I was married at 22, so I couldn’t resist the opportunity to respond to Wander Onward’s post that has been circulating Facebook. The author’s broad generalizations of marriage and single life couldn’t be further from the truth. Here’s how I debunked her entire list, explaining just how naive her perception on marriage is:
1. Get a passport. Married people aren’t exempted from getting passports. My sister-in-law, engaged before she was 23, took a road trip across the US and then went to Europe the following summer with her husband.
2. Find your thing. I haven’t lost anything I didn’t intend to lose. I have a collection of paintings, embroidery, stories, and pictures of cakes that I’ve made AFTER I was married.
3. Make out with a stranger. After marriage, the only person in the world you will want to kiss is your spouse. Can kissing my husband be my new “thing”?
4. Adopt a pet. Yes. Married folks can adopt pets (and children).
5. Start a band. My husband still sings and plays professionally (shout out to the LTD band). I still rock the air guitar with two of the cutest back-up singers/dancers.
6. Make a cake. Since marriage, I’ve made layered cakes, cheesecakes, ice cream cakes, heavenly flourless chocolate cakes for family and friends.
7. Get a tattoo, it’s more permanent than marriage. Make a vow to God, it’s more permanent than a tattoo.
8. Explore a new religion. Visit the Holy Land. Far too many of us operate on bad interpretations of the Catholic Church’s teachings and are sorely misguided. The major news outlets make a huge profit on these errors, so they’re invested in spinning the truth.
9. Start a small business. I’m one of many self-employed young mothers, and I have been for the last five years. The flexibility is great for family life.
10. Cut your hair. I started donating my hair in high school, feeling somewhat helpless in ministering to those who suffer cancer, especially children. So I’ve specifically donated my hair to charities that make wigs for children. When I start to gray, I’ll donate it specifically for women. Marriage has nothing to do with it.
11. Date two people at once. I’ve never been so bored that I felt the need to create drama, like dating two people at once. We don’t even own cable; there’s never a dull moment in a household of small children.
12. Build something with your hands. We have torn down and rebuilt so many parts of our old house. We also managed to assemble furniture, kitchen cabinets, and build a raised garden. But the most unique things we’ve built are our children.
13. Accomplish a Pinterest project. The crafts for kids are especially fun. You don’t even have to be married to participate in those projects with children.
14. Join the Peace Corps. Or Catholic Charities. They regularly are the first responders to emergencies. Married and single people can participate on a multitude of levels. Catholic Charities didn’t even pay me to write that.
15. Disappoint your parents. As a parent now, I can reassure you, you’ve already accomplished this by age 5.
16.Watch GIRLS. I like watching MY girls. They’re hysterically funny with a slight flair for the dramatic. Best part is, it’s LIVE and unscripted.
17. Eat a jar of Nutella in one sitting. There are far better quality chocolates out there. I beg of you, don’t settle!
18. Make a stranger feel uncomfortable in public places. Breastfed both my kids in public. ‘Nuff said.
19. Sign up for Crossfit. I regularly workout to maintain excellent health since other people depend on me. Besides, it gives me the energy I need for my family, and all the “things” I want to do.
20. Hangout naked in front of a window. Actually, I did this while laboring for my second baby. Luckily I was just staring out into empty office spaces since it was late evening on a Sunday. There’s no such thing as modesty in giving birth, rather, it brings back the sense of innocence that we all lost with original sin.
21.Write feelings in a blog. Sharing my feelings now.
22. Be selfish. My most subtle selfish moment was insisting to sit down to eat my dinner while it was still warm. Each bite tasted so delicious after months of eating cold dinners while standing (common for parents of young children).
23. Philippines for Chinese New Year. Since being married, I have not felt like I have missed out on any New Year’s celebration, ever.
While there are compromises in marriage, living an authentic Catholic marriage is truly freeing, allowing both spouses and children to mature and explore the world together. However, as an unmarried person, if you’re looking for a better list of things to do, check out Katrina Owen’s article, or for the Christian perspective, check out the list on JustTaylored.