that she is barging ahead with no thoughts for anyone but herself, and her kids will suffer.
Another acquaintance struggles with a disability, had an early divorce, remarried in her late thirties and had a child, experienced the death of her child and a divorce during the child’s illness, and within a year had a new fiancee and baby. Wow, is my thought. I can barely handle getting to a job and the gym and finding time to go on a date.
I know several women who have remained youthful and in shape, who have decent jobs, who are mature and sane and easy to get along with, and who have little to no baggage in terms of kids and ex-spouses, and yet year after year drifts by with nothing but brief dates and disappearing acts on the romantic front.
It’s all so odd.