Monday, February 13, 2012

A Long Held-in Rant

I am sick and tired of people giving me flack.

I can't even describe to you how many times, especially this year, that this has happened to me.

I am graduating from Brigham Young University in April of this year with my bachelor's degree in Spanish and a minor in Sociology. I have been at school for four years, and this is the usual anticipated graduation date for someone my age and year.

It is not an uncommon occurrence that someone asks me what year I am in school, and I say "Senior; I'm graduating in April."

About 85%, if not more, of the time the questioner then becomes an interrogator when they respond with, "What? Unmarried?!"

Depending on the situation, I generally try my best to be polite and respectful with a "yes sir, yes ma'am, etc etc," and explain that I have plans to move back to the east coast/south after finishing school and beginning some type of career from there on. Which is a normal manner of answering.

The problem with the culture and attitude of people around here is that this is apparently not an acceptable occurrence, i.e. graduating from BYU a single female.

I have had innumerable conversations throughout this year with many, many individuals who have expressed shock and awe when I tell them the following:

I do not want to be married right now.

If I wanted to be married, I would be. It is a purposeful choice.

Often, what then follows is someone's poorly thought out argument that I am never going to find someone in any other part of the world, and that I am quickly losing my opportunity here in Utah; apparently I am not getting any younger. I was literally told one day, that even if I do find and marry an LDS member outside of Utah, he's apparently likely to go inactive, and then by consequence, I will go inactive, and as a consequence of THAT my children and descendants will be inactive or nonmembers and will thereby help to condemn this world.

"We're just worried about your future, Erin."

You cant make this stuff up.

Well I have a rebuttal for you, ladies and gentlemen.

This is ridiculous.

Only in a place and cmmunity like this is that not completely insane. Did you know that the Average age of marriage of women in 2010 was 26 years old?
Is there something wrong with that? I certainly don't see anything wrong with that.

Its not like I'm in the minority here. 75% of BYU students are single. Only 25% are married. And thats of over 32,000 students in 2011.

Its not like my baby making eggs are going to die off and leave me lonely and childless for the rest of my life.

I am 21 years old. My eggs aren't going anywhere anytime soon.

I'm not going to let you tell me what kind of life I ought to be living. I have a life, and its a dang good one for the most part. I will move forward to that stage of life when I am good and ready. You have no right to rush me.

So stop being all agog and agasp when I tell you that I am unmarried, with no immediate intentions to be otherwise. You're going to catch flies with that mouth.

It is my own choice to be who I am, where I am, whether that is with a husband or not.


Amber Whiteley said...

I know that I'm one of the 25%, but I totally agree with you!!! I hated when my roommates would obsess over getting married before graduating... and I hate it even more when people gasp in shock when they find out that despite my marital status, I want to continue to have a career. Trust me, it only gets worse after you're married because then the only acceptable cultural norm is to be a stay at home mom who hand-makes everything.
Do whatever makes you happy and screw the others.

Brittani said...

GASP! You aren't married!

Haha kidding. Love you Erin. Don't let people bully you around. I'll see you tonight :)

Deb in GA said...

Stick to what you know is right for you, Sweetpea. The pressure cooker can only steam you alive if you keep that lid clamped down tight.

[Wow. Go inactive if the spouse isn't from Utah (or other 'ordained' western states)? Wanna tell that to your Dad who was Bishop of our ward? For funsies, he goes through the old presidents of the church and other GA talks online on just to see what they had to say about everything. He can give a talk on anything, too. He's a ::gasp:: convert. Shocking, I know.....]

Tiffany said...

I was told that my children will be apostate because at BYU when I was engaged I chose to skip FHE a few times. Clearly what I do before I'm married indicates the religious status of my future children. They have no choice in the matter.