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Writing Portfolio – Your Time Will Come

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Your Time Will Come – Jan. 25, 2012
The Caledonian-Record
2012 Bridal Guide

by Leah Carey
Staff Writer

When I was a teenager, I didn’t date much. Relationships between males and females were a complete mystery to me. As my cousins and friends started dating, my mother’s mother would often pat me on the hand and say, “Don’t worry dear, your time will come.”

A few years after college graduation, the wedding invitations started to arrive. A couple of years after that, the first birth announcements were in my mailbox. A couple of years after that, the first babies were welcoming their younger siblings.

As my cousins and friends created families, my grandmother again patted me on the hand and said, “Don’t worry dear, your time will come.”

Through it all I remained steadfastly single. I had a few relationships, but none of them came anywhere close to a proposal or a ring.

And frankly, that was all right with me. After watching my parents, marriage didn’t seem like such a hot prospect.

When I was 27, my maternal grandmother died and there was no longer anyone patting my hand and telling me that my time would come.

The Other Grandmother

On my father’s side of the family, the landscape was quite different. I didn’t know my paternal grandmother well, but she left an undeniable legacy: she was married eight times to seven men (in the Liz Taylor tradition, she married one of them twice.)

There were stories of her marrying a man in the emergency room as he was prepped for open-heart surgery. There were whisperings that she managed to receive social security checks from multiple of her dead husbands at the same time.

My father cut her record in half, but was still married four times before his death. If there is any element of heredity to marital success, I figured my ship was sunk.

When the inevitable questions came in my 20s about why I wasn’t married, I would respond, “Marriage doesn’t seem like a very good idea.”

Uncommitted

A few years ago I got involved in a new relationship and I was relieved to hear that he didn’t want to get married either. It seemed like a match made in heaven.

But the longer we were together, the more I noticed that there were other things he didn’t want to do too: spend time with my friends; stay at my apartment; make plans more than a month in advance. It wasn’t just that he didn’t want to get married; he didn’t want to build a life together of any type.

It got me thinking about my own motivations. If I didn’t want a wedding, did I not want any type of commitment? Or did I just not want a legal commitment? And if I didn’t want that level of commitment, what kind of commitment could I expect in return from my partner?

Flirting with commitment

A year ago I read somewhere that if I believed that I didn’t want to get married, I was lying to myself. I’m not convinced that it’s true for everyone, but the longer I thought about it, the more I realized it was true for me.

I was lying to myself. I yearned for the stability and commitment that pledging myself with another person could provide. But I rejected the idea of it because I didn’t want to be tied to a life that was as unhappy as the one I had grown up in.

Earlier this year, I entered a relationship that seemed like it might be headed toward a ring and a white dress. I was amazed to discover that the prospect filled me with delight.

The relationship didn’t last, but my excitement about a lifetime commitment has.

Now I can pat my own hand and say to myself, “I’m not worried. My time will come.”

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