After you reach the age of 25, it starts…
Yes, that feeling of pressure that you’re getting old, it’s time to stop discovering the world and go on to the next step of your life.
So what am I talking about?
Maybe these pics can give you a clue:
Yes, the barrage of engagement and wedding invitations from long-lost friends and highschool/university classmates start pouring in, and the only reason why I am spared from going to these weddings is because am not in the country…
Regardless, no matter where you are, you start feeling it…
Yes, most of you 20-somethings know what I’m talking about.
It’s that gnawing pressure of finding someone to settle down with…
And start a family.
Some of my friends/former classmates even started early, some not them not just having one…
But have two happy kids at this moment, and still counting (remember, we’re still in our mid-2os… we still have LOTS of time):
I guess, being surrounded by hundreds of single 30-something women has a way of lessening the pressure — sort of the feeling when you have unmarried older sisters. You usually abide with the “Them first, before me” mentality.
And besides, they need to get married before they miss the train. You gotta let the desperate women have their pick first, right?
There were even a few times when my older girl friends would half-tease me (yes, I think they were kinda serious) by saying, “Raven, you are still young and have a lot of time. Leave the guys to us!!!”
Added to the fact that my dad insists that I start seriously dating only after the age of 28 (and yes, he is serious), I thankfully don’t really receive any pressure from my dad to give him some grandkiddies. For him, it’s time to get to know everybody first and decide what type of guy I want before settling down (which I find to be wise).
And yes, I do have beautiful, unmarried sisters in their mid-30s.
So no, not too much pressure on the daddy side.
Mom’s another story.
Even if her daughter’s only a young 25, my mom is gnawing at her fingers right now.
A few months ago, she wrote in her email that she is old (geez, she’s only 60), and wants to see me being taken care of by someone else before she passes away. Sounds a bit morbid, but I think my mom wants grandchildren.
Actually, I personally think she’s starting to get scared that I’d get unmarried because I have a super strong personality and my dad’s temper. “Get your MBA before you’re 30,” she advises. “Otherwise, it’ll be more difficult for you to find a guy to settle down with. Magiging masmagaling ka kaysa sa iba (You’ll be a lot better than the rest). Guys don’t really want that.“
Anyway, I digress.
My point is that, I am not in a rush to get married.
At 25, I figure, I still have around 10 years to find the One, so to speak, and yes, I have the patience to wait. So far, the quality of guys I’ve met over the years has been constantly increasing, so I’m quite curious on what type of guys I’ll meet 10 years from now.
However, it seems that my classmates/old friends from back home don’t really share the same sentiment.
Take my high school/university best friend for example, Rosa. Now a doctor and a certified member of the SSB (Single Since Birth) society, Rosa took the liberty of educating me about women’s fertility levels when I went back home.
“Do you know that a woman’s fertility level peaks at 25?” she scolds. “And after that, your fertility starts to go downhill? Hence, now is the best time to have kids, if you want kids.“
I haven’t even decided whether or not I want kids.
I mean, I’m okay with having them, and I’m not saying no to them. But I am not really gung-ho about having kids. If my husband wants them, sure. But I’m okay without kids as well.
“Yes, but if you want to have kids, now is the best time!!!” she exclaimed. “And here we are, still single. As we get older, it’ll be harder for us to have kids, and I want kids.“
Well, my thing is, I would rather think of finding a good husband prospect first, before thinking of kids.
I mean, what’s the rush of having children? If I wanted kids, I could easily have myself a brat right now… but of course, I’d want someone by my side to raise it AND whom I would love to be with for the rest of my life before settling down.
Sure, the argument may work well with my 36-year old sister who wants to get married as soon as possible because she absolutely wants to have kids. Problem is, she doesn’t have a boyfriend, so that’s a separate dilemma right there.
But for me, I don’t just want to get married because I want to be a mommy…
I want to get married because I found someone I can adequately live and grow old with.
So the fertility argument doesn’t really work for me.
Instead, I’d rather concentrate on finding the right daddy, than choosing any Tom, Dick and Harry and suffering the rest of my life for such erroneous decision, and with kids to support at that.
We only have one life to live.
Live it well.
And if there are no worthwhile candidates, it’s fine to check on the “abstain” box.
There is no shame in being single.
And yes, being single is fun.
We are still young anyway… let the guys try vying for our attentions?
And to those who think you aren’t young anymore, heck, trust me. You still are.
And you deserve so much more than settling for just any guy, just because society tells you you gotta have kids or be married otherwise you’re a weirdo.
Cause I strongly disagree.
It’s not a weirdo to be patient when there’s only frogs in the horizon.
My mom emailed me the following, “Your second cousin, CK, has gotten married a few weeks ago,” complete with pictures on how CK’s wedding was.
I think it’s every mom’s dream to have a perfect wedding for her daughter.
All I can say is, well mom, that’s her… and am happy that after 6 months of dating her now-husband, they’ve finally tied the knot in a beautiful reception at the Manila Hotel.
But frankly, I don’t really care about the wedding and the reception.
I agree with dad — if there’s a wedding celebration, keep it small. As my dad had said:
“Lucio Tan and Henry Sy’s kids married in Hong Kong instead of holding a big reception back home. This way, they don’t get to offend any of their dad’s wide circle of friends because they are not invited.”
My father may not be as big as Lucio Tan and Henry Sy, but he does have a broad number of friends.
