I've been working for the last couple of days on renting a beach house for some girlfriends of mine and I on Topsail Island, NC in October. It's our annual beach trip--as of a couple of years ago anyway, and not including last year when both me and Mommygoth had babies too new to leave for a few nights. I'm looking forward to resuming this tradition very much, though. I'd love for it to keep going til we're all old, old ladies.
But I'm a bit nervous about this trip, too. There will be 5 of us there, including me. We've all known each other since college, and one of them I've even known since elementary school. 3 of us are married and have children. 2 of us are not married and are childless. These last 2 girlfriends would like very much to be married and be mamas, and one of them is even going so far as to give her boyfriend of 10 years an ultimatum. He'll either agree to have kids with her by her December birthday, or she'll leave him. Only she's not telling him the date, because apparently he won't respond well to a spoken ultimatum. The other friend is still mourning the end of a relationship that she (and we!) really thought was going somewhere, and which went on long enough to seem serious. She's 36 now and freaking out about her prospects seeming so grim.
Our first year doing this trip, I remember commenting to one of my friends, "We're at the age now where for the next 10 years, someone'll either be getting married, or pregnant, or nursing a newborn." It seemed like it couldn't possibly turn out otherwise then. Can you tell why there's something a bit nerve-wracking here? My emotions about it all are very mixed. I feel horrible that my 2 friends are so unhappy about their lives, and that things aren't going the way they wanted them to. One of them is particularly fragile, and I hate to see her that way. I'm excited to be going and getting some time with them away from the responsibilities of my usual life, even if I should be so lucky to have such responsibilities. I want to get caught up on everyone's lives, but I feel like I should probably keep my mouth shut about my own because I don't want to piss anyone off or make anyone feel bad. They are wonderful women who don't have a spiteful bone in their bodies and wouldn't begrudge me a thing, but I can see that my TWO husbands--one of them Ex, of course--and TWO girls are an irritant sometimes.
I know that marriage and babies aren't the only mark of success in a woman's life, and I certainly know they're not the only route to happiness. But I AM happy, and apparently feeling guilty about it. I know I don't deserve my life, and didn't do a thing to earn what I have. I feel grateful and puzzled about it every single day.
But almost none of us deserve what we get, do we?