I’m the youngest in my family, so almost all my sibs and cousins are full-blown adulting with kids and real jobs. When I visit with my fam, I’m kinda blown away by how much having a hubs or wifie, and especially kiddos, requires so many sacrifices all throughout the day.
I have suffered with insomnia for oh.. at least 6 years.. so you can imagine I am a Belligerent Claire Bear when someone wakes me up after I finally do get to sleep. Yet when I visited my sister, she would be up and at ‘em like every 3 or 4 hours at all sorts of unholy hours of the night so that my niece could be fed, cuddled, etc.
Although I wouldn’t consider myself incredibly introverted, but I am a fan of my me-time. I’ve also grown very accustomed to doing what I want, when I want. Yet when I visited my cousin and his wife, they have to be “on” basically all day every day. If you start eating a sandwich, everyone wants a sandwich. When you’re sitting there reading, someone is going to want you to play with them, or watch them jump off the couch, or whatever.
It kinda fills me with awe to see my sis and cuzzo be so selfless – I am strained when I have to delay my din time by 45 minutes so I can eat with a friend. #sacrifices
“But can’t you just be a dutiful daughter, friend, volunteer, or whatever?” you may ask. Yeah, sure. But at the end of the day, I still have almost full control over how my time is spent, when I eat, and what I do. People with a little nuclear fam don’t have that luxury. And I think because of that, they have a million bazillion more opportunities to be selfless than I do.
On top of that, people around you hold you accountable to a certain standard of normalcy. Right now if I want to eat a jar of pb for dinner, that’s my deal. If I want to put together a particularly tacky pj combo to sleep in, no one raises an eyebrow. If I decide to plan a super inefficient day, no one is there to say “Um, have you thought about doing it this way instead..?” So at the end of the day, even if I start out with the best intentions of being somewhat normal, over time I’m just going to start developing bizarre, idiosyncratic habits because I don’t get that daily feedback.
So anyway, I’d like the marrieds to give us singletons a little slack. Yes we are selfish, yes we are crazy. But frankly, I think the noble virtues of selflessness and normalcy are not automatically attained without the external pressures of your own fam. We’re like the mantle of the earth just waiting for those deep source volcanic eruptions of fam life to turn us into sparkling diamonds.*
Oh! Singletons should give each other a little slack, too. I think sometimes we compare single men to our friends’ hubbies and we’re like “ewww so immature,” and maybe men look at single women and are like, “ugh so crazy.” It’s possible that the all the sane women and mature men have already married, leaving the rest of us to find our way in the circus of characters who are left. But I don’t think so.. I would like to oh-so-timidly suggest that being married can (often does?) change you into a better person. I think the tricky part is to figure out who will emerge like a radiant diamond and who will turn into ashy dust crumbles when the pressure is on. #realtalk
But.. bright side!!! .. in the meantime, I get this entire jar of pb to myself..!! Nom nom nom.
— EDITORIAL NOTES —
*I was originally going to use a lump of coal analogy, but the interwebs told me that the coal-into-diamonds idea is a myth. Wow! I’m sure most of you found that out in grade school, but my mind is BLOWN