Cents and Sensibility

The Lame Expenses of Smug Marrieds

Many people I know are settling down in to the next stage of adulthood. Everything around me is babies and engagement photos and houses in the suburbs. When people tell me they are having a baby, the correct reaction is now “Congratulations!” and not, “Oh s*#@.” It’s weird.

There are a lot of really fun married young adults out there (or so I’d like to assume.) But there are also the  “smug marrieds,” as Bridget Jones would call them. You know, the ones who give you unsolicited advice on your (lack of a) love life, or tell you how ecstatic relieved they are that they finally found “the one” and don’t have to get dolled up and go to bars anymore. You know, the stuff single girls do just for fun and not necessarily to meet men.

Smug marrieds can often induce envy, rage and self-pity as evidenced by countless romantic comedies and Tumblrs like this one. But chin up, singletons! All is not lost. To be honest, I’m planning on holding on to this lifestyle for a while. Domesticated adulthood is expensive! There are the obvious things – weddings, homes, babies, lawyers for the 50% of you who are going to get divorced. But when you really sit and think about it, there are so many unaccounted expenses that make me really thankful for my undomesticated life and considerably less envious of really pretty engagement photos. For example:

  • Baby gifts – I don’t care for babies that aren’t related to me. They don’t appreciate my jokes. They haven’t seen the mid-season finale of Breaking Bad. Their birthday parties are super lame unless you are either another baby or the owner of one. But unless all my friends make some kind of non-pregnancy pact, I’m going to have to buy things for babies. I doubt they’ll be getting me anything for my birthday. Whatever.
  • Costco memberships – Who needs a small barrel of grape juice? Or a pallet of Diet Coke? Or a storage box full of assorted fruit snacks? Smug marrieds with kids do, that’s who. And don’t even start with the fact that buying in bulk saves on the unit cost. I’d rather pay an extra nickel for each roll of toilet paper if that means it will fit in the linen closet and I won’t have to create a stockpile in the garage.
  • Filing systems– Right now, all my important documents fit in one portfolio case that’s barely full. And half of the items in that case are probably useless. I’m sure there are old coupons and tax returns from the early 2000’s. But at some point in time I will have to keep records of things like wills and deeds and extensive medical histories. I’m actually going to have to purchase a file cabinet, labels and maybe even some color-coded folders. You know what I’d rather buy? Shoes.
  • Vans/SUVs – If there was any motivation to not be a soccer mom, the soccer mom vehicle would be it. They are usually ugly. They usually take up a ton of gas. They are near impossible to park in the city. Plus, if you are a terrible driver like me, these vehicles make it really hard to pull off clutch maneuvers on the road. But when you’ve got a brood of children, loads of sports equipment and a cooler emptied of beer and filled with Capri Sun, vans and SUVs are a necessary evil. (Or an evil necessity, whichever you prefer.)

Obviously, these are just a few things in a long list of expenditures that come with settling down. And now that you think about it, don’t you feel better knowing that you can still buy impractical accessories or plan impromptu road trips with your friends because you are young, free and don’t need a sitter? It’s really awesome.

I don’t always begrudge those making the early or timely transition into settling down. I’ll even give the smug marrieds the benefit of the doubt and assume they have the best of intentions at heart. But it’s nice to keep these small victories in mind for those vulnerable moments that make you evaluate your choices. I mean, I don’t know about you, but I’ll take a new bikini over a diaper genie any day.

Image by Shutterstock

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