Semi Soap Box/Semi Woe is Me #1
No matter how lonely you get or how many birth announcements you receive, the trick is not to be frightened. There's nothing wrong with being alone.
Wendy Wasserstein (1950-2005), Isn't It Romantic, 1983
Back in college everyone was single and looking for Mr. or Mrs. Right. Now, about four years later everyone has apparently found them and is getting married. My story is a little bit different, however. Maybe I'm overcomplicating things but I can't quite come out about my relationship yet (and no, I'm not gay) but there are things that need to be resolved before I can do the three legged race with that special someone. To put it simply, I'm technically still single. And boy do I feel like a loser.
Yesterday, I sat at a table with a married couple and a soon to be engaged couple . . . AT A WEDDING RECEPTION. To make things worse, my best friend (and of course her husband) were missing from our little group, making my side of the table that much more empty. Regardless of my jokes and funny story attempts, I received my favorite multiple choice question. So when are we going to be at your wedding Missy? Please choose one of the following . . .
A. At 3 o'clock.
B. When hell freezes over.
C. No time soon.
D. After I complete my twelth step.
If you decided to go with C, you are incorrect because this answer leads to further interrogation. Being social, educated, reasonably attractive and single is a strange and confusing combination of traits. Most people think there's a black and white equation. Decent human being + Single = Something must be terribly wrong with you. So the next reasonable route is to find out what it is. Everyone takes turns shooting me to death with questions. I suppose it's better to kill the elephant in the room than to ignore it.
So I became a project. A mission. We're going to figure out what's wrong with you and then find you a man! Are there any men where you are?
A. No, just plants.
B. Yes, but they're all dead. THEY'RE ALLLL DEEEAAAD!!!
C. Well, um . . . yes, I guess . . . but um . . .
D. (whispers) Yes, I see them all the time.
For the record, I went with B that time. What's funny is I felt normal that morning. I woke up, got some work in, walked the dog, ate breakfast and headed to the wedding. But as I sat at the table, I constantly fought feelings of inadequacy. I felt like everything I said and did was evidence as to why I was single. My strange sense of humor, the gap in my teeth, wanting a beer, my career choice, the city I live in. I felt like at any given moment someone was going to say, "That's it! You're single because . . . " Truth be told it was all coming from me. My brain has a tendency to work too hard on all the wrong things. And things could have been way worse. I could have been sitting at the insecure jealous girlfriend/wife table. Now that would have been a jacked up evening. Instead, I sat with 2 well meaning couples who wanted nothing more than to see me experience the same happiness they shared with each other. Hold on . . . (gagging) and they must have thought there was still hope for me yet. So, that's (swallowing) nice.
Anywho, all of this excitement lead me to some inner searching. I want to get married. I want to be in a healthy, semi-normal (because there's really no such thing as normal) relationship. But I want to be truly happy where I am right now. I don't want to feel guilty about being single. I don't want to have to explain myself or rush into something wrong and be unhappy. I know that I'm not a bad person and that there's no time frame for pairing up with the person you plan on spending the rest of your life with, but why do I allow myself to feel pressured when I know that I am making the right decision for me?
Eh, this is getting too deep.