Friday, August 26, 2005

Another One Bites the Dust

A few weeks ago, a friend announced to me she was due with her first child in March. I never know what to say when I get news of another friend entering the wild world of parenthood. It feels awful not to have the normal reaction that most people have: the feeling of happiness and excitement for the friend. I clam up, don't know what to say and end up offering a very flat sounding congratulations.

When this latest friend made the announcement, it struck me that out of the 12 weddings (yes 12) I was invited to in 2001 (including my own), my husband and I were now the solo DINKs (Double Income, No Kids). When I mentioned this to MLH (my loving husband), he reminded me that there was actually two more couples who were still unthethered with kids or pregnancy. I quickly calmed down and realized we weren't the only people married in 2001 who were happily enjoying life without children.

Well, today I got word that couple number 10 is also expecting in March. So much for the child-free population being the fastest growing demographic in the US.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Please Omit the Mrs.

I have a name... and it is one I have had for 31 years. When I got married, changing my name was not an option. Other people can make any choice they see fit, but I still equate the name changing practice to the outdated belief that a woman becomes a man's property upon walking down the aisle and therefore needs to take his name to reflect that ownership. I am trying to be open minded with others who choose to take their husbands name, but I admittedly have a hard time every time a friend or family member changes their name.

When My Loving Husband and I got married, I was very vocal about my keeping my name. I didn't feel like I should have to be so vocal. People should assume a woman kept her name unless she indicates otherwise. Even with my very vocal outcry that I would be keeping my birthname, I quickly started to receive mail to Michelle "Loving Husband"... or even worse, Mrs. "My Loving Husband". Ick. It's bad enough that the tradition of taking a man's last name has gone on so long, but can't we lose the complete identity loss of women through just being a Mrs.?

I gave everyone a year to figure out that I meant business with the name thing. After that year of consistently reminding people that I didn't change my name, I started returning mail to sender. Person unknown. For other women who have made the same decision I highly recommend this practice. It is a sure-fire way of standing your ground and getting your point across.

So this week, I received a wedding invitation to Mrs. "My Loving Husband". From a friend of mine. Mine. I'm still debating on whether I should go or not. Technically speaking, I wasn't invited... I was no where on that invite.

Monday, August 22, 2005

The Meaning of 30

Many people use their zero birthdays to affirm that their decades on this planet have been noteworthy. This is often done through a process of determining if a certain number of goals have been met. A major issue is few people actually take the time to pen a set of goals to measure themselves against. Without a predefined set of goals, we spend our milestone birthdays agonizing over a set of societal goals which we believe others hold us against rather then reflecting on all the amazing things that we have accomplished.

Lucky for me, I have never been one to believe in societal norms and traditions. However, when looking at my life, I eerily have met many of the impossible standards that people expect themselves to meet by 30. Successful Career: check. Loving Husband: check. Devoted Dog: check. New Car: check. World Travel: check. Close Friends: check. Gigantic Mortgage: check. 2.4 Kids: No Thank You. Finally, I'm not the odd 20 year old who grew up too fast... My accomplishments align with my new age bracket.

Reflecting on this is when it really hit me. I'm 30. I'm really 30. What do I do now? Where do I go from here?