Tuesday, October 13, 2009


I read this post the other day and literally cracked up to myself, out loud, at work.  I obviously could relate.  It's a pretty lengthy post, but it's worth your time if you're LDS and over the age of "normal" for being single, or used to be single at that age, or know someone who's single at that age.  

When the blog author rattles off the list of all the things she's sick of doing because she's single I kept thinking, "Yep, yep yep."  And I also could relate when she talked about how she's grateful for the opportunities she has because of her single status.  I really have tried to focus in the last year or two on the things I have control over, and not so much on the things I don't.  

All I ever hear is that I need to "do those things" while I'm single, so, I'm trying to do them.  Just today while I was rehashing my fun trip to Rhode Island to my brother he mentioned that he wished he would have had more time and money for more trips while he was in college.  I also wish I would have had more time and money for more trips in college.  I realize more than ever that life after college, if you're single, is the time to really enjoy the gift that is a little more....free?  I don't know the right word.

Anyway, while there are some great benefits to being single, there are the days I'm sort of over it.

My absolute favorite part of this post was the discussion the author had with her relative "Ruth."  I died.  I wish I had $5 for every awkward conversation at a wedding reception, funeral, holiday, run-in with an old member of the ward at Target back home, etc.  It's not as awkward for me as it used to, maybe that's because I've had about eight years of practice at this point.  I can honestly say these questions don't really make me feel bad about myself, as they once did, however not everyone is at that point.  I've had many many many many many many many conversations with single girls who've mentioned how they hate going to any sort of get together where they'll run into people from their past and be asked the inevitable dating/marriage questions.  I haven't gotten the blatant, "Why aren't you married?" question lately, but trust me friends, it's asked.  Frequently.  And if you even knew what sort of answers we dream of giving back you'd probably be offended, which is why we try to keep them to ourselves.  

I often find myself wondering, if there are so many girls (and guys, I'm assuming) being asked this question, how has the memo not made its way back to those asking?  For the twelve of you who read this blog, in case you don't know, allow me to fill you in.  Single people typically hate being asked, or told, the following:
  • "When are you getting married?"
  • "How have you not gotten engaged?"
  • "Why have you and (insert significant other's name here) been dating for so long?"
  • The nudging at wedding receptions to go catch the bouquet because we're, ya know, single!  Listen, we don't feel like awkwardly standing in a group of behives, trying to catch a freaking bouquet.  Don't be that jerk at the table who insists.  Seriously.
  • "You are too picky."  (Seriously?  How do you even know how picky I am?  And do you really think I can just erase the years I was taught not to settle?)
  • "Are you dating anyone?"
Yes, even that last question is typically deplored.  I know, I know, ya just wanna know!!  But listen, there are other ways to find out if someone's been going on dates with anyone exclusively.  It's not that difficult, or blatant.  Haven't you ever noticed the awkwardness that is suddenly felt when you ask, and the answer is, "No"?  It's usually followed by two seconds of silence because you were probably prepared with a list of five questions about that special someone, but you were thrown off and now there's nothing to say.  Something is then mumbled, usually along the lines of, "Well, good for you!  Way to be independent." or "Oh, you've got so much time!" or "The boys are probably so intimidated!" or "There's plenty of time for settling down" or "plenty of fish in the sea."  Blah blah blah blah.  Yes, we know.  And that whole "boys are intimidated" thing?  You're not convincing us because we can rattle of lists of beautiful, confident, smart, worthy, successful women who are not only married, but dated a ton.  Somehow the men weren't intimidated of them.  

The fact of the matter is, you're trying to make us feel better, but you don't need to.  We already know we're great, and when the right time comes it will happen.  But the fact that you feel a need to make us feel better, makes us feel, well, not so great.  (For those of you reading this in Utah and Idaho, I hate to say it, but you're the worst offenders.  Lay off, will ya?)

And it must be said, but this goes for questions about babies to the marrieds as well.  From what I hear it's pretty annoying being asked when someone is planning on having babies.  Peeps!  This is a private thing discussed between a husband and wifey!  Leave em alone!  You'll know when they're planning to have a family when they announce the pregnancy!  Just like you'll know I'm engaged when you receive my invitation (if you haven't offended me to the point of not being invited.)  Kidding.  Mostly.

Alright, have I said too much?  Probably.  But hey, now at least you know.  Spread the word.  You're welcome.


Scimber said...

I seriously love this post, because its sooo true. I used to hate hearing all this crap! I used to hear it at 20...who asks a 20 year old when they're going to get married?! Like, REALLY?! And then after you're married it doesnt go away, people nag you about when you're going to have kids....people dont take into consideration that you may actually be TRYING, and that your lack of "success" is actually really hard on you! Some people....

Reagan said...

way to go rae! i feel that way often with the baby department.

uggg and i hated the "intimidated" one when i was single.

Ryan and Laura said...

you're so funny...and so right! Hope you are having fun. Life is full of trade-offs :)

meggan said...

I get a lot of "How is a girl like you still single?" Ummmmmm...how do I answer that?

meggan said...

...also, the intimidation excuse is 100% bs. Show me one guy that's ever said "Nah, she's too close to exactly what I'm looking for."

kimmy said...

ahhh hallelujah! i am back in rexburg... living with 5 girls aged 18 and 19! its insane! they've called me the mommy more times than i wish to remember, and i think i am scaring them all into immediate serious relationships because who wants to be 24, a RETURN MISSIONARY... and SINGLE! gag me.

lynette said...
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Marcus and Amy said...

Good post Rachel! It is all so true and really true for people living in Utah! I used to get asked a lot of those questions too and like Scimber, I was asked at 20 years old as well! I just thought it was mostly cause I was living in Utah and "gosh darn it I had been out of high school for 2 years so why was I not married?"

Same goes for living in Utah and being married! "Wow, you have been married for 6 months and your not pregnant yet?" I know baby is on the way now - but it's a shocker for people to hear that when she arrives in December, we will have been married 3 1/2 years...so then the questions turn too - "oh did you have a hard time getting pregnant?" Are you for real? Like you said - its a husband and wifey thing and no one elses business! And what is wrong with enjoying some time together with your spouse before adding kids to the mix - for the love!

Long comment, I am sorry - but great post!

lynette said...

I love it!!!!

Nadia said...

Nice Rach.

Lisa said...

I have a friend who when asked why he isn't married replies, "Well if I do, my mom will die of happiness, and I want her still alive."

I bet people stop asking when that is the answer.

Elise said...

burst out laughing about catching the boquet with the beehives. the visual is just too perfect.

i have been carefully crafting responses to the baby question for the last 2ish years. i have a (not so nice) answer for just about every way people ask. i try to be polite, but am at the point of dgaf. and if i come off as rude, then oh well. that should be their clue to stop asking.

melissa said...

amen....... amen........ amen

Shannon said...

Why does it seem like those who are in relationships are the ones who pester you the most? I always think that they should just tell me their dating someone instead of asking me if I am so then I will appease them and ask them back.

My Dad didn't marry my Mom till he was 28(he grew up in Provo...the audacity!) He had a great comeback. Whenever someone would ask him why he wasn't married he just told them that his wife died in the war in heaven. The only response he ever got was silence. CLASSIC!

Chelsie said...

love it.

and look! based on the number of comments more than 12 people read your blog!

p.s. can you please write a post about being asked about rent, salary, etc? that would bring me joy.

Trish said...

Doesn't it make you want to get a big giant tattoo on your forehead that says, "not yet!!" Ugh, so annoying!