Not only will it be expensive to invite all of them (and no, in the Philippines, the bride/groom don’t depend on the red envelopes given by guests and have to foot the bill themselves), but I would hate that my wedding be attended by people I don’t really know or have nothing to do with, except that they know my father.
The possibility of putting on three sets of dresses just to impress guests whose name I can’t remember don’t really appeal to me.
Nope, no siree.
So you ask me, what is my ideal wedding, if not those huge glamorous weddings at 5-star hotels whose pictures and captions are published on newspapers worldwide?
Well, the best wedding I’ve ever seen was actually in Cravings, an intimate Italian restaurant back in Manila.
It was the wedding of my C.A.T. (Citizen’s Army Training) commandant and his now-wife, and the guests numbered to around 20 close/intimate friends and us, his 6 students.
Yes, that’s right.
You read it right.
I think there was less than 30 close friends at the reception.
And it was the most beautiful wedding I’ve ever seen.
It was beautiful with candlelights, and a minister.
After the wedding, they held a small reception at the restaurant itself, kicked off their shoes, loosened their tie and opened bottles of wine to celebrate with good friends.
There were laughter, warm stories and heart-breaking camaraderie… and yes, the bride and groom knew each of their guests personally, and each of the guests have had a major role to play in the bride and groom’s life.
THAT is my ideal wedding, ladies and gentlemen.
With good friends who really care about you, instead of what food you’re serving.
Not the rowdy, super-huge wedding people usually have, inviting hundreds of people who are there just to eat and aren’t really involved in your life, and are merely invited because of “face.”
Here’s a confession.
That’s why my 36-year old sister called off her wedding…
She wanted that perfect, big-ass wedding she’s always dreamed of as a young girl…
She wanted it so much so that the whole process dragged so damn long, that the whole thing was finally called off.
I told her, “Sis, you don’t really need a perfect wedding. All you need is each other. Just go and get it done with, have a simple civil ceremony if you have to, but you don’t really need all those mumbo jumbo.“
But no, she wanted the whole shebang.
Now, she has nothing.
That’s why, if ever I do get married, I want my ceremony to be simple — and a reception no bigger than 50 guests max.
Okay, so I’m weird.
Most girls want the perfect wedding and would spend MONTHS perfecting every single detail.
Instead of worrying about the perfect day, I’d rather concentrate on making sure that I make the right decision on the man I’m about to marry. I mean, am I sure I’m making the right decision by choosing this particular guy to settle down with? Do I really know and understand this guy I’m about to marry?
And worry instead about the days that come AFTER the ceremony.
Yes, a wedding is a day.
A marriage is a lifetime.
Hence, focus on the marriage.
So how will I do that?
Well, we’d spend a lot of time talking, discussing and compromising before the big day.
It’s like preparing a business contract — you discuss all the details BEFORE signing it, not afterwards. I guess, that’s why there’s so many divorce these days.
For example, what are his views about kids, and raising them?
Where will we send them to school, and how will we support their education?
How many kids do we want and do we even want to have kids?
Or how about his views on interests, and do we share any of them? This is because it’s important for me to travel abroad at least once a year. So does he share the same passion for traveling as I do? If not, how do we compromise?
Likewise, what are his passions and how do I fit in them? If he likes to hike mountains for example, do I go with him, or do something else?
Do we share the same dreams and ambitions? I want to live in the city, does he want to settle down in the countryside?
Where do we see ourselves going 10, 20, 30 or 5o years from now?
What are our ground rules when we fight or don’t agree on something?
What are his views on fidelity and commitment? Is it okay to have affairs?
What about divorce? When is it okay to get divorced?
If our marriage get into trouble, how do each of us handle it? I’m okay with counseling but is he comfortable with that?
What are his views on controversial issues? Is it okay to bribe officials? Sleep around? Homosexuality? Smoking? Dope? Where does his morals stand? Does he believe that most of the world is gray, instead of black and white?
What are his views about money? Who handles them, and where do we divide the expenses? Are we going to rent or buy a home in the first few years?
Heck, where do we even settle down? Do we want to settle back in Manila, in Taipei, or live elsewhere?
And how does our families come into play?
And so on and so forth.
These sort of little details is what I’m talking about.
I guess, these are the questions I’d ask and worry about BEFORE the wedding takes place, instead of roughing it after.
Sure, it would be nice if you can organize a smooth wedding, but it’s only ONE day.
So how about the rest of your life?
As for the wedding itself, that’s why we hire wedding planners, right? To ensure we minimize the hassle of organzing our own wedding…
But how difficult will it be to organize my wedding?
Hahaha, as I’ve said, the simpler, the better.
So yeah, personally, I’d keep the wedding small and instead think more about who I’m going to marry, and whether or not I’m making the right decision.
It’s only ONE day.
And the most ironic story of all?
The most expensive wedding I’ve ever participated in was when I was 3 years old, and was a flower girl. It was a very exorbitant, over-the-top wedding where Dom Perignon were poured from a pyramid of crystal glass, and over a million dollars were spent (at that time, a million pesos for a wedding was expensive).
6 months later, they were separated.
So for weddings, at least for mine, I’m just KISSING it.
Before I get off my soapbox, here’s an ad I’d love to share with all of you:
My colleague asked me to check out this political Argentinian ad—it’s truly an exceptional example of creative and clever writing. I was sincerely moved. The Philippines need more leaders like him. 🙂