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On The Light Side: Handling nosy curiosity as a single woman
http://www.amnews.com/ ^ | Tuesday October 11, 2005 | BOBBIE CURD

Posted on 10/11/2005 7:43:11 PM PDT by teldon30

I never thought there would be an issue about what age I decided to marry at, which now I realize you don't "decide" to marry. It should just happen. (But sometimes it is a conscious decision for some women that results as an ultimatum. That's an entirely different column.)

I'm 35 years old, never married and that makes me "single." I'm not a divorcee or a widow. I'm not dating anyone nor am I "playing the field" since the prospective greenery seems to be missing in my general vicinity.

If you're a 35-year-old woman who has substantial control over your nervous system and introduced to someone, they first ask if you are married. Some may go on to ask if you have kids (these are usually men). Sometimes they ask the latter first (these are usually men).

I don't recall being questioned about my marital status at any time during my 20s, so this is still new to me even though the peculiar line of questioning has been happening since I turned 30. And that practically did happen overnight. (My sister and best friend came to my corporate office five years ago dressed in grandmother outfits carrying a huge "Lordy she's 30" bag that they pulled items out of and individually explained. My entire business suit-clad office sat and listened to why I'd need those items now that I was old. I won't go into details, but there was some type of ointment involved. Again, another column.)

I'm not proclaiming that a politically correct term for "single" needs to be developed. It's not an insult. I'd prefer single over "Maybe should've settled on the last guy. Could be the best one I'll find. I don't know." I'm happy to tag on, "Nope, not married. I'm single," after an introduction rather than "Nope, not married. I expect perfection from men, therefore I'll be single forever since even I am not perfect."

I think the most entertaining one I've been asked after someone hears that I'm 35, single and never married is why haven't I married.

I was at a social gathering, was just politely offered a glass of wine by a man who struck up a conversation with me, and he pops up with, "So, why do you think you've never married?"

I think a little red wine came out of my nose since I'd just taken a sip and was swallowing when I snorted into laughter. It's not a question you throw out as if you're asking why I purchased a Toyota instead of a Honda.

I asked if he'd ever considered printing out an application to give women he casually meets and found interesting. I explained that he could use some multiple choice questions, such as "Choose a necessity important for a successful marriage: A) Love, B) Trust, or C) Love, trust and a prenuptial agreement." Maybe an essay question such as, "Explain your bulkiest baggage in three or less paragraphs."

You probably guessed that no meaningful romance resulted in that chance encounter.

The least entertaining question I've been asked is, "Ever been close?" Again, this wasn't coffee talk with girlfriends. Another casual acquaintance, another social setting.

My first instinct was to begin counting with my fingers and say, "Oh, yeah, well sure. There was the guy I dated for years. He proposed to me twice, two different rings, both times we were broken up. Uh huh, yeah. And there was the one I hadn't see in years, dated him in college, looked me up in the phone book, drove to my house and offered me ownership of his car while he served in the Air Force. It was only later that I found out that there was a rose, ring and a letter of proposal in the glove compartment. Boy - that souped-up sedan would've been a lot of responsibility, huh? And then ..." But no. I simply responded, "Never booked the preacher, if that's what you mean."

It's not the clear-cut answer that I'm sure a lot of people are looking for, but that's what being nosy will get you. (Tip: I usually follow that answer by engaging in a detailed explanation of how to determine a perfect cut diamond from a flawed one. It makes for a night of entertaining facial expressions coming from the man I'm talking to.)


TOPICS: Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: generationx; genx; oldmaid; single
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1 posted on 10/11/2005 7:43:12 PM PDT by teldon30
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To: teldon30

I got four words for her, "Here, gut these fish."


2 posted on 10/11/2005 7:49:52 PM PDT by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: teldon30

Ypu, 32 single guy never been married and yes, I feel for ya!!!!@!!!!


3 posted on 10/11/2005 7:50:05 PM PDT by When do we get liberated? ((God save us from the whining, useless, irrelevent left...))
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To: teldon30

Didn't find much humor here. All I read was another "It's all about ME" snivel.

Boo freakin' hoo.


4 posted on 10/11/2005 7:51:15 PM PDT by Don W (Nevermind, I live in CUBA-NORTH!)
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To: teldon30
It seems reasonable to me for a man to ask a woman if she is married before flirting with her.

