December 1st, 2004.

Every spouse must go.

Speaking from the other side of "the big three-oh!" I can say that it's not at all a big deal. I turned thirty and discovered that in my own life being in your early 30's was just like being in your early twenties, only without the stupid bits.

However, people tell me that I need to "settle down" and find a nice girl to marry because, they say, "the clock is ticking." But I can't bring myself to look at finding a wife and "settling down" in the same way as last-minute Christmas shopping. The whole concept of having to get someone now "before it's too late" just seems wrong to me.


The idea that I have some kind of 'sell by' date is absurd to me. But when people tell me "the clock is ticking" what are they actually saying? That I'm not that interesting, and that if I don't get someone before I go gray and get a few wrinkles I'll have lost the only thing going for me? Are they saying that love itself only comes before you're thirty-five, or that after that age we're not able to physically enjoy some aspects of 'love' that we might otherwise have had? I mean okay, the clock is indeed ticking, but hasn't this always been the case? Why the sudden need to remind me of something that has always been a reality?

I'm in no hurry to simply settle down and "find a wife" just because I am getting older than the average newlyweds. It annoys me that the very people who tell me to "find a wife" because I'm "not getting any younger" are often the same people who talk about how sad it is that the divorce rate is so high and that many people get married too young.

So if it's possible to get married too young, and difficult to get married later, when exactly is that perfect window of opportunity to find that 'one true love'. And if it were indeed possible to narrow down an age range that is 'ripe for the picking' doesn't that then mean that in that age group everyone is so desperate to be picked that they run the considerable risk of simply making a wrong decision? A decision that they may spend the rest of their life regretting.

No thank you very much. I'm in no hurry to just settle with the next girl that's handy. I'm not a desperate last-minute shopper running around the isles of Spouse-I-Like snatching at the last remaining stock left on the shelf. I have a far more relaxed approach to the whole affair. I refuse to believe this idea that the stock of possible partners is somehow depleting to such an extent that I simply must grab one before they're all gone.

I think I'll just continue on my way through life, enjoying it as more of an experience than a task. And if "the one" is out there, then maybe we're more likely to meet in the fine wine section of the supermarket rather than the "Sale must end at 35" Spouse aisle.