Not the Marrying Kind - Kathryn Nolan Page 0,1

get married by the age of 30.

A cartoon heart followed that last goal.

And that last goal was the only one I hadn’t yet accomplished—even as the deadline felt like it was rapidly approaching.

I scanned my spreadsheet of dates and short-term relationships and boyfriends, although none of the men I’d dated this year were good enough for that term. Until five minutes ago, Brendan and I had been dating for more than two months. Like everyone else, on paper, on the surface, he’d checked off the boxes reflected in the spreadsheet columns.


Wants to put down roots in New York City.

Wants to get married.

I was passionate about my career and drawn to men who felt the same way. Men who had an interest and curiosity in their jobs and the world around them. But I needed that passion to be here, in the city where I was proudly born and raised. A city that was notoriously hard to love and even harder to leave. I didn’t need a white-picket-fence lifestyle with my future husband. I did, however, crave the stability of staying put, in one place, and letting those roots grow deep in a neighborhood we could call our own.

While Roxy had collected magazines with musicians on the covers, mine had featured soft veils, long dress trains, bouquets of exquisite roses. A big, traditional wedding was in direct opposition to my family’s anti-establishment, pro-anarchy lifestyle.

Which was the point.

As deeply as I loved my rambunctious, tattooed, crowd-surfing family, the chaos of my childhood made me panicky and anxious. Other children my age had soccer practice, homework sessions at the dinner table, strict bedtimes. Roxy and I spent summers on tour buses and had godparents with spiked hair and facial tattoos.

We essentially grew up in The Red Room.

So I would never be able to deny that music was imprinted on my soul, sang in my blood, and infused my very being. But when my parents showed up at my teacher conferences, I prayed desperately that they would be fucking normal. Instead of bringing cupcakes with subversive sayings written with black frosting.

As I filled out the cell on my spreadsheet labeled “summary of relationship termination,” my nostrils flared when, yet again, I typed in: Wasn’t interested in a long-term relationship. The men I’d dated this year had been the darlings of corporate America, had come from close-knit families with sail boats and penthouses. They themselves often had advanced degrees, had worked their way up into impressive positions, had friends and family and interests.

Based on my careful calculations, we were a match.

I’ll see you around though.

I swallowed past a tightness in my throat and read through my sheet of failed potential husbands. Almost none of them had lasted more than three or four weeks. And as with all things in my life, I’d thrown myself into the dating scene, into the arms of these men, with dedication and a sense of purpose.

But the data set in front of me was more damaging than empowering. There was a strong possibility the men I’d chosen had only been parroting what I wanted to hear to get me into bed.

An entire year’s work of finding the one had been wasted. An entire year of my life had been spent dating men who were useless. An entire year of my—

I accidentally knocked a packet of brightly colored sticky notes to the floor. A cup of pens followed, scattering like marbles. I paused, exhaled that dragon breath again. Touched the side of my eye where a tear had the audacity to appear. I wiped it away, shook my head.

My name was Fiona Lennox Quinn, and I did not cry over useless men.

I made plans.

As I scooped up everything I’d dropped, my hands landed on my work bag, currently stuffed with carefully organized files of legal documents.

A brilliant light bulb went off in my brain. And I knew just the person—just the sister—to help me implement a new plan. I sent a message to the sister in question, letting her know I was stopping by for a spontaneous visit. I ignored the slight pinch that reminded me I hadn’t seen my best friend in more than a month. Ever since Roxy had found her own actual soul mate—and was so damn happy I literally ached to see it—my desire to check this major life goal off my list had accelerated. So we hadn’t seen each other as frequently as we used to. But she had Edward now, and I had a husband