My friend Nikki read me this advice column over the phone. It's from "Tell Me About It: Carolyn Hax" Sydicated column.
We are both thrilled to have an arsenal of answers to the undying question:
I am a woman in my thirties who has never been married. I have no intention of getting married until I find the right person. I get many questions as to why I am not married, and people often answer their own question with remarks like, "There must be something wrong with you." What is that supposed to mean? Please help me give an appropriate answer so I won't look like a deer in headlights.
Those remarks mean you're talking to an idiot. Nothing more.
There are many appropriate answers here -- honest ones (looking like a deer in headlights); raw ones ("What a terrible question"); exasperated ones ("Because something's wrong with me"); hostile ones ("To help you feel superior"); overcompensating ones ("Just lucky, I guess"); confrontational ones ("Why, am I making you nervous?"); non-ones ("Oh my, look at the time!"); rhetorical ones ("Just how small is your world?"); absurd ones ("I'm allergic to buttercream"); straight ones ("I haven't found the right person"). All are appropriate, none are owed, except maybe an "Excuse me," before you walk away.
Nikki's favorite is the rhetorical: "Just how small is your world?"
My favorite, no surprise is the absurd: "I'm Allergic to Buttercream!" Tee Hee!
It's taken me years but I think I've finally formulated an answer of my own. It came about when a bore of a man, poking into other people's business, turned to my business and said, "What about you? Do you have children?" No. "None? Are you married? Have a boyfriend?" No. I don't even have a cat. "Wow. Nothing?! You must be picky."
Now why does that make me picky? We're talking about the rest of my life! I have a right to picky!
Honestly, it took me until the next day. That's when I finally decided that I should have said, "You seem to have a good marriage. Did you settle?"
That's my answer now. "Did you settle? Why should I?"
My next favorite self-composed answer is: "Some people spend their whole lives searching for their better half. I have realized that I'm already complete."
(Source: Tell Me About It, Style, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071 )