Consider This is a column focused on how important elements of a woman’s life look in single life and in marriage. This week, we’re considering what it's like to grow into adult responsibilities as single and married women. Read Rose's essay about 'adulting' as a single woman here and Laura’s as a married woman here. Today, they respond to each other’s experiences.
Rose (single) to Laura (married)
It was encouraging to have it spelled out for me that financial concerns are definitely a universal experience of the early twenties! But it was also encouraging to me to read about how you and your husband have found some equilibrium. In the meantime, I think I hadn’t fully realized how exhausting it might be to make constant compromises, especially in early days when money is tight. I’m becoming more grateful for the blessing of not needing to second-guess my online shopping more than I already do, and to try a few options (and probably make a few mistakes) as I’m figuring out how best to run a household.
Overall, reading your thoughts reminded me that my single years aren’t wasted: figuring out how these things work ahead of time will hopefully feed into better communication in marriage down the road. Reading about your and Kevin’s Saturday mornings spent hacking away at your to-do list reminded me that I can also do this with friends: even if we’re not working together on a shared household, we could probably offer one another that moral support. I also loved your reflection on priorities. I’m hoping to take a page from your and Kevin’s book and think about how my daily life is really reflecting my priorities for my overall life—and be patient with myself even when the struggle is real.
Laura (married) to Rose (single)
The idea that the world is “built for two” struck me. For as long as I’ve been cooking, for example, I’ve never had to worry about a recipe making too much (if anything, the question is usually whether we’ll have enough leftovers for lunch the next day). I’ve had seasons of being underemployed, but it wasn’t a big deal because I didn’t need my own healthcare. And as much as part of me is disappointed that I didn’t have the experience of living with a friend or two post-college, your experience tells me that it may not have been as convenient (or inexpensive) as I’d once imagined.
That said, of course, the way you and your friends support each other is a good reminder that—single or married—community is key. Even between Kevin and me, life’s big long to-do list and unexpected curveballs are often more than we can handle on our own: what I didn’t mention in my essay, for example, was that in our whole dishwasher installation debacle, it was my dad who figured out how we’d get our old dishwasher out (pulled-up flooring and all) so the new one could be installed. Your experience of leaning on your community—from meal-sharing to asking for advice from a friend with relevant expertise or experience—inspires me to be more active within our own network of friends, too.