By The Time We're 40
Welcome to Cheaper Than Therapy, a healing newsletter for 80s babies by Shani Silver. This newsletter does not publish free content, but if you’d like to read it you can subscribe here. Thank you for enjoying the work of independent writers.
What’s the worst that could happen? It’s both a question and a moving target. An answer that is entirely subjective, changes with age, and is our mind’s most clever way of freaking us out for nothing. Once the “worst” happens to you, you typically realize it’s not all that bad, and what’ll really toast your sourdough: sometimes the worst is for the best.
“If we’re not married by the time we’re 40, we’ll marry each other.” Who didn’t make that pact at summer camp or an awkward eighth grade dance? Not being married by 40 was life’s little dead end, and rather than weather it alone, we might as well be with someone we’re not romantically attracted to but who at least likes the same movies. I’d love to meet two people who followed through with this, at some point.
I used to think not being married at 30 was a nightmare scenario. Forty? Are you kidding? Where will I summon the will to live? Can you imagine anything more indicative of a wasted life than a human being who hasn’t bound themselves to another human being via little imaginary handcuffs by the time the greeting card aisle at Target thinks they’re old? I really lived in that shallow reality for a good three decades or more. Today, I’m 41, I’ve never been married, and I’ve never been happier. Though I will say, summer camp was pretty fun.