Monday, March 19, 2007


After 28 years of engaging in excessive birthday narcissism, I suppose it was time for cosmic retribution. Yes, the universe smacked some sense into me this time around and, if the way one rings in her 28th year sets the tone for the next 12 months, then I'm in for a long and miserable year.

The final minutes of March 13th found me surrounded by six cousins in a house in Florida. I was lying atop a few blankets that doubled as my bed for the night--there were no less than thirty relatives staying over at my cousin's house and, even though the house is palatial, numbers like that always force folks to take whatever bit of real estate the floors offer. I was going on more than 42 hours without sleep. While most of everyone around me wore dark circles under their eyes, no one had any intention of sleeping. Instead, we were clinging to each other in random conversation, attempting desperately to keep ourselves distracted from the shared grief of having buried my aunt earlier in the day.

The sadness and grief of March 13th quickly took a turn for the bizarre as soon as the clock struck midnight and March 14th ushered in my 28th year, first with a frenzy of text messages from friends and then with my cousins deciding that it was high time someone talked some sense into me about the importance of being married. The lecture took various forms and came in from all different directions but it can be boiled down to the following bulleted points (please note that if you're in a rush and can't read this entire post, go down to the bulleted points that follow the bolded note; you're in for a treat):

*** My problem is that I'm not taking the marriage prospects that my cousins are sending me--perfectly fine, good boys who've NEVER dated or engaged in frivolous conversations with women--seriously enough;
* if I don't become serious about these prospects, my cousins will eventually stop sending them to me. Not only will this leave me shit out of luck but it will confirm my spinster status;
* I rejected my cousin's husband's nephew for NO good reason. I mean, c'mon. He was SO good looking. Who knows what he did but, dude, he was HOT. He wore high-waisted stone-washed jeans for heaven's sake! Plus he lived in Michigan and who doesn't want to live in the MI? Spinsters, probably;
* chemistry is a myth and the common character trait amongst all spinsters is that they spend their lives futilely searching for this chemistry ;
* so what if most of my friends are still single; someday soon they will all be married with kids and they'll no longer have time for me. I will be lonely...and a spinster;
* yah, my job and industry are limited to the tri-state area but there are doctors and lawyers, sick successful career women, who've picked up everything and moved to opposite coasts for their husbands. This goes to prove that not only will I be a spinster, but a spinster without a real career. I'll be a spinster with what may as well amount to an internship;
* I'm overthinking this marriage business. As that wise pundit that is Nike instructs, "Just do it!";
* If I'm scared to take the plunge, I should let my mom pick out a worthy husband for me (to which I shudder and say, I'd rather be a spinster);
* I'm pretty much useless single and serve no greater purpose;
* I should set a goal for myself to be married before my cousin's 16-year-old daughter gets married.

Oh no, your cousin didn't just go there you might be exclaiming, and my reply to you is oh, but she did . Keep on reading;
you're in for a treat from this strange, alternate universe that my otherwise intelligent, educated, and successful relatives occupy:

* No, they're not kidding about telling me to try to get married before a 16-year-old because they have every intention of a) looking for marriage prospects for their kids by the time they're 18 and b) marrying them off by the time they're 21 (at this point, I was shocked and awed into silence);
* They want to ensure that they, the parents, are giving their kids a proper, religious outlet, ie marriage, for satisifying their (ahem) biological urges (ahem) (please don't let them be talking about what I think they're talking about);
* The biological urge is stronger in males than it is in females (they're talking about precisely what I think they're talking about);
* They don't want to have to ever be in a situation where their kids ask them why they can't kiss and date members of the opposite sex the way their friends do;
* Yes, they're talking about marrying their kids off so that said kids can have sex and whether or not these marriages work out in the long run is, ultimately, out of the their hands;
* They shouldn't even be talking to me about bioligical urges, seeing that I'm unmarried (and bound to be unmarried for the rest of my life);
* No, they're not being preposterous…I'm a bloody sad, clearly crazy spinster for insinuating that they are being preposterous.

So, this is how I started 28. This was followed by my tweaking my hip so badly, thanks to sleeping on the floor, that I hobbled around in terrible degrees of pain from airport to bloody airport. Flying in planes so small that they inspired my life to flash before my eyes didn't help much either. Neither did going straight into work, consuming massive amounts of birthday-sanctioned sugar in the unfortunate and misguided hope of calming my nerves, and, finally, crashing after a record almost-68 hours without sleep.

Yah, I'm bitching but, you know what, it's my effin' party and I'll effin' bitch if I bloody damn want to bitch.

Happy birthday to me. Yay (or what-the-hell-ever).


DC Girl said...

i'm so sorry honey about your family's loss and about the non-stop bantering you got...


my dad gave me the 'its time you started thinking about settling down because as you get older trying to have kids, down syndrome is more common'

there ya go...

I'll adopt and i'll meet the man who will get on his knees and ask me to marry him when the time is right...

DO WHAT YOU WANT TO DO...not what THEY want you do do..

happy birthday...

i love you.

come see me in DC.

RAR said...

Oh no -- I didn't realize you were in FLA! I sent some flowers your way which must've withered up & died before you saw them. How sad. I'm not much looking forward to 28 myself. Maybe you should tell your parents you're a lesbian, which would rather relieve you of the whole marriage thing. This is brilliant! -- I think this is perfect, then we can live together and get a bunch of cats/dark chocolate.

Vern said...

Don't worry hope isn't completely gone.

You aren't the only one who has been subjected to enduring the many "sit downs" and lectures from family members. For me, the madness extends to my friends, attempting to have me realize the gravity of the "situation". lol... It is inevitable that you will find your male counterpart to wed. Yes, It's a western ideal clearly illustrated by my aunt, but hey the brought me up in a western civilization as opposed to the eastern belief of marring in one own class or keeping the human race populated. Anyway, that's my two cents and I'm sure your 28th year of existence will be favorably remembered ;)

nusrat said...

Tell your family that you satisfy your biological urges with random one night stands. And this is a perfectly religious outlet because all the men are muslim. They'll never bother you again. =)

trish said...

yay you speak just like i do.

*wow* to the fam.

just wow.