real life

"All my friends are getting married"

There are two things that we should have learned from Kim Kardashian’s recent 72 day publicity-stunt-cum-wedding-extravaganza.

1. Heterosexuals are doing such a fantastic job at making a mockery of the sacrament of marriage that there is no reason to deny homosexuals a chance at cherishing it; and

2. There is absolutely no need to rush into such a big commitment.

But marriage, it seems, is entering my world. In fact today I came to the painful realisation that my friends are going to start getting married.

It all started with a Facebook notification (thank you web2.0) that a comrade had updated her status from ‘in a relationship’ to ‘engaged’. Seeing as I am only 23, still at uni, and unable to fathom the idea that people actually get married before 30, shock and horror ensued. Sure, she’s been dating her now fiancé for over four years, but marriage? Surely that’s a drastic response to the five year itch.

According to the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the average age at which men and women marry is 31.5 and 29.2 respectively. That means on average, my friends should be waiting at least six more years before jumping the gun. A not-so-teeny-tiny part of me hopes that this engagement is to my friendship group what jeggings are to fashion: worn only by those too naïve to realise how ridiculous they are. I am quite convinced that if the rest of my loved-up couple-friends start dropping  to one knee, I’ll have to break up with my boyfriend in protest against having to make up reasons for why I am not ready to settle down and start making babies or how I plan to beat the ticking time-bomb that is my ovaries.

While I promise I am over the moon for her – the whole affair has me completely freaked out. For starters, my friend has never lived out of home, let alone with her partner. For both of their sakes, I hope they have a very long engagement before committing to a lifelong one of perpetual nagging on her part, and selective hearing impediments on his. Secondly, if they are somehow allowed to marry, they will be perpetuating a clan of jersey wearing St Kilda supporters, which in itself is reason enough to want to object. And lastly, she only has 24 years under her belt, which in my humble opinion is far too few to be making such big decisions.


Case in point: when I was in VCE, my first preference for university was a Tourism Management course at Swinburne. Who would want to go to Swinburne I hear you ask? To this day I cannot answer that, but fast- forward six years and I’m studying Journalism at Monash. The point is, such decisions (yes, choosing a life-partner is as tough as choosing a life-long career) require perspective – and at four and twenty – you have very little.

Speaking of Four ‘n’ Twenty – pies have a lot in common with the ol’ knot-tying tradition… If you cook them too quickly they burst, if you leave them too long in the oven they burn, if you take them out before they’re ready you get cold meat and if you leave them in the fridge too long they expire. Getting the balance just right? Well that’s the difficult part. I’m not suggesting my friend should channel her inner Zsa Zsa Gabor and practise until she makes perfect, but maybe the iconic leading lady is proof that good things come to those who wait. After eight attempts at happily ever after, her ninth was the charm.

If the old adage that once you pop, you can’t stop has any credence, then it looks like I’ll be in for a gruelling year of engagement parties, house warmings, weddings, and baby showers, and not necessarily in that order. According to the ABS, children born out of wedlock and shot-gun weddings are all the rage, with 38 percent of children born out of wedlock.

As incredibly happy as I am for my friend, and in my relationship, the idea of making such an outlandish commitment when I can’t even choose a hair colour is extremely perplexing… Since medicine made it possible for us to live for longer than thirty years, ensuring the future of the world (see: populate or perish) is just not high on my to-do list.

Tianna Nadalin is a full-time Editorial Assistant at the Sunday Herald Sun and a full-time communications student at Monash University

Do you ever feel out of step with your friends? Feel like you are moving in a different direction to them or are they moving away from you?