Single after that is ... trust me, you don't even want to know!
One of the reasons I started this blog was to give a voice to single adults. I mean, look around out there... everything in society is designed for couples and families. So much so that even buying groceries can be depressing. Even bananas come in bunches - bound to go bad faster than a single person can eat them. (I usually tear two or three off the bunch - and even then, I often lose one!)
If the blogosphere is a fair representation of society - and it pretty much is - America is filled with married people with families who don't give a second thought to the single people struggling in the world all alone.
Unless of course it is to pontificate upon why some seemingly 'normal', attractive woman is left single. It's not like they even bother to invite us to dinner and mug on their kids -- even in that regard, Bridget Jones' single life is idealistic compared to reality!
Bridget Jones Dines with Smug Marrieds - Video
Unlike the smug marrieds in Bridget Jones' Diary... they probably don't even talk about... they just draw conclusions about us that couldn't be further from reality. That we're out there 'playing the field', too focused on our careers (hah!) and my personally most detested assumption... that we're "too picky".
Too picky is the silliest reasoning there is. To prove my theory... go ahead and suggest to a married couple that perhaps they weren't picky in choosing their mate. Watch the sparks fly! They will be offended that you would suggest that their mate isn't the most perfect match on the planet. More realistic folks will concede that no one is perfect, and that they put a lot of effort into their marriage, but that what they have is indeed wonderful.
Yet, when I point out that if they didn't settle for a schmuck, yet they're suggesting that I just throw a dart at a phone book - they still don't see how ridiculous their defense is.
Today I received a comment on my FB page from someone who is a friend of my family, saying something along the lines that maybe I'm still single because, "... you're looking for somebody perfect..."
That to me, is the MOST INSULTING thing you can suggest to a woman over 40 who is still actively looking for the love of her life!
Suggesting that I'm holding out for perfect says at once that I must be horribly immature, and the most shallow person on the planet.
Do you think that I don't know that no one is perfect but God? To you think that after 40 years, I'm ridiculous enough to think that there is some perfect man out there for me?
I was so mad and insulted all I could was delete her comment! Anything I would have said would have appeared "overly sensitive" to the majority of people, or too dismissive of the injury of her rudeness to me.
Want to know what burns me the most? While I've known her and her family all my life, I used to babysit her kids when I was a teenager, but looking back I can't say I've ever even had a conversation with her. We've never had a nice long chat about who I'm dating or how any of my relationships ended.
Remember... I live in a city 10 hours away from my home town, so in the past 25 years I've maybe run into her at the grocery store, or outside of church when I'm home visiting my parents. The deepest conversation we've ever had was about whether her youngest wore a diaper to bed or not. (and clearly, from the abundance of mommy blogs out there, that's a very serious discussion - because it proves she's a FANTASTIC mother because she was able to FREAKING potty train her kid! Whoo! Never mind that a child would eventually stop soiling her pants eventually, with or without a parent's help!!)
So based on what this woman knows about me, which is essentially that I graduated from college at one point and that I live outside of the state... she feels qualified to diagnose that I am seeking a perfect man.
How alarmingly insulting!
Dear Smug Marrieds,
If you have never met anyone I've dated. If we've never talked about relationships. If we haven't had a ten minute conversation more than once every ten years... YOU HAVE NOT EARNED THE RIGHT TO COMMENT ON MY SELECTION PROCESS. DO NOT PRESUME TO TELL ME THAT I'M JUST TOO PICKY, AND NEED TO STOP LOOKING FOR A PERFECT MAN.
If you got married at age 22, and have probably only dated three men in your life and one was your prom date... you CANNOT PRETEND TO KNOW WHAT IT IS LIKE TO DATE FOR THE MAJORITY OF YOUR LIFE.
I know you think you are an expert at obtaining a husband because the guy you've been married to for 20 years is the one who nailed you in the back seat of his car when you were 19 years old. (how romantic!) You don't know what it is like to turn down dozens and dozens of men who expect you have sex with them on the third date. But it's pretty damn obvious to you that I'm too picky.
Among the things I should have responded... "No dear. The reason is that... under my clothes my body is full of scales. Men just can't look passed it."
Edited to add things I thought about saying:
"Wow, you must thing I'm really immature."
"If you had walked even a year in my shoes you would know better than to say something like that."
"Maybe if I had given in to boys in high school, I could have avoided this whole dating thing... like you."
and the one I think would have been most effective:
"Gee. I never knew you thought I was delusional."
Because really... that's what someone would have to think. I can see saying something like that to a woman who is 23-26 who has a crazy sense of entitlement (even then it would still be incredibly rude.) But a woman who is 40 knows better.
What would you liked to have said? I really like Erin Annie's suggestion via Bridget Jones!