I never dreamt very far as a child. I contemplated careers, but never really thought about a family or imagined a future for myself. I found life too unpredictable and reasoned that if I didn't set indeterminant goals (married by 25; children by 27!), I wouldn't feel silly when those deadlines weren't met.
Instead, I chose to ride the waves as they crested. I never wanted to return to southcentral Pennsylvania after college (after the glamorous Amish lifestyle in New Wilmington, Pa.), but I was unprepared for much else (finding full-time writing jobs is not easy, friends). However, I lucked out: Harrisburg was becoming cool. And I found a way to get right in on that.
A downtown "socialite" some would say, I made it my business to know the nightlife business, and you know what has happened there.
As The Patriot-New's nightlife writer for more than seven years now, I've been compared to the fictional Carrie Bradshaw more times than I can count. In a way, we weren't that dissimilar, if you erase the swank and high fashion of New York City — and a few years.
I dated my share of good guys, bad guys, had unrequited crushes and chased men who in hindsight were a clear waste of time. I declared myself "terminally" single (more than once) – and I went back and forth on being truly okay with that.
Somehow I ended up with Andy. A nice guy – no, a great guy – honest, caring, helpful, generous, who despite being three years my junior, knew exactly what he wanted in life and went for it. That turned out to be me. I, at the time, was anti-dating, anti-younger men, set on getting my life in order to accommodate only myself. But, he was impressively persistent (and patient), and eventually I gave in.
After dating for a mere two weeks, we sat in my apartment and he said to me, "You know what I love about you? You don't need me."
So I had succeeded. I had managed to be an independent woman, and that didn't have to mean that I couldn't be part of a relationship. And I found a man who got that.
That's not to say it was easy to get here (don't even ask Andy, or he'll joke that he's going to tell my father to chain the church doors closed as soon as I get in there – har har). I did try to run from Andy a bunch of times. But I never got very far.
It is trite but true: I never thought this would happen for me. In fact, I (think) I had accepted it. Getting married was not something I dreamed of as a child. I never pictured pillowy white gowns, blooms upon blooms of fresh flowers. I have always loved weddings, but I hide my sentimentality unless safely tucked on my couch with a chick flick and a large bowl of popcorn. I love love, but I'm very, very skeptical.