Guest columnists and contributors are generously sharing their talents and insights while I’m taking some time to care for my new baby. Today’s essay comes from a reader who prefers to remain anonymous, so let’s just call her “Nancy Isaacson.”
I am a first time homeowner. By all standards I’m a successful woman who has it all: multiple degrees from top schools, a promising career with a great company, old friends and new friends, good looks and good health, parents and a brother whose love and adoration of me is beat only by mine for them…and the capstone: a great new condo in a fabulous part of town just a two short blocks from the beach.
I had dreamed of this condo for years: mine and my husband’s first home: a place we could decorate without worrying what the landlord will do to the security deposit; enjoy a glass of wine while watching the sunset from our roof deck; cook dinner together while dancing barefoot to old Frank Sinatra songs.
Yes, I have it all.
Except the husband.
I moved into my gorgeous beachside condo with a view fiancéeless, boyfriendless and prospectless, relying on a great handyman to help me hang paintings and decide which shade of white paint would be best for my new home. My best friend made it clear that my ability to choose whatever shade of white I wanted is far better than having to compromise, and insisted that “living with a boy” is far more trouble than it was worth. But while she is my best friend, her husband is hers – and though messy, hairy, and noisy, she gets to share the joys and frustrations of home-ownership, and a life, with a man who would walk through fire for her – a musician whose songs he writes for her bring tears to my eyes every time I hear them, because his love for her is so undeniable and so much a part of who he is.
Many strong, wonderful women whom I admire have praised my ability to “do it on my own” and think that as a woman I am even more empowered by not waiting around for Prince Charming to purchase a home. They talk of how great it is that we no longer need men in our lives to have the life we want. What I think they don’t realize is that this is not the life I want – and as un-politically correct as it may be in this day and age where a woman has so many options and choices – I want a man in my life. My plan was to fall in love, marry, and buy a home – in that order – all while achieving my other goals. By undertaking this life changing milestone on my own, I can’t help but wonder: has meeting someone now become not a question of when, but “if”?
I am overjoyed that I have the resources to pay my down payment and mortgage alone, especially in a time where so many are struggling. I am thrilled that I get to spend every holiday with my parents, and don’t have to worry about splitting time between in-laws. I love that I get to cry unabashedly at sappy TV shows without worrying what a man will think of a woman who cries at sappy TV shows. But I’m missing something.
I don’t even get to blame my time consuming job that leaves me without a life, or my overbearing mother who drives away any potential suitor. My life is perfectly suited to love – it just hasn’t found me yet, which makes it all the more frustrating… there is nothing to do, but wait and see what happens – which for an impatient type A like myself, is a very painful process.
The hardest part is that, to a certain extent, I know what I’m missing: I’ve had passionate, infatuated love, and stable, committed love. I know what it’s like to wake up every morning next to a person that I want to spend the rest of my life with, and I know what it’s like to not have things work out with that person. I’ve hurt people I have loved to such an extent that the relationship could not be repaired, and I’ve missed out on what may have been happily ever after because of bad timing. I’ve watched old loves move on, get married, buy their homes and start their happily-ever-afters, and wonder…when will it be my turn? Will it ever be my turn?
But while I wonder and wait, I’ll be cooking in my new kitchen, dancing barefoot to Sinatra, and having a glass of wine on my roof deck – enjoying a place that I can say is, “all mine.” I will continue to believe in my own happily-ever-after, hope that love and I find each other, and look forward to the day that I have someone to dance in our home with.