The New Belt Notches

So a recent development (or set of them) has got me thinking about how life changes in interesting ways as you round 30 and head for home (the grave).  First off, a digression into memory lane:  As a guy, I used to have a pretty cliched little black address book in which i kept….contact info.  I mean that shit was actually necessary pre-pda and pre-internet and most people had some form of centralized repository of miscellaneous and important contact info.  So stop judging, assholes.

And in this book, I of course rated girls and kept track of how many i kissed and what-not… this was high school, ok?  Which led to the quintessential “Reality Bites”-immortalized practice of counting and listing at various moments (ok, immediately after the sex) the number of girls i had had sex with.  Even the ladies do this, so once more, stop judging, dicks.

Anyway, remember that? Like notches on the belt, or hash marks on the bedpost, or whatever.

So what’s the new version?  The one that takes over from the ego-building celebration of conquest (or circumspect cherishing of past moments of intimacy, depending on the notcher) of our early 20s?  Well, it’s a masochistic cataloguing of missed opportunities, of course!  A painful reminder of failures and dropped balls; a reminder that the clock is ticking and you have somehow been left behind on the race to find someone.  I’m talking about people on that prior list who are now married, or getting married soon.

Marriage was pathetic when it was immediately after high school, but now that we’re talking about real adults (with whom we once had serious relationships) settling down with the soul mate of their choosing it huuuuurts!  It doesn’t hurt in a conventional way, though… It’s like a little proof that there must be something wrong with you.  This is getting long-winded so I won’t delve into that.  But here’s my current number.  Of the girls with whom I have been in meaningful relationships since college, 7 that I know of are either happily married, or getting married this month.  THIS MONTH!  There’re THREE of those! Sigh.  Not that I want to get married, but yeah, now I want to get married.