I worked with them a few years ago, before I left to explore some other, exciting opportunities in my career field. I gained some great experience doing work I had dreamed of - work many people in my career field dream of. It was fun while it lasted.
Anyway. Back on track.
So I'm back at the company I worked for prior to the excitement.
A lot of the same people are still there and they are welcoming me back with great affection. New employees are trying to figure what all the buzz is about and making an effort to get to know me.
From the old: "So what have you been up to? Are you married now? No? Dating anyone?"
From the new: "So tell me about yourself... do you have children? Are you married?"
Gah! It's just uncomfortable how one's status boils down to whether someone else in the world has found one worthy of partnering up.
At least they haven't asked "Why" I'm not married!
Then the other night I was out with my cousin and her husband. We live in the same city but see each other rarely. She's actually my second cousin, quite a bit younger than I so we don't socialize much.
To make conversation, her husband asked if I was seeing anyone.
I simply explained: "I was seeing someone but it didn't work out. Back to the drawing board."
That's it. I didn't wax on about being lonely or how old I am or about my withered ovaries... just a basic answer - and the first thing out of her mouth was: "You just need to lower your standards."
Motioning to her husband with my head, I blurted out the first thing to land on my tongue, "You mean like you did?!"
She laughed and demurred, playing along like, 'yeah I'm stuck with this bozo.'
We're relatives so we share the sense of humor, and moved on to talking about furniture or some such.
But after dwelling on the exchange, I began to steam. We have barely talked in five years and here she makes assumptions on my standards. On my worth. On who I deserve.
I was actually quite pleased with my retort. Just enough humor and I made my point.
Although when I relayed it to my mom she scoffed, "That was mean!"
Well, wasn't what she said mean? Guess it's more acceptable to insult someone's lack of a spouse than someone's actual spouse!
Why does she get a pass and I don't?
She didn't ask me about my standards. She just implied that whatever I'm looking for - I don't deserve.
I've been fuming now about what else I might have said in response:
- "What would be the point of marrying someone I don't respect or have something in common with?"
- "Oh? Is that what you'll tell your daughter some day?"
- "So should I just go stand outside a prison and hook up with whomever gets released that day?"
- "I just want my standards to be as high as those of the man whose standards I meet."
Actually, I find it quite telling that she said what she did. It shows she is young and inexperienced in the world.
Maybe it even tells me what she thinks of me... maybe she thinks I'm not attractive enough to have standards. Maybe she thinks I'm too old to hold out for what's best for me.
That's funny, to think that I'm holding out.
So, any thoughts on how to respond to such a statement?
Any smug marrieds make similar comments to you?