I can’t believe I miss the weddings.
It was the ’90s, I was in my late 20s, and everyone I knew decided to pair up and make it official. Only a few of the 5,373 weddings stand out in my memory. There was the one along the beach (beautiful) with the bagpipes (not so much). There was the time I headed to Boston with 11 bucks in my pocket and heard the two words even more horrifying than “I do” — cash bar. And I’ll never forget the wedding in Florida when a buddy’s tipsy mother got a little too friendly with me on the dance floor.
The whole decade was one big swirl of Chicken Dances and chicken breasts. And there I was, the chicken who wanted no part of marriage.
Now I rarely see any of my married friends without a kid in tow. Last week, I was eating lunch at the DQ with a friend and his chicken-nugget-chompin’ 5-year-old girl when I got a call from another friend. He had big news. “Big news” hasn’t meant anything else for years. Yep, he and his girlfriend are expecting their first child. And just days earlier, another friend had big news: their second child is in the pipeline.
The kids have been comin’ fast and furious over the past few years, to the point where even some of the parents see a problem. I mean, should I know so many guys who have had vasectomies?
Now, I love my friends’ kids, and even try to learn most of their names. But the germy bastards have taken over everything. I’ve dropped some friends who procreated simply because they stopped being fun the minute the water broke. To other friends’ kids, I’m “Uncle” Adam, a title bestowed by parents with good intentions that somehow makes an unrelated single guy feel pathetic, if not deviant.
My friends want to share this life-changing event with me. I get it. But haven’t they figured out that if I wanted to spend hours and hours with kids, I would have had one by now?
OK, so maybe I’m bothered by all this because I’m a little jealous, because I may never know what it’s like to be a parent, because my friends have grown up right past me, because their kids come first now. So maybe I’m the baby.
But who would have thought I’d look back longingly at the Decade of the Weddings. Those days of Macarenas and bachelor parties and tables full of friends sure were a lot more fun. Back before the baby-sitters and the diapers and the kiddie birthday parties. Back when the only thing that came between my buddies and me was a bridesmaid in the conga line. Back when life-changing events didn’t change life so much.