The advantages to getting engaged at 37

L.A. Affairs: The advantages to getting engaged at 37

(source:,0,4256427.story )

All her friends have been married for years, and as she approaches her wedding and the marriage to follow, she’s learned a thing or two from them.

By Patricia Beauchamp, Special to the Los Angeles Times

July 21, 2012

….I am the last in my circle of friends to get engaged. Given that I managed to accomplish this at 37 without the aid of “Millionaire Matchmaker” Patti Stanger or the combination of a terminal illness and lucrative life insurance policy, I figured it would be an occasion worth commemorating. That I accomplished this in a town obsessed with finding the bigger, better thing — and by bigger and better, I mean thinner and younger — I expected the girls back home to be shocked and impressed at the same time.

But because my friends have been married (and some remarried) for years, it’s been a bit like telling them about the wonders of the Internet. The wow factor is long gone.

…Then again, maybe this has nothing to do with where I live and much more to do with where my friends are in their lives.

One, who is going through a divorce, met my news with the same kind of enthusiasm as if I’d announced that I was going to relocate to North Korea. I could tell she was thinking, “Yeah, good luck with that.” Others are in the midst of raising their children and barely have time for an actual shower, much less planning a bridal shower.

….There are rewards to waiting to marry. For one thing, I benefit from my friends’ mistakes. Get facial day of the wedding — no. Have outdoor wedding in 100-degree heat — no. Sedatives for the mother of the bride — yes.

I’ve also learned from their successes. Everything they know about making a marriage work, I now know too. My years of listening to their marital problems have created a very useful map warning me of various land mines: Don’t marry someone who loves his mother more than he loves you, don’t let parenthood supplant your relationship as husband and wife — and try to share in your husband’s hobby, even if it means playing video games until you feel like a character in “Tron.”

…My taste is much more refined than when I was in my 20s and the only requirement of a husband was “must look like Johnny Depp.” While I still have a soft spot for Capt. Jack Sparrow, I am grateful I waited. I might not get the wedding, the presents or the hoopla I would have enjoyed when I was younger, but I still get the marriage. And thanks to the wisdom and experiences of my friends who’ve wed before, I will know how to make it last.