It was a few weeks ago. I was at a work-ish event. I was going to be there all day, and so I scoped out a good seat (at a table) and planted myself there. I didn’t want to spend the day wandering aimlessly, talking non-stop. Networking. Yes, I probably should have spent the day wandering and networking, but that’s just not where I AM right now. I don’t have the energy for it. Instead, I let people come to me.
So, at some point in the day a couple of women, around my age, came and sat at my table. They were friends of friends (everyone’s a friend of a friend if you try hard enough). We started to chat, to exchange basic info. And then it happened.
It always happens.
One of them asked if I was married. I don’t remember her exact words. But I remember how I felt when I heard the question. Disappointed. Because I knew the conversation was about to shift. We were going to stop talking about the day’s amazing event and all the cool people we knew in common and our amazing work lives and start talking about my stupid single life.
And I just wanted to stop them and scream, THIS IS NOT THE MOST INTERESTING THING ABOUT ME!
But no. I wouldn’t do that. I (reluctantly) told them I was single. Neither of them were. They were both long-term marrieds, with kids. And so they started to ask questions. Why was I single? Did I recently split with someone? What was it like to be single at my/our age? Hey, did I want to be set up because… and then I was pitched a couple of really unappealing guys that they could set me up with.
This went on for what seemed like forever. But probably for about an hour. I tried changing the subject a couple of times. Wasn’t the food delicious? Did they like to cook? Where exactly did they live? Wow that was quite a commute… But nothing was as interesting to them as my marital status.
I wasn’t annoyed. Not really. It’s certainly not the first time something like that has happened. With total strangers. I’ll be honest, it used to seriously piss me off. But then it hit me – they were focused on the one thing that made us different. In most other ways, our lives were pretty similar. Except that sometime 10-15 years ago they chose marriage and everything that came with that lifestyle (the traditional path). And I didn’t. So I’m the other. And it’s somewhat natural to be fascinated by the other.
This isn’t to say that I don’t find the endless blog posts about ‘why women are single’ to be completely ridiculous and anachronistic. Different individuals make individual choices. I’ve stopped caring about the group called “single women.” It’s boring. There are lots of fascinating women in the world. And some of us happen to be single. Next time you happen to be sitting next to one of us, please don’t waste our time speaking about pointless set-ups and online dating.
Tags: single women