Saturday, July 21, 2012

Parallel to my life

I had a friend in college who would say that he was only interested in 18 and 19 year-old girls, because he wanted to train up his wife.  It used to irritate me to no end.  We discussed this and he shared his viewpoint in the semi-public forum of facebook one day.  He argued that older women (meaning girls in their 20s) were boring and didn't know how to have fun any longer.  I was 24 or 25 at the time and didn't feel like I was "no fun".

But finally today, what he said started to make sense.

I turned 30 a few weeks ago.  I am still quite young and adventurous.  During my work season, I spend my evenings socializing and attending events and am rarely home on the weekends.  During the summers, I've enjoyed going and coming as I please.  For example, a couple days ago I went on a 1.5 hour bike ride, changed, drove a couple hours to go sailing with a friend, spent a few hours on the water, made a late lunch with him, listened to him play a few songs on the guitar, drove back to the city and went straight to a party.  My days are full and my opportunities are endless.

However, I have noticed both this weekend and while vacationing for 3.5 weeks in Florida that I do have preferences for how I like to spend my time and am not nearly as willing to compromise.

My brother is visiting from Southern Utah.  I love him and his daughter, and I am so glad that they've come for a visit.  But if he were not here, my weekend would've been much different.  I had two enticing ways I could've spent my weekend.  I could've 1) spent two days in Moab camping and going on a river trip with a bunch of young people.  2) Had I opted to stay home, my weekend would've involved attending a party Friday night at a delightful friend's house, Saturday morning bike ride to the farmer's market, afternoon attendance at a folk/bluegrass festival, and an evening in Deer Valley at an outdoor concert featuring the Utah Symphony and Kansas with two friends that I really enjoy.

I did still choose my Friday night party despite my brother's evening arrival, but I returned home sooner than I would've otherwise chosen.  My Saturday consisted of going to the zoo (which I normally despise but I was hoping my niece's enjoyment would help...which it did to a certain extent), taking a nap, opting not to go thrift shopping so that I could go to a late lunch with a friend, sitting around the living room talking about what we should do, expressing an interest in going to the folk/bluegrass festival numerous times, finally going to the store instead of doing anything else so that my brother would stop complaining that he could no longer use the Wii due to our lack of replacement batteries.  And when I returned home, he was asleep.

Considering my markedly different day today, and reflecting on the varying priorities of each of my sisters' hopes for our Florida vacation, I realized that after all these years, I have created a particular life for myself that I do enjoy but is also somewhat of a niche.  I have my preferences and try to surround myself with people who have similar preferences.  I maintain numerous friendships so that I can pick the activity and then pick the company I would like for that particular activity.  I don't have one or more friends that does almost everything with me.  Instead, I have several friends who each do one or two things with me.

I expressed aloud to my late-lunch friend that when I was 18, my dating pool was huge.  I could've gone out with any boy and enjoyed what he offered.  With a serious prospect/companion, my and his interests could've grown together as we experienced what the world offered.  We could've tried new things together and found the things we both most enjoyed and begun spending our time that way and working toward those things.

That is no longer the case.  Now my dating pool is pretty limited.  Now that I've entered a career, established what I enjoy most, and determined priorities for my life, I have to find a boy whose life is parallel to mine.  The more refined and defined I become, the fewer boys are compatible.

My college friend was right.  I have become less fun in the sense that I like to do what I like to do and am less willing to waste my time on things I don't particularly enjoy or value, even if a potential date likes it.  Although I still would not define girls in their 20s as boring and less fun, I can understand how less enjoyable it must've been for my college friend to find a more established girl who either had numerous similar interests/goals as he or was flexible enough to alter her life to try out what he wanted for a little while.


Betty Edit said...

I've noticed this in myself, too... as if I wasn't difficult enough to match up in the first place. :o)

The Renfros said...

I find it kind of offensive that he claims he wants a girl he can "train" to me that seems very controlling. I agree that as you get older you do get set in your ways but I don't think that makes a person any less fun. Finding someone to share experiences with is what a relationship should be about. "Training" someone makes me feel like you are trying to force them to enjoy things you do without giving them a freedom to discover other things. I guess it also comes with the territory of where you live. Utah is very much stuck in the mindset that if you are 20 years old and not married, you are old news.

renée said...

This makes me wonder in which aspect of your life I am being invited to participate. Let's see, what are the "one or two things" I do with you?... :o)

I agree with The Renfros about being controlling. There's a give and take in every relationship, and compromise is always necessary, at any age.


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