Saw that on a button once; I want it for a shirt. Anyway, a story about Ireland.
The thing to remember about Ireland is it's a really small country. If you're doing a tour, you'll likely run into the same tourists in multiple cities. This happened to us a lot, and this story is about a girl we met at a hostel we stayed at in Cork, who we had passed in the previous city.
She's about our age, either a recent graduate or about to graduate. Somehow it came up in conversation that her ex-boyfriend had proposed to her right before she left for Ireland. They had dated for three years, and as I understood it, she broke up with him because she wanted to see the world before she settled down. So she set out to see the world...on his dime. See, before she left (but after not accepting his proposal) she let him pay for her trip to Ireland. Also, the boyfriend is a professor at her college (but not one of her professors).
So many things in that conversation bothered me. Why invest three years of your life in a relationship you didn't see go anywhere? Why assume you had to be unattached to see the world? And, of course, I feel terribly sorry for the boyfriend. I don't know how many people are aware of this (least of all the girl), but many people pursuing doctorates wait to get married until after they've finished the whole process and are gainfully employed. At least three professors in my department at college were between my parents' and grandparents' age, but had children that were either not yet old enough for school, or in elementary school. Down here in the deep south, waiting until your late-20s to start a family puts you in 'withering on the vine' territory; waiting until your 40s or 50s...I don't think we even have a metaphor for that.
So from my point of view, this guy spent three years thinking he was finally going to settle down, only to be shot down (by a girl who described him as her 'best friend'). It seems cruel, and something that could have been avoided if popular culture had a more goal-oriented dating scene, or at least some sort of accepted guideline.
Note: I originally started working on this October of last year. How's that for procrastination?