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Oh no.

So, the background necessary to this story is that I have had the same best friend since first grade. We went to school together for twelve years, and we have never had a fight. She has been there for me for everything, as I have been there for her. We were fairly similar throughout elementary / junior high / high school. In some ways she was calmer and more reserved. I used to call her my conscience because I needed her advice on all my big decisions (even though she did the same for all of her big decisions.) We joked that she was Jekyll and I was Hyde. Now, enter college. I chose the big state school three hours south of where we grew up. I got to an SEC school with 30,000 people where football is a religion. She chose a tiny, private, Church of Christ school three hours north of where we grew up. It has less than 7,000 students and is fondly nicknamed the "marriage factory." Needless to say, our college experiences have been vastly different.

So we're both in our third year of college. Her boyfriend's graduating this semester. Last semester she came to me with a Big Question: what would I think if she & her b/f got married at the end of this coming summer?

Now, they have been dating since her first semester at the university. I've known for a while they were going to get married, but we'd always assumed it would be after she graduated. We spent a couple hours talking about it, and in the end I told her they had my blessing to get married that early. After some discussions with her parents, they pushed it back to this coming Christmas. Okay. I'm still fine with that.

Did I mention I'm single?

So tonight we're talking about how she just told one of her good (married) friends from church that she & her b/f are getting married sooner than expected. She's laughing about how her friend is wedding crazy, and how this woman went on and on about photographers and florists and all kinds of wedding advice. And then she said "wow, I guess you'll meet her. I mean, you might have before, but not like with planning a wedding." So that means we're both in the bridal party.

And then it hit me:
I am going to be the un-married, un-engaged woman who goes to a public party school. I am going to plan a wedding, and a bridal shower, and a bachelorette party with women who don't drink, don't dance, and probably pity me for my lifestyle. I would like to say that my best friend and I are /still/ best friends, and we talk about everything, and she does not think less of me for not having her type of life. I don't think less of her for having her type of life. I would also like to say that, for going to the school I do, my life is very tame. I go to nearly all of my classes, I have a 3.9 GPA, I only get really drunk a couple times a semester -- even during football season. (And oh do I love football.)

I am super excited for her about this wedding. I can't wait to be a part of it. I can't wait to see her dreams come true. But the realization of who else would be involved just hit me, and my imagination supplied in vivid detail the awkward, stomach-churning feeling of answering questions and receiving Those Looks from all of these other women. I would be the social pariah of the "marriage factory" university.

And getting married is what I want to do! I want to be a housewife -- I know, I know, I'm a feminist too. I understand that women should not be confined to traditional gender roles, but, as a feminist I think I should be able to choose that traditional gender role if I damn well please. And I do. I want to get married and tend house and cook for my husband and raise our children. I share that with these women! But will they be able to look past the fact that I probably won't be married within a year of graduating college? Will they be able to look past my love of whiskey and clubs?

It's months away, I know. But it'll be such a trip to see how the getting-to-know-you goes with the rest of the bridesmaids.


fountain step

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