I’m dating a girl. She’s twenty-five.
I asked her as a joke how many times she’s been married. She said, ‘Married? That’s something I’ll think about when I’m, like, thirty.’
I said nothing.
I could have said a lot.
Being well into my thirties myself, I’ve dated many women who have passed the dreaded three-oh. Pretty much all of them had the same plan. In their twenties they would travel the world, find themselves, spend all their money and have amazing experiences like riding an elephant in Thailand, working in an ‘orphanage’ in Nepal and doing the Asian jump photo in front of the Sydney Opera House.
They would have a career doing something in an office, something with a title, like what their heroines did on TV. Writer. Single Female Lawyer. Something that seems sciency but involves office work rather than boring laboratory experiments.
A major part of the plan for their twenties was to sleep with many, many men. Foreign men. DJs and musicians. CEOs, jugglers, tattooed bikies and even (in one case I know) a Tasmanian street thug.
In most cases they were able to tick the box and proclaim, while straddling a battleship’s mighty cannon, ‘Mission Accomplished!’
The next part of the plan was to meet a decent, financially established and stable man while they were between the ages of 28 and 31. Probably a man of their own nationality. They would gloss over aspects of their past except in giggling conversations with girlfriends, have a spectacular wedding and then have two kids, a boy and a girl. They would quit their job or perhaps go back part time. This last was something that they would particularly look forward to throughout their stressful, spendthrift twenties.
They didn’t know the rest of their plan but I do. They would cut their hair, harangue their kids when they only get a B on their report and stop having sex with their husbands except when the lucky fellow gets his twice-yearly bonus. They might also have an affair to which they would feel perfectly entitled. Divorce would depend upon the profitability of doing so in their jurisdiction.
None of this is news to my dear reader.
Nor do I need to inform you what often goes wrong with the plan.
What goes wrong with it is, cunts like me.
A fellow dates the now-ready-for-a-nice-guy, thirty year old lady. He has his wicked way, knowing full well she’s not as enamoured with him as she was with her previous, superior lovers. She surreptitiously makes inquiries about his income and starts comparing wallpaper and bassinets.
And then that bloody Nikolai, instead of playing his bit part in the grand drama of her life cycle, evaporates like a puddle of piss in the desert.
Not just once, with one lady. With stacks of them, again and again and again. And it’s not just me. It’s stacks of guys.
And now I find myself back at the other end of the equation, with a young girl who is boasting that she’s not ready for commitment and that she’s going to have a lot more fun before she settles down. Her first lover was a butch lesbian. Her second, a bad boy. Next me: foreign and mysterious, always secretive about my life; planning on moving to yet another country soon enough. There were presumably other, briefer sexual encounters.
Now if I were a good man I would explain all this to her. Perhaps just show her this blog post to save effort. I would tell her about all the miserable, childless women who never found their prince charming. The ones who live at home or with cats. The ones who still work in that office job they’d planned to quit by now and who hate every moment of it. Hate their boss. Hate their female coworkers. Hate the morning commute.
They abhore family reunions because their aunts hassle them about marriage and children which they cannot provide. They hate seeing their harried friends chasing after toddlers. They mourn at weddings and after the third bottle of bubbly, cannot hide their feelings any more. They coddle their nieces, nephews and the children of their friends. Obsess over their pets. Constantly message losers like me long after I have left their lives, left their countries, just in case.
But I am not a good man. Not anymore. So I say nothing and enjoy the ride.
Goodbye, civilization. Thanks for all the electricity. One day our descendants (well, not mine) will look up at transmission towers with the same wonder that Dark Age peasants once gaped at mighty Roman aqueducts, wondering what the fuck they were for.
Further reading: She Upstairs
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