I sit in the Starbucks next to the City Creek mall in the heart of downtown Salt Lake City.
It’s a Tuesday afternoon.
From hour to hour, a sample of the city’s population arrives in waves.
Chief among these is the young, single, professional woman.
She’s in her mid to late 20’s. Sometimes early 30’s.
Dressed in her Nordstrom/Banana Republic/Ann Taylor/Express style.
Hair expertly done.
Mornings are spent in the gym. Or yoga. Or pilates.
And then Starbucks. And then work. And then Starbucks and then more work.
And after work she goes home to her dog and her glass of wine and the good book her best friend just has to read. And maybe also her social media, but just a little [cough].
But before the wine and book, she goes for a run because she didn’t actually make it to yoga this morning.
These are the women that are not just building a nest egg.
They are building America.
Two or five years ago she declared her independence from roommates, or maybe it was her boyfriend, and now she lives in an apartment in the city by herself.
With her dog.
And a bike she likes to picture herself riding.
She is ambitious.
And only a little lonely.
But she’s worked through all that.
She’s read eat, pray, love. She’s had great discussions with good therapists. Amazing therapists, really, if you ask her.
The best men got married years ago.
To Utah Basics.
Utah Basic—women in their 20’s hanging out with their mom at Nordstrom while wearing LuluLemon and pushing a stroller.
But not these women. These women are professionals. These women are still living the Sex In The City dream.
Every city has them. Still. Even Salt Lake.
Except here there’s less Sex.
And less city.
And fewer cosmopolitans.
These women have aspirations and goals and are making a difference in the world.
This one paints.
This one plays piano.
This girl is a photographer on the side.
This girl blogs.
She works for an attorney or a financial advisor or maybe she is an attorney. Or an accountant.
Or maybe she works in advertising.
She volunteers at Junior League.
Or Big Brothers Big Sisters.
And she’s certain she’s not doing it to take her mind off being alone.
To feel alive until her real life catches up to find her.
And so, while she becomes more the woman she believes she should want to be, she, paradoxically, distances herself from the life she thinks she is waiting for.
If only she hadn’t wasted her best years with that
asshole guy that never proposed.
If only she could find a decent, nice guy who wants a family and wasn’t such a jerk, or such a weak coward.
If only a man like her would choose a woman like…her.
Then, maybe, she could spend less time reading books, making friends, learning skills, joining service groups, developing a career and, instead, move back to the suburbs.
Where she can change diapers.
And hang out with her husband.
With her television and her Facebook app and her dog.
And a yellow stain on the collar of her shirt.
Finally finding her ever after.
And that’s ok.