Sometimes I think folks feel obligated to say something to make other people feel better and end up sounding crazy, coming off pretentious, or flat-out offending them. I know they mean well, but doggone, they can say some foolish stuff. I try to take that into consideration whenever I have a conversation about being single.
At my uncle’s funeral a few months ago, one of the ministers I’ve known since I was a kid leaned forward in her seat as I walked by. “I’m tired of coming to see your family about sad news,” she grinned. “When am I coming to do a wedding?”
“Welp, you’re the one with the direct line to the Lord. Pray up a man for me to marry and we can have the wedding of your dreams,” I snarked.
I can’t speak for all singleistas — and really, I wouldn’t even try — but I’ve got a list of things I know I’m sick of hearing or answering in my adventures in unmarried-ness.
11. Use this time to work on you. Anytime’s a good time for self-improvement. I know some women need to decompress following a really bad or hurtful relationship, but singleness need not be the sole reason to chase a dream or chip away at a personal flaw. Shouldn’t that just be a part of life, hitched or not?
10. Stop being so picky. A woman wants what she wants. But if expecting a man to have a job, his right mind, some manners, and all of his front teeth — and not the gold kind — makes a gal picky, then guilty as charged.
9. Just pray about it. With tsunamis and floods, hurricanes and storms, and the presidential election coming up, too, I refuse to bother God with the deets of my love life anymore. Unless He just needs a good chuckle.
8. Is that what you’re wearing to go out? No, actually it’s not. I was just about to change into my man-magnet lace bra top and hot pants.
7. I envy you. I wish I was still single. Can we be honest with each other right here? If you really wanted to be single, boo, you would be. It’s free and available to anybody who wants to have it. Plenty of it to go around. So don’t feign envy at my marital status.
6. It’s his loss. That might’ve made me feel better when I was in the fifth grade. Maybe a scratch and sniff sticker to go along with the advice would help heal the hurt.
5. Have you tried [insert online dating site here]? I know the commercials are convincing. Just pay your little membership fee and love pops into your inbox. But I can count on one hand how many people I personally know who’ve scored dates with reasonably compatible dudes on those sites, much less a whole relationship. And besides, the guy in the eHarmony commercial is creepy. Talking about he might not be single after their second date?! Yikes.
4. Let me introduce you to my nephew/son/cousin/brother/co-worker/personal trainer/mechanic/dentist/lawyer/butcher/bail bondsman. There are times when two people seem like they would just so totally hit it off that it’s almost stupid to not try to at least introduce them, then sit back and watch the sparks from your romantic handiwork fly. But sometimes folks get desperate — even if you’re not — and all it takes for some lucky dude to become their single friend’s next date is the fact that ... well, he’s a dude.
3. Do you go out to places where you can meet men? Where exactly are these fabled places where I can just pluck men like fresh produce off the trees, ripe and ready for commitment? Gimme an address to plug into my GPS. Rare is the woman whose main dating problem is that she’s holed up in her home. We’re out there but, short of having an experience that would make prophets out of The Weather Girls, it’s not necessarily raining men.
2. Stop focusing on it so much and let it happen. Ah, you got me. Here I was doodling “Janelle loves Anonymous” all over my notebooks. I’m a single mother, I own a business, and I’m not lamenting the absence of a husband in my household. It would’ve been nice to be married, yes. But my life’s work is not unfulfilled because I never had an engagement ring slipped onto my left hand.
1. Gasp! You’re so great/wonderful/amazing. Why are you still single? Even I can never think of an answer snarky enough for this one.
Something folks say that grates your ever-lovin’ last nerve? Offload it here.
Image via ToriMBC/Flickr