Sliding Doors?

by jlolb

I arrived home tonight after my date with the treadmill and while still dripping sweat and standing in my need-to-be-replaced-Brooks-running-shoes, I pushed play on the DVD player knowing some episode of Sex and the City would come on and make a litte noise in this otherwise hushed apartment. 

The episode waiting for me was the one where Carrie turns 35, and Samantha organizes her birthday dinner with friends, but no one shows up and Carrie ends up paying for her own birthday cake that she drops on the street and the construction workers yell at her and then goes home alone all depressed…you remember that one, right?

The whole episode is about growing older and being alone and actively trying to handle these things with grace and dignity. 

And as I listened, I was struck, because just today I had the same conversation the SATC gals have, but with a friend of my own.  Sure, I’m 26, not 35, but we hadn’t spoken in a while and she’d asked if I was seeing anyone.  I told her that yes, I am, but it’s not really serious and so I don’t know where it’s going.  She said, “don’t worry–some day you’ll meet “the one” and get married.”  And I said exactly what Miranda said in this episode, “Maybe…maybe not.”  And I meant it!

I would be beyond the moon if I ended up madly in love and married with a few kids and a dog and a couple Volvos.  That would be lovely. I mean it.  I would drive my kids to soccer games and start buying peanut butter and jelly.

But the thing is, I really think I’d also be happy if I ended up by myself, exploring my interests, putting energy into my friendships and other relationships and into keeping this damned plant alive–just liking the life I lead alone. 

Yet for some reason, I feel like everytime I express this, I have to argue my point–like it’s not enough to say that just maybe I’ll end up happy 20 years from now even if I’m not married.  Is that really too asinine to consider?

I’m only 26.  I know I could be married by now–many of the people I grew up with are.  I could have those kids and the dog and the family and I could be married to my high school sweetheart, and maybe that would have worked out fine, but that’s not the life I’m living.  Part of me wonders what I would be doing if it were; how many kids would I have, where would I be living, what would I be doing at this very moment, would I still love him like I did when we were kids?  And part of me thinks I’d love that life, too.

But then I realize I wouldn’t be sitting here in this little apartment, with a glass of white in hand, laptop in lap, typing away with the breeze filling the apartment and the ding of text messages from that boy I’m not even close to wanting to be married to coming through on that pixelated screen.  Because, you see, even though I think that I could love that life, that’s not the life I’m currently loving.