Why I didn’t wait for marriage

I didn’t wait for marriage.

Judge me if you want for not holding out. I will simply point the finger at an old boyfriend. Oh, and my mother.

First, my mother who on the occasion of my 40th birthday, sat across from me with my grandmother’s beautiful antique silver tea set on a tray between us.

“I had always planned on giving this to you when you got married,” she sighed. “But, well …”

Yes, it was understood that my having not been engaged before my 40th birthday and with no prospects on the horizon, it would be silly to wait for something that clearly, disappointingly, was never going to happen.

Then there was the old boyfriend who got great joy out of sharing how joyous his upcoming wedding was going to be.

We interrupt this column for you to pass judgment again on me. “Daryn, what were you doing talking to an old boyfriend who was going to marry someone else?”

Hey, we worked together — he made it hard to avoid him in the hallway.

“Daryn, what were you thinking dating someone you worked with? You know those things never end well!”

Hey, the newspaper didn’t give me this column because I’ve led a perfect life. Rather, because I’m not afraid to be honest about my messy one.

Back to creepy, narcissistic ex-boyfriend who loved describing his pre-wedding festivities. “The best part was my old friends meeting my current friends,” he shared.

Hello, extra cruel twist of the knife through my heart.

See, I was never the girl who dreamed of the big princess dress or the first dance. No, for me, my wedding was going to be that awesome moment when my people would meet my people. Well, and cake, too. I did fantasize a lot about the cake. But really, a wedding is the time you get to share this incredible collection of people you’ve met up until that point of your life.

That conversation tipped into action.

If I didn’t have to be married to get Nana’s tea set, why did I have to wait for my people to meet my people?

And so, I decided to throw my own party.

What would it be? That’s where the fun part comes in.

When you’re planning an event that has no name, no tradition, no significant other to consult, you can create whatever the heck you want.

For me, that became Soul Spa. I invited my best girlfriends to gather for a long weekend focusing on being happy and creating our dreams. They might’ve thought I was nuts, but they all came, from my best friend in kindergarten to my CNN producer who went to cover the war with me for the news network.

We bonded, we shared dreams, got massages, and built a big bonfire to burn ideas and relationships that no longer served us.

Oh, and you can bet there was cake. A lot of cake.

Amazingly, or maybe not, some incredible things happened over next few years. Two friends who had been struggling with infertility got pregnant. Another got the job she’d been working toward. A few found love.

My own manifesting was much slower. It wasn’t until six years after Soul Spa that I met the man who would become my husband.

When we did decide to marry two years later, just about every Soul Spa-ster traveled from around the country to be there. I think they were happy to share in our happiness but also wanted to see the women they bonded with eight years before. My people had become their people.

I share my story, Dear Reader, to ask, “What are you waiting for? What private joy have you been putting off?”

It’s time to stop waiting.

Don’t wait for the wedding, the baby shower, those extra 20 pounds to come off.

No, it’s time to throw a party.

A party with no rules.

And for those who suggest you’re nuts, just blame it my long ago ex-boyfriend, my mother, oh, and me.

We’re showing you, pushing you, to see that the time to create your joy is now. I’m hoping an invitation that just might be impossible to turn down.