Sunday, August 23, 2015

Disloyal, Inconsistent, Unstable?

This photo was recently posted on my 29-yo cousin's Facebook page. Initially, when I saw it, I automatically had a litany of snarky responses:

- "Yeah, because love, finding the right person(s) and happiness are so overrated."
- "So what does that make me, disloyal, inconsistent and unstable?"
- "Nah, I'm still looking for the one(s) who are disloyal, inconsistent and unstable. That's hot. Everyone love a bad boy/girl."
- "Wait, when did you get older than me?"
- "That thinking is how late 20-somethings end up in unhappy marriages and early 30-somethings in happy divorces."
- "Yeah, everything goes downhill after 30. If you don't catch them now, you never will."
- "It's good to have goals.  I mean, mine are happiness, success and self-love. But whatever floats your boat I guess."
- "Right, because no one over 30 dates anymore. Yuck."
- "Well, I'm too old to be stuck in an unhappy marriage with a man that's loyal and stable.  At MY age happiness, self-sufficiency and love is the goal now."

I'm sure there were more but I think you get my point.

Instead I said "Just don't be loyal, stable and consistent with someone you don't love or who doesn't make you happy....."

However, underneath all those snarky comments, I have to say that her post really bothered me.  It made me sad.  I mean, is this the type of thinking of my age group?  I know as many of my friends near and surpass 30, they are ALL caught up in "adulting". I swear, in the last couple of years this word has SKYROCKETED in popularity.  Like, if I had $1 for every time I heard this word, I'd probably be able to buy a case of craft beer or something. Probably actually stock my fridge or buy a kegerator....

What bothered me the most about this saying were two things:

1). "I'm too old to jump from person to person" - as if dating around is a). something only young, non-adult-type people do and b). not an ideal life-choice.  Both of these assumptions are demeaning to people who choose to live an "alternate" relationship style even if she doesn't consciously say so.  This is what I have started calling a passive put-down.  You are implying that to really grow up, you need to stop doing certain things.

I mean, ok fine, there are some things you can be too old for: "I'm too old to wear 2T clothing."  Or "I'm too old to stay up all night drinking and go to work @ 9AM without feeling like death warmed over." "I'm too old to go skydiving because my bones are brittle now." But these are all related to ACTUAL physical limitations - size, body makeup, constitution etc.  And hey, if you're 70 years old and can still safely skydive - go for it!

But to be too old to have lots of sex, date lots of people, refuse to settle down?  That doesn't actually happen.  I mean, maybe SOME PEOPLE, just choose that they no longer want to do these things but it has NOTHING to do with being a certain age.  It has to do with their place in life and that's fine.  But don't impose misguided generalizations onto your relationship choices!

Also..too old  @ 29? Dayum girl, it's not the middle ages.  You're not even middle aged yet.  People live past 40, y'know.

 2).  "At this age loyalty, stability and consitency are the goal." At what age? 29?  At 29, you probably shouldn't be saying "at this age" to anything TBH.  But ok, let's just pretend for a second here...I'm 31, does that mean that I'm NOT interested in those three qualities? OR does that mean  I'm NOT those 3 qualities because I "jump from person to person".  Again, this is another passive put-down implying that people who do #1 cannot be #2,  Which is totally narrowminded.

And what's worse, she probably didn't think this hard about this when she posted.  That means that she didn't even stop to consider that other people (on her friends list) might have a different life path than her.  And if she didn't consider tthis about her FB friends, does she consider this about other poeple in teh world? Or does she just assume that every late-20-something girl has the same relationship checklist:

  • Get a boyfriend.
  • Big trip together
  • Move in with boyfriend
  • Move somewhere with boyfriend
  • Buy a house
  • Get engaged
  • Get Married
  • Kids
  • Kids
  • Kids
So, bottom line, I'm not really mad at my cousin - it's not like she's actively being a bitch or being judgy. At least not in this exact instance.  She is just a product of her society where an "alternative" lifestyle is not her choice, therefore it's easier to not think about it.  And unfortunately, it's this passive sharing of narrow-minded ideals that has caused feminism and gay marriage etc. to take forever to catch on and REALLY be established.  AND, because MANY people share this unconscious, judgmental value system, those who support feminism and to an extent gay marriage (in some circles to varying degrees) are considered dramatic "feminazis" and the like.

I haven't quite decided how to approach my cousin (if I should) about this comment because I don't want to be the marriage non-believer pushing my beliefs on someone.  However...I would like to push my beliefs onto her to an extent that she just understands (and maybe even recognizes?) that others out there are not like her but they deserve respect and consideration none the less.

Now...where's my kegerator?


Unknown said...

At any and all ages, one should be loyal, consistent, and stable to yourself. If you maintain these ideals, you will be able to protect yourself from any partner - be they for a night or a lifetime - who would allow you to be unhappy in the relationship.

Kate said...

I'd wonder if your cousin & my sister were the same person if I didn't know better. I've had precisely no luck getting my sister to accept that anything other than '100% normal' is acceptable; I hope you have better luck with your cousin.