Here, in France, in Mexico, in Lebanon, and I suspect, elsewhere, everybody reaches a point in their life where they must face domestication. For some time, I thought that such point in life where you spend your weekends doing home improvements or shopping for groceries and cleaning your home came along with the children, but after our recent trip to France, I realize that it may be a matter of age, or of achieving goals.
Every time my husband and I were unable to have evening plans for the lack of a sitter, we thought that we were too domesticated and we almost envied the children-less couples who, in our minds, spent their weekends “living it up”; but after spending some time with three different couples of friends in France, we realized that not all children-less people of our age are the party people that we picture them to be.
The first couple we hung out with actually has very young children like us. No matter if they were in Madrid, France or Belgrade raising their little family, they have been going through the same adjustments than us in the U.S. They also had to adapt to having new budgets, to one of them staying at home with the kids, and to not having family around to help out whenever they feel to have a spontaneous drink outside of the house when the sitter is busy.
The second couple, as the rest of the couples mentioned here, is in their thirties and trying to check things off that long list of “goals to achieve in life”. They had recently moved to an apartment of their own and instead of spending their weekends hangover from crazy parties, they are spending them at furniture stores and supermarkets. They of course have more flexibility than us to go grab a bite out or to plan a weekend away, but they also worry about making their new place homey, letting a little more domestication into their lives.
The last two thirty-somethings that we got together with were also focused on making a little nest for themselves, spending their weekends fixing the apartment where they are planning to move into as soon as they have done all the improvements and decorate a little. While is true that they don’t have little people to worry about while they are varnishing floors or taking a leisurely swim, they are also carefully building a future, making financial sacrifices and investing on long lasting things, which not always involve the perfect wardrobe.
I found it absolutely comforting (if that is the word that applies here) to know that our friends in other parts of the world are also spending quiet and lazy weekends, thinking about the future and making plans for it, not always going out to loud parties, and enjoying life through the simple things like a picnic at a park, picking a couch for their love nest or having a very long brunch on Sundays.