She got married at the tender age of 22. In fact, a mere five days into the age of 22. She was so young, so dumb. She thought she knew it all, and had the world by the tail. She and her husband both had good jobs. They bought a cute little townhouse right away. They commuted together on the train downtown. Their weekends were full of fun. Life was good. She had chosen Door #2.
As their careers both advanced, so did their time commitments to their jobs. She spent more time at work than at home. He spent more time on the road then at home. They upgraded their homes, their cars. They upgraded everything but their relationship.
Instead, they both started grad school. So in addition to working ever-increasing hours, they were now both committed to a very rigorous schedule of classes and group meetings. It seems they were never home. Because they weren’t.
Their relationship turned into ships passing in the night. They were no longer each other’s best friend. The few times they got to spend together were taken up with mundane chores and small talk.
Their families were not very understanding. They didn’t understand what was taking up all their time. They did not know about “DINKs”, Double Income No Kids syndrome, where it seemed to be more about making the money and working, than about family life. Neither one of their jobs was forgiving. Work/life balance was unheard of back then. She remembers having managers who never saw their children for months on end, and being grateful she didn’t have any of her own to worry about. When SHE had kids, she wanted to be home more. The finance and accounting world was all-consuming, especially at year-end. She remembers missing family dinner on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s. She remembers getting dressed up at work on a New Year’s Eve to go out for a few hours, only to be back at it early on New Year’s Day.
She was tired. Always tired. But hey, they were rolling in the dough. New cars, nice wardrobes, and superb vacations whenever they got the chance to get away. But Door #2 wasn’t looking so good anymore…..she wondered if she had chosen the right one.