Sunday, June 28, 2009

A Woman of Marriageable Age

The RWA® National Conference is less than three weeks away. Which means the Golden Heart® Awards thingy is less than three weeks away. I know I'm not gonna win my category. (Thank goodness. I'm not afraid of public speaking, but I'd just as soon not get my cute lil butt up on that stage in front of all those people and stammer thank yous into a microphone. I'll leave that to Kelly.) I'm not being pessimistic by saying I don't think I'll win. I know that several other entrants in my category had full manuscripts requested by the final judges, so based purely on statistic reality, the good money is on one of those ladies. (Best of luck to you all!)

But just because I'm not gonna win doesn't mean I'm not gonna look hella cute. (With my face I can't pull off "beautiful" but I'm cute on any given Sunday and can occasionally swing a bit of "hotness".) I've got the dress (purple! Go Cats!). I've got the shoes (silver, strappy, sex-goddess). And today, I went shopping in search of (for lack of a better word, because I'm not really a fan of the word as a rule...) bling.

(Today's obsession: parentheticals. Apparently, I must editorialize even my own thoughts.)

The bling quest proved to be quite an odyssey. I had my little heart set on a rhinestone choker because a) my dress is a deep V-neck and I wanted some distraction to draw the eye upward away from my plunging cleavage and b) I look hot in chokers. I quickly learned, however, that chokers are not "in" right now and rhinestones are a rare commodity. My quest took me through a dozen jewelry departments before I found what I was looking for. (Woohoo, Kohls!)

But the weirdest thing about the whole day? I had three separate people, in three separate stores, ask me when my wedding was. They didn't ask if I was getting married. They asked when.

Now, I'm a twenty-something and it's June, so it's not an entirely unreasonable assumption that I, as a woman of marriageable age, would be altar-bound. But I'm not wearing an engagement ring (or any rings, for that matter) and it wasn't like I was throwing around words like "fiance" and "tulle". So why were all these jewelry counter clerks hearing wedding bells?

When I said that no, I wasn't getting married, it was for an awards reception, they all looked disappointed. I kind of wanted to shake them and say, "This is better than married! I accomplished something all on my own!" Not that marriage isn't great, but I have to admit I'm more proud of my ability to write about people falling in love than I am of my ability to make guys fall in love with me.

Someday I'll probably get married. I've always been a free-spirit roamer, but I'm getting to that age when people are starting to expect me to settle down. In a couple more years people will stop looking at my nomadic lifestyle and saying "How lucky you are to be able to live the way you do! Do it while you can, before you have a mortgage and kids." Instead they'll be wondering why I don't have a mortgage and kids yet and when the heck I'm gonna nab a guy and settle down.

Someday... that's when. I'd make a terrible heroine for a romance novel. I'm completely happy with my life just the way it is. I'm supposed to need a man to complete me. I'm supposed to need him to heal my inner wounds and make me whole. I have no angsty internal conflict to overcome on my path to true love. Hmmm, perhaps I'd make a good Regency heroine. The aging spinster who just doesn't care that everyone is starting to think she's a little too long-in-the-tooth to snag her man. The blue-stocking.

Or maybe the best relationships aren't the stuff of romance novels. Maybe they don't have deep echoing chasms of drama and internal conflict to be overcome. Maybe a good relationship is two well-adjusted human beings who are headed the same direction in their lives, looking for a little company and someone who stimulates them to be more than they would be alone. Who knows?

Moral of the story? I have a rhinestone choker and I am not getting married. Yet.



I have no bling. I don't have awesome shoes. I used a coupon when buying my dress, and I've been doing a lot of nervous eating, so it might not fit anyhow. I don't know nuthin' 'bout makeup. But I do already have a husband, kids and a mortgage (the 3 reasons I had to use a coupon to buy my dress). Just to be safe, I think I'll write a speech because I am terrified of public speaking, public falling down, tripping, stammering, spilling of food and/or drink.

memi said...

I felt the need to comment on behalf of the "deep echoing chasms of drama and internal conflict," but I quickly realized I have nothing of relevance to say about them, short of the fact that I suppose I'm glad they exist, whether in actuality or fiction. I find myself wondering a lot lately what I actually think makes a good relationship.

That said, I am in full support of your rhinestone choker and its lack of relation to martial status.