Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Marriage Menu

I drafted this post some time ago. I have kept the draft because I actually put effort into it and didn't want to scrap it. My current marital status doesn't really change any of my thoughts here. After all, I technically am still single by definition. When filling out forms at the doctor's office, there is no box for "engaged" or "dating." Only "single" and "married." Maybe they should have a "single plus" box.

The below thread of thought came from some conversations with others in the non-married club. Whether we mean to or not, we all, male or female, in some form or another, have a "list." A list specifically regarding our aspirations for our future eternal companion aka our "EC". Some lists are more extensive than others. Others more modest. Typically mine starts with "1) male". And then I just go from there depending on my mood.

I, like many out there, have gone through various drafts of this list. The first time I ever put pen to paper to create "the list" was in high school. It was some kind of church activity on eternal families and establishing what you should look for in your future spouse. I don't recall everything that was contained in this list but it most likely read the same as every other girls' in my class and was something like: Strong testimony of gospel; Return Missionary; Good sense of humor; Loves children; Athletic.

Bam! Done! Time to go find me a man! Insert 4 years of college and another evolutionary phase of the list. My freshman year, the six of us in my apartment were pretty close and knew one another well. One night we started naming off the type of man we could see the others marrying. In the end, we had all of the predictions written down. I, to this day, possess a sealed envelope with a rather extensive description of my future spouse. I have not read it in at least six years but am looking forward to a good laugh when I finally decide to read it again. Rest assured, this was nearly 9 years ago. If husband-to-be doesn't meet the checklist of my 18-year-old self, I think that's okay.

Performing the same exercise today would produce slightly different results. The list in my head has matured much as I have. It started broad and generic, then went to overly specific while in college, and now has drifted back into being more liberal. I do not imply that the standard is lowered or that I no longer expect great things out of my one-and-only-true-captain-dreamy. But I have learned the list can be a dangerous thing. Whether or not you write yours down or not, you have one in your head. Many of you are probably thinking about it right now.....

It's a bit of a catch-22; finding someone to date/marry as you go through life. On the one hand, you have a more realistic view of your future sweetie and no longer have a 50-point checklist of demands. On the other hand, you have also traveled down many more roads than you did during your starry-eyed high school days and have learned more about yourself, about life, about the opposite sex and you know what you do and don't like. So do we get pickier? Or do we get more open minded (not to be confused with "desperate")?

of the story: don't let romantic ideals consume your reality. Fate? Destiny? Soulmates? MFEO? Sorry sweetheart, it's not real. Call me cynical. Call me anti-romance. When life starts to fill my moments with instrumental background music, then maybe I'll buy into fate. Until then, I'm sticking with my happy little reality.


  1. One-and-only-true-captain-dreamy.
    Best line ever.

  2. The characteristics that one might think of as unrealistic from a past "list" that one may have discarded oftentimes manifest themselves after years of experiencing life together. That "okay" looking person suddenly becomes the most handsome (or beautiful) person that ever lived.

  3. And this post is exactly why I enjoy reading your blog.

  4. Oh Kelley, it's all so true! I loved the "single +" idea- so funny!
    Also... we did get EXTREMELY SPECIFIC with the lists- I mean, it took us hours to do them! :)


About This Blog

Come Again Soon!