“I’m engaged!!!! I’ll talk to you all soon. No Facebook yet, please; my phone’s going to die!!!” This was the text I received before bed at 10 PM last night from one of my college friends. My first reaction was… “What?” My second reaction was…“What?” My friend, who is also 24, just announced she is getting married.
Here is the background information to piece together this fairytale. My friend Vanessa and I were close during all four years of drinking bliss, AKA college. We spent numerous afternoons at happy hours enjoying margaritas while discussing the woes and wonders of single life. She and I were always the hopeless romantics of the group, the ones who would down our romantic sorrows in a bowl of guacamole, wishing for that “sweep me off my feet” relationship.
In senior year she met her now fiancé. She started dating him in 2009 at the age of 22; he was 25. Two years later, they are engaged. She’s 24; he’s 27. My “what” reaction is based solely on age. It has nothing to do with them as people or how they are in their relationship. I know that they are in love and they were always very mature spirits, but I just graduated college and I already need to picture her walking down the aisle? How will she even know what to get at the Macy’s registry? Will she have to delegate her paycheck into a “school loan fund” and a “wedding fund?” Does this mean by 26 or 27 she will be popping out baby Vanessas?
Love knows no boundaries, but I can’t believe I am in that stage of my life where we went from celebrating Bar Mitzvah’s and Sweet 16s right into Bridal Showers and Bachelorette Parties. I must admit I have seen some pictures on Facebook of the babies of various people I wasn’t close to in highschool. And recently I did see pictures from a 23-year-old’s wedding, but since I am not friends with that person it doesn’t seem real.
As we have no personal relationship, I don’t live vicariously through them; however, with Vanessa I shared a part of my life and have seen her grow into the person she is today, a person who is now going to combine her life with someone else’s.
Why does it feel so premature to me that people are getting engaged and married right out of school? I think it mostly has to do with my situation. I returned home after college. I’m paying off college loans and still probably have that “I’m the baby” mentality. Maybe people who live on their own have gone through a different maturing process that catapulted them into different life decisions. Whatever, but I am not ready for the next chapter, because I am trying to map out my next move, which may include grad school.
This one text from my friend made me realize that not only was a new chapter coming my way, but an entirely new book in the series. Along with this, my stories will change too. No longer will they consist of drink specials or drunken friends that I had to scrape off the bathroom floor to carry to bed. I will someday, just not yet, be putting to bed my own brood. Well, that might soon be Vanessa’s story, but I can continue to live life for myself just a bit longer.