I love my mother desperately. I owe her my life, quite literally, but I also know that her insistence that I marry a doctor or lawyer had me convinced that to do otherwise would be sacrilege. In fact, as soon as I turned 18 she began saying comments – not so discreetly – asking when I was going to get married, telling me who I should marry, etc. And when I went to college, the goal was not to find my passion and a career. If I could find a stable job in the interim, that would be lovely, but the trajectory of the adult phase of my life was to get married – and preferably to a doctor.
Don’t get me wrong. I rebelled and went through a period when I didn’t speak to my parents, quit college, went to acting school and got an acting job. The guilt of not pleasing my parents was more than I could bear. I so needed their approval. So I did the sensible thing – went back to school and graduated with a degree in communications and started dating nice Jewish doctors. And finally, I married one.
But here is where the irony is simply astounding. I probably dated every single specialist in NYC and end up marrying the one nephrologist/internist who decided he can no longer practice medicine. But I digress.
So why didn’t I date guys closer to my age? Why date a man 15 years older than me? Did I set out to marry a sugar daddy? No, although I definitely had some kind of a Daddy-complex and actively sought out older men to date. I guess I was looking for security, someone grounded, established in their career, ready to start a family. Ya see, once again the irony is tragic. Now I’m married to a 54-year-old unemployed guy who is anything but established.
The moral is: Reinvention in middle age is a bitch. We’re taking it day by day.
To be continued…
What have you done in your relationships to please your parents or other members of your family? Has it turned out the way you hoped it would?
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