… Huffington Post never fails to amuse, what with it’s limitless supply of young narcissists. Meet of one of the newest additions to their writing staff, Ms. Vanessa Elizabeth, marriage mocker and travel extraordinaire. Oh, goody.
I’ve been noticing more and more people getting engaged and/or married under the age of 23.
I get it.
It’s cold outside… you want to cuddle and talk about your feelings… life after graduation is a tough transition… so why not just cut to the chase and get married, right? It’s hip. It’s cool. You get to wear clothing that wouldn’t normally be socially acceptable at the dive bar you frequent with the $5 beers. Eff it. YOLO. YOMO! You only marry once…
The divorce rate for young couples is higher.
Astonishing, isn’t it? Such literary prowess. What follows next is a verbose, self appeasing litany of how “f*cking awesome” she is. She prattles on about being better off than those who “cop out” and get married at a young age, admonishing the reader to “Grow, learn, travel, party, cuddle, read, explore. Do. Freaking. Something… other than “settle down” at 23 with a white picket fence.”
Because getting married means you stop doing all those things. /sarcasm off
Ah, youth. Simple, short sighted youth.
Vanessa’s pièce de résistance; a list of 23 things that are so much more fulfilling and fem-rad rebellious than finding and experiencing self sacrificing love. Because that kind of love is boringly bourgeoisie and gauche. Thanks feminism.
1. Get a passport.
2. Find your “thing.”
3. Make out with a stranger.
4. Adopt a pet.
5. Start a band.
6. Make a cake. Make a second cake. Have your cake and eat it too.
7. Get a tattoo. It’s more permanent than a marriage.
8. Explore a new religion.
9. Start a small business.
10. Cut your hair.
11. Date two people at once and see how long it takes to blow up in your face.
12. Build something with your hands.
13. Accomplish a Pinterest project.
14. Join the Peace Corps.
15. Disappoint your parents.
16. Watch Girls, over and over again.
17. Eat a jar of Nutella in one sitting.
18. Make strangers feel uncomfortable in public places.
19. Sign up for CrossFit.
20. Hangout naked in front of a window.
21. Write your feelings down in a blog.
22. Be selfish.
23. Come with me to the Philippines for Chinese New Year.
Isn’t that precious? And I mean that in the most condescending and patronizing way possible.
You may ask, Katrina, why so harsh? Especially since having admitted to not being much different than her when I was that age. This is true. I wasn’t that much different when I was in college, ages 18-22. By the time I was twenty three; however, I had a job, had been promoted, had my own place, made a livable wage, had maintained long time friendships and forged new ones, moved out of my mom’s house, and was completely self sufficient. Those were healthy markers of adulthood, as opposed to the above self indulgent list.
Now, Vanessa may have accomplished all those things. I don’t know. She doesn’t specifically say. What I do know is that she doesn’t want to get married. Yet. She wants to be young and party. Those are hallmarks of an individual who lacks emotional maturity, someone who puts themselves first, always, no matter what. For her, marriage will come later when she’s tired and bored and all her youth is spent.
Now that, I can relate to having held those same sad ideals at her age. What she doesn’t realize, being short sighted as youth is, is that she won’t stop aging just because she’s decided to delay adulthood a few years or so. She’ll continue to get older till one day she’s almost thirty and realizes a sizable chunk of eligible decent men are already married. She’ll be shocked to learn what her friends have actually accomplished while she was on her decade long vacation. She’ll have had relationships “blow up in her face” while her married friends watch her struggle to maintain one single lasting relationship. They will pity her. I’m sure they already do. As do I. Because I know what fate awaits a young lady who mocks marriage. Ms. Vanessa Elizabeth, this is experience talking. No good will come of this. Even sadder, you are encouraging young girls to follow your shallow vapid lead, declaring it liberation. You know what’s not liberating… the constant emotional turmoil of failed meaningless relationship after failed meaningless relationship.
None of the things that she describes in her list are things that will make you a better person or more attractive to someone who’s looking to get married. Funny stories and anecdotes about crazy hijinks will make for an entertaining first date or so, but beyond that, nothing from that list will make a woman appear to be anything more substantial than just a fling.
The only praise I can muster for her article is that it’s the most perfect example of modern feminism and utter narcissism. It completely illustrates the type of girl serious young men should avoid at all costs. Young, eligible, intelligent young men, do not date this girl (see #11 and #20). Do not date her kind. In fact, share her post with your friends accompanied with that disclaimer. The only place you’ll see more red flags wildly waving about is at a communist party rally. In fact, she’s doing young men a huge favor by taking herself off the marriage market. What you hear is a collective sigh of relief.
And ladies, you are not so special that you can squander your youth and enthusiasm on trivial pursuits and expect there to be a plethora of fine bachelors patiently waiting around to wed you once you return to your senses. The good ones won’t. There are plenty of wonderful women out there for them to choose from, and they will find them, while you’re off “making strangers feel uncomfortable in public” and desperately prancing “naked in front of a window” and “making out with strangers.”
No. What you should be doing at twenty three is establishing yourself as a responsible young adult. You should be growing, not celebrating your bad decisions. Below is my list of twenty three things you should experience or accomplish by the age of twenty three. Notice, not a single one has you sacrificing your dignity and self respect.
1- Join the military or a volunteer organization
2- regularly donate to a charitable organization
3- graduate college with a useful degree, learn a trade, or acquire a marketable skill
4- have a job and keep it for at least a year
5- get at least one raise, one promotion, or some workplace accolade
6- Own grown up clothes and dress like an adult, not a perpetual adolescent
7- become an active member of a church
8- Stop taking money from your parents. Don’t ask for loans or bail. You’re an adult now.
9- Move out of your parent’s house
10- have a lease in your name and fulfill your contractual obligations
11- Purchase and maintain your own vehicle and vehicle insurance without the aide of a co-signer
12- Balance your checkbook and create a budget
13- Open a savings account
14- put aside money from every paycheck, even if it’s just $10 to start
15- Check out your credit score
16- donate blood often
17- every day tell your friends and family you love them
18- Babysit your friend’s children… for free
19- Keep a private journal
20- learn a hobby or try out new ones till you find your passion
21- cancel a date to spend time with a grieving friend of family member
22- Seek and Listen to advice from your elders
23- Make a habit of thanking God daily
These are all worthwhile things that you can do, completely attainable milestones of adulthood, that will make you feel “empowered” in a good way. Things that will make you a better person and a functioning member of society. I guarantee you my list will make your life feel more purposeful and accomplished. The idea is to learn that you are not the center of your own universe while at the same time becoming a healthy, responsible adult… someone worthy of marriage.
Vanessa Elizabeth says most marriages end in divorce. This is why. Because young people refuse to grow up. When narcissistic perpetual adolescents get married it can only end poorly. Marriage at an early age isn’t the problem, marriage at an immature age is. It’s sad reflection on modern young adults when you have to remind them at twenty three they need to start considering the possibility of behaving like adults. Sad indeed.