The men this woman is talking about seem to just be trying to get a date. What's wrong with that?

5 posted on 10/11/2005 7:52:51 PM PDT by j. earl carter
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To: teldon30

MoDo, is that you?


6 posted on 10/11/2005 7:52:58 PM PDT by neodad (Rule Number 1: Be Armed)
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To: teldon30
Sad indeed, but not her situation but Her attitude.
Too long alone and nothing is good enough.
And yes to need to plan a bit to do it.
God bless all the lonely people in the world.

Sometimes I think the arranged marriage is better then what we have now. I am pretty sure the succees rate would be the same or higher.
Also Geeks could get wives to pass on the superior tech genes. All the Indian guys have wives, thats why. all things being the same they have the advantage
7 posted on 10/11/2005 7:55:52 PM PDT by viper_disorder
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To: Don W
"Didn't find much humor here. All I read was another "It's all about ME" snivel."

"Boo freakin' hoo."

I agree with you. I wonder if this gal is really as touchy as she sounds in this article. I read this as "another feminist, just waiting to be offended by someone, preferably someone male."

Ho Hum.

8 posted on 10/11/2005 7:56:56 PM PDT by Irene Adler
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To: teldon30
I'm 35 years old, never married and that makes me "single." I'm not a divorcee or a widow. I'm not dating anyone nor am I "playing the field" since the prospective greenery seems to be missing in my general vicinity.

Oh, you poor thing.

< |:)~

9 posted on 10/11/2005 7:57:38 PM PDT by martin_fierro (< |:)~)
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To: teldon30
What interesting reading.

I can't wait to hear her future musings on yeast infestions and menopause....

10 posted on 10/11/2005 7:57:45 PM PDT by isthisnickcool (Don't get stuck on stupid - Lt. General Honore)
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To: j. earl carter
The men this woman is talking about seem to just be trying to get a date. What's wrong with that?

But just politely turning down a date is so boring. It's so much more fun if you humiliate or embarass them first. After all, they asked ME for a date.

11 posted on 10/11/2005 7:58:06 PM PDT by ModelBreaker
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To: j. earl carter

Couldn't he check the fourth finger of her left hand, to see if she's wearing a ring?


12 posted on 10/11/2005 7:59:43 PM PDT by rudy45
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To: teldon30

Who wrote that column...Runaway Bride Jennifer Wilbanks?


13 posted on 10/11/2005 7:59:51 PM PDT by Palladin (America! America! God shed His grace on Thee.)
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To: teldon30

My theory is that if you hang around an unattached woman long enough you'll eventually figure out why she is unattached. Except for the truly aestheticaly-challenged, most women that want to marry get married. Those that don't simply don't.

As a lifelong bachelor, I'm not bashing unmarried women. I'm just relating an observation here.


14 posted on 10/11/2005 8:01:19 PM PDT by Tall_Texan ("Give me liver, Dee, or give me beef.")
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To: teldon30
I'm not dating anyone

Such a charming woman! And not dating anyone? I am just so surprised.

15 posted on 10/11/2005 8:04:15 PM PDT by ClearCase_guy
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To: j. earl carter

"It's sooo moralist of them to be concerned that they aren't committing adultery." Modern culture doesn't find that to be so bad.

She is offended that they are surprised she's never been married. As if no one WOULD marry her. Then again, she seems quick to bite their heads off.

Wonder if she'll take a lot of fertility drugs to make up for lost time on her family. She hasn't said that she doesn't EVER want to get married. Just that no one has been good enough.

I'm single too but would prefer to settle down. I meet quite a few women 25-35 who are against marriage for themselves.


16 posted on 10/11/2005 8:04:19 PM PDT by weegee (The lesson from New Orleans? Smart Growth kills. You can't evacuate dense populations easily.)
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To: teldon30
No marriage for Bobbie Curd?

No whey.

17 posted on 10/11/2005 8:05:01 PM PDT by Rockpile
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To: teldon30

"I think a little red wine came out of my nose..."

that might be the start of an explanation.


