When I saw this, "19 Things You Should Never Say to a Single Person," on Lana’s Facebook page I had a lot of hope for it; I really did. And when it started out talking about all the tired clichés surrounding single women, I cheered (even as the author used several clichés to make her point). But then I started reading from the list and my heart sank. Really? Really we need another article that makes single women sound mean and spiteful and just plain miserable.
The only one (or two rather) I really could get behind as something I could go the rest of my life never hearing was the third one (and No. 17), “So, why are you single?” and “But you’re so pretty, why don’t you have a boyfriend?” Think about what you are asking here, people? You are literally asking the person to list her faults (which must be numerous) because obviously it is not all the losers out there. It is her.
I must admit, however, I also secretly love these questions because they allow me to answer in outrageous ways that leave the questioner dumbfounded. For instance there was a time when a guy asked me “How is it you’re still single?” And I whispered back, “I have a little penis.”
Yes, I get that this guy was probably trying to pay me a compliment, but if he couldn’t just accept his good fortune of meeting me while I was still single and not question it, well, then he is probably not the one for me.
Okay, maybe I really need to start answering this question, “because I’m a bit of a smart ass.”
The rest of these clichés, however, seemed more like a list of polite things people say to each other when you're not quite sure what to say.
Take the first one, for example. Yeah, I too am tired of hearing, “you’ll find him when you least expect it/when you stop looking.” (And actually I combined cliché No. 1 and No. 15). I heard this a lot over the past year when I told people I really didn’t have time in my life for a relationship right now.
Now, I just told you I don’t have time for anyone in my life. So here’s hoping I don’t meet someone because it wouldn’t be the right time (see cliché No. 7) now you could come back with cliché No. 16, but if you know me, you know there is no way I am going to let a guy ruin my life (yeah, I didn’t get that one either). So you come at me with No. 1/No. 15. But here’s the thing, get in real close because I am about to tell you a huge secret, single people are always looking. It’s the way we are programmed. Countless magazines and “news” stories have told us that we will find him when we least expect it so now we expect it all the time, meaning according to you we are doomed to never find him.
So yes, even when I didn’t have time in my life for a boyfriend, I was still looking for one. Not very actively. But still. The only reason I am telling you I don’t have time for someone is because that is my polite, nonpathetic response to you asking me if I am seeing someone. So what did you do? You responded with “oh, you’ll find him when you least expect it” as your polite, noncombative response to me. Sure you could have called bullshit and said, “So what you’re telling me Tati is that if Stewart Bradley walked in right now and told you he loved you and couldn’t live without you, you would tell him it wasn’t a good time?” But you didn’t, because you are my friend. And for that, I am grateful.
Another one that really annoyed me was No. 13 “Wow, I wish I was in your shoes!” and the poster’s comment, “Really?! I’m pretty sure you CAN be single if you actually wanted to be. That there is an attainable dream, so if you aren’t messing with me right now out of pity (which I suspect you are), please go for it!”
First, Poster, please never use a question mark and an exclamation point together again. Both those punctuation marks have suffered enough.
Second, I think you are doing something wrong. I know for a fact that a lot of my married friends and coupled-off friends really wouldn’t mind switching places with me on occasion. Being single can rock at times when being settled down sucks. And vice versa. Yes, it is awful having to get up during a wedding for the bouquet toss (or hearing cliché No. 14 “your turn next” though, that is such a grandma thing to say and how can you hate grandmas). But you know what is worse than enduring the call for all the single ladies to join the bride on the dance floor. Your son screaming “I have to poop, Mommy,” during the service. And all eyes turning to you, judging you, wondering why you didn’t just hire a baby-sitter instead of bringing your child to ruin your friend’s wedding.
And what about when your down and out because some jerk dumped you (You! You should have been the one dumping him he was such a jerk). And your friend offers “He just wasn’t the right guy for you.” Okay, that's not great. But we’ve all been there. She calls him a jerk and before she knows it, you and the jerk are back together and she is worried that you now think she hates your boyfriend. So she has to come up with something to say to make you feel better. Will it make you feel better? No. Neither will hearing No. 7 “It was just bad timing,” but let’s be honest. At that point in time would anything make you feel better?
And if that is the case, then how about, the next time your married friend is complaining about how her perfect husband watches too much sports (No. 19) you don’t jump down her throat about how great she has it, or roll your eyes and say, “the grass is always greener.”
No. 19’s Poster (who I suspect it is the same poster as No. 13) complains that single people in general don’t want to be complained to about “petty relationship stuff.” Are you kidding? Please continue to complain to me about all your petty relationship stuff. That is when I feel best about being single. Well, wait, no, actually I feel best about being single after I buy an expensive pocketbook, knowing no one at home will make me feel bad about my purchase or ask “how much was that?” or “do you really need another black purse?”
But I feel second best when my friends are complaining about how their seemingly perfect boyfriends (or husbands) leave their dirty underwear on the floor of the bathroom. I close my eyes and thank my lucky stars that the only dirty underwear I ever have to pick up is my own. On nights like that, I run around my apartment, blissful that, even when it's messy, it is all my mess.
Of course, none of this compared to how the article ended. Stating that it was still okay to offer “He’s just not that into you” because that’s not condescending. I’m going to forget about the it not being condescending part and just say, I was tired of hearing that even before they made a book out of it, followed by a movie. And no one has ever even said it to me. Because I mean, come on, of course he was into me. There had to be another reason he didn’t call.
Anyway, I linked the article here. (for those of you who are not friends with Lana on Facebook). Feel free to disagree with me. It won’t be the first time and it certainly won’t be the last.