At the age of twenty, we don’t care what the world thinks of us; at thirty, we worry about what it is thinking of us; at forty, we discover that it wasn’t thinking of us at all- Anonymous
One of the questions that most Eves have to contend with at some point in life (sometimes several points) is, “So what are your plans for the future?” When this comes from an old aunt or older mates at work, you know it has nothing to do with your career path or anything else but earning the ‘MRS degree’. In many traditionalist settings, there is a certain age by which Eve should earn the ‘Mrs. Degree’ and a grace period is usually granted. It becomes extremely complicated when Eve is on her final lap of the said grace period and she is not about to sound any vuvuzela. These will be her trying times. Trying because, even when Eve is not keen on the answering the toll of the ‘Big Ben’, there are all these other voices, some familiar and very unfamiliar ones that she has to deal with.
One Eve captured my attention with her rather detailed break down of the various stages of Eve’s ‘Degree’ timeline.She has categorized women into four broad but loose groups (loose because not everyone fits into any of these). So yes, the disclaimer is necessary because truth be told, this can be very sensitive stuff for most Eves.
First, there is the 25-29 year old, who makes the big decision out of a genuine desire to get married. She is sober, she knows that it is what she wants to do, she has found the right mate and she plunges into it. However, there is a small group in this category which marries because she is with a certain guy and her age mates are getting married and she thinks it is ‘their’ time. Many will argue that this is the best time to make that decision because the eyes are still kind of shut to the issues that bedevil the maze that is the dating arena. At this time, one’s career is just taking root or gaining some direction and there is some sort of fulfillment from pulling through higher education and probably landing employment. Therefore, it seems having someone to legitimately ‘flex’ a muscle with, night in night out does seems like a fitting idea – more like being given power to hold and to be held.
The next group is the 29-31 year old. This bevy of Eves is literally ‘scared into’ marriage because Eve is in her 3rd decade and it is feels like ‘now or never’. So, almost any man hanging around her who shows some interest at this time will do. Truth be told, for most Eves, hitting the 3rd decade with no Adam by her side wearing similar bands on their fingers begins to feel like a tragedy. People are popping out kids – cute kids, wedding bells rang (except they were not yours if you are still in the single+29-31 category) and then the circle of friends starts shrinking because priorities (their priorities) change and to be honest, you do not identify with those priorities – what do you know about changing diapers in the wee hours of the night or the chess moves that are characteristic of dealing with in-laws?
Then there is the troupe of 32-34 year olds otherwise known as the PRIDE of Eves. They have kissed enough frogs, they’ve seen it all and heard enough stories about marriage and are mostly disillusioned about the whole ‘affair’. This category often times wonders why get married in the first place. When she catapults her thoughts into the marriage arena, she is not sure that there is anything attractive about the traditional union; most likely, she has dated and the subject of nuptials arose either in passing or discussed in general terms meaning that somewhere inside her she has considered it. In other words, this is a tricky stage, because she is still open to the idea but she is also set in her ways hence the level of compromise needed for a meaningful relationship might be difficult to achieve – it will need a lot of bargaining.
Last but not least is the over 35 and beyond. She will tell you that, just like manna, the questions ceased from all concerned and unconcerned :). They are called ‘the independent women’. Her grace period expired and was ‘sentenced’ by some undefined tribunal to fate and luck. That is why when a 35-and-over Eve announces her big day, no one wants to know the tribe, religion or creed of her significant other, and no one dares object. Even her sickly grandma will travel to the city, to witness and quip, “she has done what she could not do at 26”. As we can all imagine, this woman could be happy to finally ‘settle’ down but at the same time one has to wonder if she has all manner of mixed feelings because she is not sure if this bold move is a ‘life sentence’, or if it is a good bargain. However, given that she probably knows herself, she will be able to discern that.
So these ‘classifications’ reminded me of instances when my Eve friends (or myself ) have literally been ambushed with all manner of questions about tying the knot – and all manner of unsolicited advice comes your way like “you know time is running out, your eggs will freeze over”. You are given this frantic advice about how you need to just hook up with someone, or just get a baby etc. Often times, the feelings of the Eve in question are never put into consideration.
One may argue that there is never a ‘right age’ to get hitched – when the time comes, it comes (OK, or when you make the time come). Some marriage experts advise that in fact waiting till one is a bit advanced in age has its pros; one of them is that one will most likely have a good sense of who you are and what you want in life. This way, one is more likely to make the right choice (shrinking pool and all). One writer wrote that by 30, the woman has given up on marble and is now modeling her Adam with clay; after all clay is easier to model allowing for alterations as reality redefines fantasy and fantasy fades into oblivion – how true?!
This one is to all Eves out there, I think this is just a reminder that you are not on schedule – take your time. Some will ask, “Take time doing what???” Well, taking time to do things for yourself in the ‘meantime’ – loving yourself, going to the gym, taking to explore your hobbies, just being you, etc.I have heard some great rumors that when you think it will not happen, that is when ‘the one ‘appears and you will most likely be glad you waited; it is during this time that you will realise that there was no need for ‘microwave relationships’.
To Adams, do not take these classifications seriously ;).
Have your say!