Raised with Disney princesses and a mother who taught me more rational lessons than emotional, it was anyone's guess how my brain would function as a grown woman. It seems that many women, including myself, have been raised to see the reality of life and not the fantasies of what life could be. Taught to be independent, not to depend on men, chivalry is dead, and to always be suspect of our men, it is no surprise that divorce seems to be so high in our generation. When did being a woman of this century mean we should give up the idea of Prince Charming or to think that love is not enough to get married? When did being a woman mean that we have to sacrifice our dream of one thing for the reality of another?
My eyes glaze over at the thought of the numerous conversations I've had with my mother about the shadiness of men, the horrors of marriage, staying independent, and making sure I know how to hold on to a good guy. I grew up secretly wanting the ideal guy and the ideal life (who doesn't), but I focused on the reality that finding a good man was hard and that I would have better luck finding a good job. Now, I sit here approaching the end of a chapter of my life, wondering if I even get a taste of a childhood dream in the next chapter.
I sit at work listening to the thoughts of my fellow, female coworkers. Maybe it is their ages or maybe it is our generation, but no one really talks about love with blind faith. Love is treated like a cherry on top of a sundae, if it's there great but if not you still have everything else. It's like love has gone down in value. I get asked why I want to marry my boyfriend and when I reply that I love him, I get blank stares and responses of, "and what else?"
Never the one to be a romantic and I doubt many of my friends would say I am an openly emotional person, I am somewhat baffled at the idea that love and marriage have become so meaningless to so many. I never dreamed of my wedding as a kid (probably because I honestly thought I'd have a few of them due to a couple of divorces......seriously). But amusingly enough, as I talk with friends and coworkers about marriage and love, I feel myself getting softer. Something I probably won't admit out loud and really beyond this post, but I want a wedding, a real wedding. Not because I am so gun ho about planning one, but because I want to have that one day to show my friends and family my love for my man.
But reality is a bitch...
As I think about my little sister as my maid of honor or my father actually putting his feelings aside and walking me down the aisle, I pause and reality starts to sink in. My mother constantly asks me if I want to get married now because I am fearful of my boyfriend leaving me or because I really want to. Many thoughts run through my head every time she asks and then I feel reality dominating over fantasy. I am ready for marriage, but with recent events and a boyfriend in the Army, I don't really have the luxury of wallowing in the fantasy of an idealistic transition from boyfriend and girlfriend to husband and wife. Because once I do, reality is that much harder to bare. Don't get me wrong, I will be happy to be married to Akeem no matter how we get there; however, it just won't be the way I would of dreamed.
Maybe that is why so many women have the beliefs that they do in this day and age. Because if you always think in fantasy, reality is going to turn out much worse than you can imagine. However, I find myself submitting to love more than to the realities of modern day womanhood. I have seen both sides of the fence. I choose to live my life in reality but I keep fantasy in my pocket like a secret chocolate stash because who doesn't love chocolate and it isn't bad for you in small doses:-)