The two Canadians had joined myself and a friend at our table after the football. They'd shuffled over as the big screens rolled up, bought a round of drinks; we imparted our London knowledge and now the conversation had moved on. Somehow, the subject of age came up. I told one of them mine, and was completely thrown by what came next.
"Isn't 27 a little old to be single?"
"Pardon? Too old?"
"Yeah, like if you want to have kids and stuff - isn't 27 a bit old to still be single?"
Once I'd picked my jaw up off the floor and provided a response which didn't include nearly as many swear words as I'd have liked in retrospect, it wasn't long before I was wishing them a good night, and making my excuses to go home. The next morning, his question was the first thing to come to mind. Too old?
Probably not, but definitely not too young.
If you decide tomorrow morning to start your marriage quest, count on one year to sift through the chaff. Let's assume you meet the Special Someone, and spend another year getting to know one another. Once over that threshold, it's time for the engagement, the family's happy announcement, and the wedding planning. Three years after tomorrow morning, it's wedding day.
As career-chasing adults rather than dumb youngsters happy with a couch and each other's arms, you'll take another year to merge your households and sort finances out. Then it's one more year while your body recalibrates from the decade or so of synthetic estrogen.
Six years from tomorrow morning, you give birth. You are now 33. You may be biologically capable of one more child. You will also be calculating the age differential with your children and grandchildren on the back end.
No more children--you are too old.
The author continues:
Our lives are different to the ones we grew up expecting. Somewhere in the depths of 1996, there's a gaggle of thirteen year olds who thought we'd be married with kids by now - or at least paired with someone who wanted that with us - but instead, we're nowhere close.
For the most part, we're happy. We're doing well. We're well adjusted, fun to be around, brimming with experiences and stories to tell. We look at those who settled down young and feel bad: they're the ones missing out, not us. However, there's no denying it, we've had our long term relationships, they've broken up and now we're single again. But it's different this time around. There's an edge to it; a desperation creeping in, a scrabble to locate the nearest hot man in any given vicinity.
You get the idea. The author realizes that amidst the blur of work-party-travel-fuckbuddies, the great god Time continues his unstoppable count. It seems like a long way off, but by age 35 she is not going to get the same looks from men in pubs. By age 40, they'll be avoiding eye contact.
Ladies, you will never be as attractive to the opposite sex as you are in your 20's. That is when God and biomechanics endowed you with peak ability to turn a man's head and make him crazy for you to bear his children. Do not squander them.