There is a reason why you don’t see too many wedding cake toppers that look like this. It’s because there is an understood order to life. You date, fall in love, get married, have kids, and live happily ever after.
Nowadays, society is much more forgiving. You can live with someone without being married to them, you can choose your career over a family, you can marry someone the same sex as you. But, the old stigmas still linger, or at least I think they do.
You see, I am not married. I have lived my life in a way I would have never planned, but sure glad I did.
I was in university for seven years to get my honours BA and my MA and I paid for that education myself. This meant that when I graduated at 25 I was just entering life as an adult, when just a generation before me I’d probably have been married with at least one child.
I dated for a while and luckily I met Jeff before I went too crazy. Neither of us were sure it would last but it did.
We had never even spoken of marriage when we decided to move in together. We both agreed you live together first (which I think is pretty common). At the time, we had been together a couple of years (my longest relationship by a couple of years LOL) and our families approved.
After living together for a while we got a dog, then a cat, then another dog. We both changed jobs a couple of times and moved to a bigger place, everything was great.
Then, all of a sudden, I realized I was about to be thirty and my biological clock was ticking (my mom started menopause when she was forty). Up to that point I hadn’t given kids a second thought, I wasn’t even sure if I wanted any.
Then one day I did.
So, either we could start trying and saving for a house or we could start saving for a wedding and start trying in a couple of years. We both agreed having a baby together is a greater commitment than some words said in a ceremony (no offence). So we started our family.
We get asked a lot (mostly by relatives) if we ever will get married. We would both like to get married someday. But like it or not, weddings cost money and we have a list of priorities that come above it.
It’s funny. While I am proud of my decision I often find myself refering to Jeff as my husband to strangers, lest I be judged. I wear the ring he gave me as a birthday gift on my ring finger even though it’s not even close to a wedding ring. I don’t care what people think, and I know we made the right decision but there will always be that awkward silence when people see we have different last names or the frustration we have had with our income taxes (no we are not common law, I want a real wedding damn it! LOL).
Ironically, while writing this post Today’s Parent actually published an article about all the unmarried celebs who have kids together. It’s like they read my mind. Except that celebs don’t usually care about fitting into the status quo. Unlike me, they can afford a wedding so I am not sure what their reasons are (oops babies, protection of assets etc.)
So what do you think? Am I just being paranoid or does society still expect people to take the traditional route? Is there anyone else out there who did things in a way they didn’t expect?