One of the stranger phenomenon happening for twenty-somethings is that some of us have kids and the rest of us still feel like children… children with cars and bank accounts.
An old pal said it best after coming back in contact with a mutual friend from high school, “Whoever thought she’d have three kids by now?” Not at all an affront, but rather pure wonderment. How can we, over-aged adolescents whose refrigerators house only condiments and leftover chinese take-out, possibly be the same age as full grown adults with Costco cards and three-year-olds of their own?
While we singles are busy with work/law school/bar hopping, others of our generation are taking responsibility for teeny tiny human beings with eight o’clock bedtime routines.
Stranger still is this looming question: Are we approaching the great divide? The singles crowd vs. the married-with-children (MWC).
In Seattle the median marriage age is 28, according to the last census, so most of our generation still has single-dom in common. But what happens as more of the people we call dear friends opt for marriage and children? We intend and expect those bonds and old friendships to hold strong but somehow it’s not always that way.
I for one hold my MWC friends dear to my heart but have sadly noticed our conversations are fewer and get-togethers farther between. One single gal friend noted, “It’s hard to maintain friendships with MWCs as closely as before … you end up spending a lot of time at playgrounds.”
A 20-something singles guy says of MWC buddies, “I don’t think we have as many of the same interests anymore. They have different priorities that I don’t understand yet.”
My sister, an MWC and half of a thirty-something couple, reports, “I don’t actually know any single people. It’s true that my close friends are all MWCs, and the couples I knew that didn’t have kids had been trying the entire time I’d known them and they now have babies.”
I heard a statistic once that while in your twenties your core set of friends will completely change four times over: when you’re in college, move for a new job, etc. Does the final switch happen due to procreation? Are there exceptions? Or will we simply no longer have enough in common with those folks that in our teens and early twenties we shared weekends, car rides, and cliff notes with if we don’t also share our decision to have or have not? Or at least not yet?
I can not say for sure, but I feel like there is still hope for our cherished friendships because I swear I have seen it work out in movies. And on Sex and the City.