Does your mom take this man to be your husband?

Alicia Freeman is an English senior and Mustang Daily relationship advice columnist.

My mom is pushing me to marry an engineer. She says that way I will have some kind of financial security.

I guess Cal Poly is a good place to find one, huh?

This week, we will discuss marriage and its prospects. I am soon to turn 23, and I feel as though I am going through a quarter-life crisis. Yes, this is not old by any means, but with my sister married and my dear, sweet mother hoping for grandchildren sometime soon, I feel the pressure to find that engineer husband.

An English major husband will not do; no, my mom will only accept an engineer.

Thus, my mom pummels any kind of feminist ideals I have. Who says a 23-year-old has to get married? And to an engineer at that?

A coworker of mine — let’s call her Corinne — recently got engaged. Her now-fiancé rewrote the song from “The Wedding Singer” — “I Want to Grow Old With You” — to propose. Corinne loves “The Wedding Singer.” Thus, she brags all the time about her incredibly romantic proposal.

“He’s pretty great,” she said, while flashing her modest but glimmering engagement ring. “He really loves me, you know.”

Real people should not have cute proposal stories like that. Not that I am jealous or anything.

The problem with her “pretty great” fiancé, however, lies in his job: he works at Taco Bell. Before her engagement, Corinne would sometimes discuss his employment critically, but now that she has a ring, she does not discuss it much.

Back to my mom, she also dislikes my brother-in-law due to his job choices. Let’s just say, he is no engineer. Rather, he wanders between jobs with photography as his biggest passion.

“I just wish your sister hadn’t settled so quickly,” my mom said on the phone after detailing the juicy details of my brother-in-law’s lay-off.

Mom always told us that we “shouldn’t say ‘yes’ to the first one who asks.” She feels that is what my sister did. Thankfully, I left the first one who could have possibly asked. Now, the pressure is on for the second one, if that ever will come. Of course, there is no rush, my mom says.

As I said, my sister is not much for the whole children idea right now. And I am not much for it either. In fact, neither of us really likes kids. Yet, one of us has to make that woman a grandmother.

A coworker of mine said even his mom is asking when he is going to have children, and he is quite a bit younger than I.

I, like many of the other unmarried, childless people I know, am too young to be feeling the pressure of finding Mr. or Mrs. Right.

Right now, I feel like getting married and having kids means I give up something of myself. Corinne, at the moment, worries about giving up her last name. She feels her last name, Sisson, is more unique than her fiance’s, Anderson, and is pushing him to change to some kind of last name hybrid: Andersisson, Sissanderson, Sanderson, etc. I prefer Andersisson, myself, but Corinne’s fiance will have none of it.

“He worries about what our kid’s last name will be,” she said. “But my last name is so much better than his.”

We female coworkers support Corinne wholeheartedly. He should accept that she wants to keep her last name, we say, pounding our feminist fists in the air.

However, my male coworker, when asked about this dilemma, said he would be “pretty bummed” if his prospective wife did not want to take his last name.

“It’s something you think about since you were a kid,” he said, looking off into the sunset as if he had imagined the pride of stealing a woman’s surname identity many times.

My sister, in fact, has not yet changed her last name after being married for two years. I wonder sometimes how her husband feels, if he cares that she has not accepted marriage conventions. But, then again, the idea of marriage conventions in themselves frightens me. Do you know how expensive weddings are? Do you know how little money I make?

I guess that’s where the engineer comes in…

Advice for the week: there is no need to feel pressure to get married or even to change your last name if you don’t want to. If your mom wants you to marry an engineer but you fall in love with a fast food worker who writes a song to propose to you, then go with your heart (or some kind of cliché like that). If the thought of getting married and becoming an adult scares you, then it is probably not the time to do either of those things.


Kori says:

What I find sad is that your mom thinks you need to rely on someone else for financial security. What about being independent and supporting yourself through your own career? And she’ll only accept and engineer? I’m assuming there is some exaggeration going on, since there are plenty of other respectable high paying jobs out there. Not saying “yes” to the first one who asks might be a good idea sometimes, and maybe I’m just a bit impulsive and crazy, but I’d much rather regret saying “yes” than look back in 15 years and wish I had said it.

Melissa says:

Jobs don’t define people, and I find it really sad that your mom would push her unrealistic ideals like that onto you. Someone who is an engineer is not a better person anymore than a janitor. Also, what happens if you marry for money and your husband becomes terminally ill, or gets in a car crash and is disabled? Or finds out he has an autoimmune disease that will render him wheelchair bound and completely incapable of taking care of himself in your lifetimes?
That stuff happens, and it’s ridiculous to marry someone soley based on what their job or major in school is.

Weddings don’t have to be expensive. You can get married at the courthouse and it’s just as much of a marriage as a huge 100k weddings marriage is. It’s really what you make of it either way.