Tag Archives: Friendship

Merge Left for Marriage

18 Jul

Photo by Anthony Delgado

At what age do we become real grown-ups? Is there an invisible boundary between twenty-four and twenty-five that activates the marriage and mother gene? If so, was I absent that day?

It seems everywhere I look; I am surrounded by Bugaboo strollers and blinded by bright, shiny engagement rings. The really strange part about it is I know some of these strollees and diamond slinging offenders. It’s as if I woke up and suddenly there is this Domesticity Partition separating the marrieds from unmarrieds, the yes-I-want-kids from the yes-I-want-to-travels.

My best friend and engaged traitor, Shayla, has been moved over the Partition, and now attends grown-up soirees for New Years and receives fancy thousand dollar plates as engagement gifts. As a sort of a UN peace ambassador between the two sides, Shayla gracefully balances between her life affianced and her friendship with me, student and poor person.

“But tell me this” I asked her over the phone, “when did it become normal to talk about diapers and poop for hours? No one bats an eyelash! They just keep talking and talking about puke and poop as if it’s the most natural thing in the world”

“Well, no one wants to hear about your child’s poop. They should know that. They probably were never very interesting to begin with” she told me.

“But it’s true! People that are only four years older than me have these completely alien lives, they have kids and husbands and I can’t even pay my phone bill on time”.

It was then that she went into a long story about her favorite aunt and uncle who had it all. They traveled, had kids, and retained their ability to relate to people without kids. But it just seemed so distant to what I had experienced, like a sort of fairy tale ending. She popped out a kid, went back to work, and then they traveled the globe. The End. No poop.

I told her about how earlier that day, I leaned over the balcony in the mall that overlooks the kids play area. The loop of multi-colored plastic couches were crowded with moms watching their children slide through tubes and jump into a sea of red, yellow, and green plastic spheres. The women were all probably a few years older than me, but no more than five or ten years. As I watched them sip their four dollar lattes and smooth the imaginary wrinkles from their perfectly coordinated track suits, I wondered, am I the strange one?

What happened to making a friend in the sandbox when you were five or later proclaiming lifelong friendships over too many beers? Are those days over, to be filed away with old yearbooks and Hanson CDs?

“Yes, you are weird” she said. “You call breast implants enlarged mammary glands; you’re weird. But I promise, when I have kids, I won’t talk about their poop. I’ll probably want to forget that I ever cleaned it anyway.”

That’s what I love about Shayla, no matter how far we get from our 18 and 22 year old selves, we’ll always be kindred, even if she does enjoy doing laundry and I haven’t had my car washed in two months.

So with that, I resign peacefully to my half of the partition with the comfort of knowing that maybe we don’t have to pick a side.

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