Real stories about dating and relationships in New York City. Truth is more interesting than fiction.

Still Single, for Now

The other day I was talking to my dad (actually, I went to visit him and so speaking with him in person…) and he said that after I left he’d call all of my aunt’s and tell them that I was doing well. The normal stuff.

I don’t know why, but suddenly I felt defensive.

That was a lie.  I know why.  Because it’s my this week, so I’m feeling a little over-sensitive.  Plus a conversation with any of my aunts can make me feel all twisted and lost.  It’s not anything any of them would say. Just the tone of their voices and the looks in their eyes.  To each of them, I’m a failure.  And they love me.  So they feel bad for me and the mess they think I’ve made of my life.  And pity is hard to mask.

Anyway, after my dad said he was going to call them all to tell them I was fine I kinda snapped and said, “you can go ahead and remind them all that yes, I’m turning this week and yes I’m still .  No prospects in sight.  Still , never married, no kids – nothing to show for my life.”  Yes, that’s what I said.  Like I said, defensive.

The rest of the conversation got into family stuff that I don’t feel comfortable sharing here, but he insisted that at least one of my aunts thinks I’m great. It was nice to hear, even if it wasn’t entirely true.

So this story was on my mind (the fact that I’d said that I was “still single”) when I read Maureen Dowd’s Op-Ed piece in the NYTimes just a couple of days later. It’s, essentially, a post about Elena Kagan. But early on it includes this lovely bit,

Single carries a connotation of eligibility and possibility, while unmarried has that dreaded over-the-hill, out-of-luck, you-are-finished, no-chance implication. An aroma of mothballs and perpetual aunt.

Right now, I guess, I’m still single.  While there are men still interested in dating me.  But at some point in the future I could very well turn into an unmarried woman.  Undesirable.  Incapable of ever being anything other than unmarried.

So there’s that.  I’m still single.  Until I’m not.

Oh fun.

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10 to “Still Single, for Now”

  1. Gerri says:

    Great post. You are clearly destined to either be single or married–you’ll never be an “unmarried woman!”

  2. Terry says:

    My dear – you deserve to take a moment for yourself- now, have a scotch – I don’t care what time it is.
    Happy Birthday – now get over it or I’ll have to go all polyanna on you and that just would be ugly.

  3. You clearly seem to be annoyed on getting pointed for your single status. But dont let it come over you, it does not hurt unless we start hurting ourselves thinking over it. There will be someone waiting for you and soon you may have a caring person for yourself…Just keep your arms open. And yes, Happy Birthday…though I dont know the date, but my best wishes in Advance :)

  4. Kelly says:

    I agree with Terry—time for a cocktail at least!

    This birthday is just a day, not a defining moment of assessing everything in your life. I know how friends and family members think they are being helpful when they aren’t. That was my birthday last year, where I cried for days. Then I realized they are probably unhappy in ways I don’t know.

    I read a quote this week that said “if you think only about your past and your future, you will not be at peace; the only thing we truly have is the present, which is full of opportunity.”

    Anyway, it made me feel better.

    We love you in the blogosphere. xo

  5. Ian says:

    Good post. Happy birthday!

  6. Some perspective: (It’s a really short read)

    Smart, witty, confident people are never “undesirable” regardless of how old they get. Just aren’t. Happy birthday.

  7. LV says:

    Trust me – 40 really is no different than 39. I hit 40 a few months ago, and it has only made me want to be more fabulous!

    re: being married — really, is every marriage all THAT happy? I know way too many unhappy marriages — I’d rather be single with possibility, than the agony of being with the wrong person.

    Happy Birthday! Make it fabulous! (and I hope to see you again soon!)

  8. some people tell me its hard to be single, some day its a bliss..

    i have not been able to figure out yet


  9. LadyD says:

    Ooof. Do I know THAT one. *sigh* I stopped telling my mom what was going on in my life, mainly because I got so sick of her underlying tone of “what IS wrong with you that you can’t find/keep a man” – I never showed her pics of my condo I’d bought – alone, mind you – because I knew what she’d say: “Oh, it’s lovely, dear, but you really should be in a HOUSE, MARRIED.” Ugh. F*ck em – keep living large, m’dear, and enjoy each “single” day while you can – you won’t be forever! & P.S.: Still love wee Claire Grogan & Altered Images although I STILL to this day cannot make out what the hell she’s singing about!

  10. Dazediva says:

    Society has a really warped up way of pushing their perceptions onto everyone. So what if you’re single ? You’re a self accomplished woman, with a career, great friends, a reputed blogger, a stunner to look at (the guys told me this hehe) and a gem of a person (this comes off in your blog & also a few tweeps told me so) ..

    The whole ‘unmarried’ stigma is just that – a stigma brought on by society .. and it happens A LOT in Indian communities .. trust me I’m going through hell for being 28 and ‘unmarried’ .. it doesn’t matter how educated I am, how well my career is going – apparently it all boils down to the fact that I’m ‘unmarried’ and it will get harder for me to find a ‘nice boy’ to settle down with !

    Why is it that a man isn’t looked at differently when he’s unmarried ? why is it okay for men to be single till whenever they want without any stigmas thrown their way ?

    Sexist world I tell you !!!