I know I’m usually up here writing prose but a conglomeration of things occurred which led me to write this article. First, I was at a party over the weekend and met a couple of very good friends, one married, the other still single, second, I finally entertained a conversation with a would-be toaster yesterday evening and third, being an avid fan of BN I see the wedding glam posts and enjoy reading Glory’s write ups about the single life. So, you may be asking, what is it about this combination of things that caused me to veer from fiction to fact? Well I guess I feel I have a confession to make and here it is…My name is Abby Beckley, I am a woman and I am afraid of commitment. There it’s out in the open.
You see when I gassed with my girlfriends at the party on Saturday, the married one asked the inevitable question, “So when are you going to settle down with a bobo, now?” I experienced an actual physical squeezing sensation near the top of my lungs like I couldn’t breathe properly. When I told them that the thought of getting married and settling down made me feel like I was being suffocated they laughed…at first. After I assured them that I wasn’t kidding, the unmarried friend suggested that perhaps it was because I hadn’t found the right man yet, I agreed with her weakly if only to alleviate the shocked stupor I had put them both in.
Then there’s the would-be toaster; I have been ducking and diving from him for weeks but he caught me in a mellow mood and so I gave him an opportunity to chat. Now he was perfectly pleasant and keen but I could foresee where things would go, he would eventually require more from me than I was willing to give and I would have to take my leave. It has happened enough times for me to have become prophetic about it.
Finally, having read a couple of articles on BN and even a lot of the responses as well as the general spiel that streams out from the various media be it movies, magazines or music, I find it is not usual for a woman to be afraid of commitment, quite the opposite as a matter of fact. It is an affliction that sits predominantly in the male arena and I find there are many flattering references within nature and biology that such afflicted men quote. They identify themselves with animals like the ‘lone’ wolf, the mighty lion – king of the pride, the tiger –solitary lord of the jungle. When it comes to the opposite sex however any female species that advocates the single life gets a negative connotation; see the Preying Mantis or the Black Widow spider for examples; not content to be footloose and fancy free they also kill any male that thinks he can cut in on their singleton lifestyles. Extreme remedy, I agree.
Thus I had to consider; am I alone within my gender in this fear? Were I to attend a therapy session for Commitment-phobics Anonymous would it just be me and a whole bunch of guys talking about feeling trapped or caged, and describing how the thought of marriage makes us break out in hives or suddenly get claustrophobic? It would be a comfort to hear from other women who felt similar.
With the rate of divorces and separations being as high as they are someone is really going to have to convince me as to why I should go and sign myself into something that rings with such permanence when almost half of those who have attempted it have failed. I mean most of us have sat through a wedding and heard those vows – it’s a covenant before God (or a contract by law for the non-religious) that you’re promising to maintain for the rest of your existence upon this Earth! I feel faint and really woozy just at the thought of it. All that pressure! Please do not misunderstand me and think I’m ragging on marriage, in itself I am sure it is a fantastic institution (see that word “institution”…) for those who get it right in which the rewards far outweigh the times of tribulation, and I wish every married couple well including those on the path towards it. All I am saying is that it does not appeal to me, there are too many variables; I do not gamble and it is the biggest game out there. Perhaps in time I may lose my cynicism and get all swan-like about the matter but for now I’m more inclined to see myself as a leopardess roaming free across the Serengeti my only concerns being hunting down impala and finding a good watering hole.