It occurred to me recently, after another family event where one member of my family, once again, thought I shouldn’t bring a date, that some social norms are really stupid. It got me thinking about the plight of the single lady, and how despite the fact we’re generally the happiest bunch I know, there are some weird side effects.
1. When you are unmarried, you should turn up to events alone.
I hate this with a vengeance. One side effect of getting married young (from what Ive seen), if you have a very different social structure from those of us who didn’t. My friendships are far, far closer that most people I know who got married. My friends and I have stuck by each other through stuff that most relationships don’t survive. Most of my family treat them like family. Its such an insult when none of them are invited to events, and its so rude to me, who is apparently expected to go solo to everything, while they spend the whole event hovering at their partner’s side. Not only that, my friends are generally more fun than most people’s husbands. Just saying.
2. When you don’t have kids, you should pick up the slack from those that do.
No. I don’t think that I should fund your drinks because you have kids/a mortgage/a honeymoon or a wedding coming up. Don’t insult me by telling me ‘how lucky’ I am that I don’t have to worry about these things, and it’s unforgiveable to get angry when I refuse to subsidise your lifestyle. We all make choices, I adapt your yours, I just wont subsidise them!
Ive even heard of people actually being told at work that they have to stay behind while those with kids go home. If you don’t have kids, you may still have a life, and for the life of me I cant understand how this is considered less important. Im going to do all those things when Im ready and I CAN’T wait for the shoe to be on the other foot and see how those people who demand my time/money/datelessness now react when I turn the tables. Actually I can, I know they’ll find it really unfair.
3. Don’t pity us
Im probably a shocker at this, because I tend to joke… But actually hitting my late twenties, Ive actually noticed pitying looks and people going out of their way to explain why I am not married… TO ME. Here’s the one and only reason why Im not married: because no one Ive met has come close to my standard for a marriage.
I think its lovely when other people have found that right person, but I also know so many who just settled. Ive never settled for a cushion cover. I lead a wonderful life, a life most people married or single should be jealous of… I have no idea why its apparently lacking due to lack of boyfriend/marriage?
Don’t assume we’re desperate
I have a history of dating what I have lovingly called ‘dishrags’. Nice guys who start out very interesting, and wind up following me around like puppies (we’ve got a couple of theories on why this is!). So I find it really interesting that now Im verging on 30, most guys assume Im desperate for them to put a ring on it asap. These same guys who spent their twenties faffing around and achieving very little, now think I will idolise their manliness and try to get knocked up as soon as humanly possible. I’m a nice person, Im very supportive, Im even quite good at boosting the male ego… But surely you must be joking if you think Im doing anything other than figuring out if I’m even really interested in you.
It’s funny how things change as you get older. The last two points are very recent and alarming updates! :)