18 posted on 10/11/2005 8:06:25 PM PDT by kpp_kpp
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To: qam1

PING


19 posted on 10/11/2005 8:08:39 PM PDT by weegee (The lesson from New Orleans? Smart Growth kills. You can't evacuate dense populations easily.)
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To: teldon30
She seems to enjoy taking out her discomfort at her sister's bringing a bag and going over her singleness on any man that showed any mild interest in her. Perhaps it was abrupt of the man to ask off the top if she thought there was any reasons she hadn't gotten married, but he really was just being up front about his curiosity. It seems a good thing that she is ok with being single...her attitude seems to be a wall to anything else.
20 posted on 10/11/2005 8:09:47 PM PDT by highlander_UW (I don't know what my future holds, but I know Who holds my future)
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To: rudy45
re: checking ring finger

Some of us are socially inept and fail to notice the obvious.

21 posted on 10/11/2005 8:09:57 PM PDT by j. earl carter
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To: teldon30
She's a journalist- so she's got that going for her.
22 posted on 10/11/2005 8:11:15 PM PDT by fat city ("The nation that controls magnetism controls the world.")
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To: j. earl carter
The men this woman is talking about seem to just be trying to get a date. What's wrong with that?

Because it's rude to ask such personal questions on first acquaintance. Might as well ask her her age, weight, and shoe size.

23 posted on 10/11/2005 8:11:54 PM PDT by Overtaxed (V=(nRT)/P)
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To: teldon30
I don't recall being questioned about my marital status at any time during my 20s, so this is still new to me even though the peculiar line of questioning has been happening since I turned 30.

The line of questioning isn't "peculiar" at all. One can rightfully assume that an older woman is more likely to be married. A single man wants to know if she's married in order to decide where a possible relationship should go. A married man, might still want a relationship 9unfortunately), or he might look at a couple as new friends for him and his wife. This article sounds like Feminazi bullshit to me.

24 posted on 10/11/2005 8:12:56 PM PDT by SALChamps03
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To: ClearCase_guy
Such a charming woman! And not dating anyone? I am just so surprised.

Same here.

25 posted on 10/11/2005 8:14:05 PM PDT by Paul_Denton (Stom ta jora UN)
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To: teldon30; qam1

Sounds like a challenge to me!

Sort of like my wife when I first met her (though we were in our 20s).

13+ years of wedded bliss!


26 posted on 10/11/2005 8:14:57 PM PDT by Incorrigible (If I lead, follow me; If I pause, push me; If I retreat, kill me.)
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To: teldon30

After reading the article I am not surprised at all she remains single, and probably with no serious prospects for marriage.


27 posted on 10/11/2005 8:15:56 PM PDT by HitmanLV
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To: j. earl carter

There's nothing wroing with that. I'd wager this woman has an attitude and demeanor that repels potential suitors. Not surprising she remains single as she cruises past middle age.


28 posted on 10/11/2005 8:16:57 PM PDT by HitmanLV
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To: j. earl carter

lol that's ALWAYS the first thing I check lol


29 posted on 10/11/2005 8:18:07 PM PDT by rudy45
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To: teldon30
In social situations, I often ask if someone is married, especially if they are male and in my own age group.
It saves a lot of potentially embarrassing misunderstandings in casual social interactions.
A simple yes or no is all that is intially needed.
Furthor questioning generally means either a more personal interest, or a rude person, but the basic questioning of matital status is meant to be polite. Social situations are how strangers meet and learn enough about each other to be deemed acquaintances, and may even lead to casual friendships and a variety of other potential relationships.
Marital status matters a great deal, in formulating the basic boundaries of casual social relationships.
The author of this piece needs to learn how to successfully interact socially as a mature adult.
30 posted on 10/11/2005 8:18:14 PM PDT by sarasmom (What is the legal daily bag limit for RINOs in the USA?)
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To: teldon30

In many cases, marriage is not always a conscious decision.

I think most people just reach a psychological (maturity) point in their life and they marry the person whom they are dating (or serious with) at that moment, if that other person is agreeable, that is.

It's like a subconscious magnet built into a person's psyche which simply says, 'yep - time to get hitched.'

However, some people have an unrealistic perception of the entire process, as fortold in the book The Cinderella Complex.

They apparantly wait for bells and whistles to go off in their head upon meeting the right person.

Unfortunately the bells and whistles usually stop ringing in most people at around 29.

After that it is a matter of practicality and a desire to have children, not lust, bells and whistles.

Things don't always work out that romantically, although I'm sure it does for some, but not all.


31 posted on 10/11/2005 8:20:03 PM PDT by Edit35
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To: Tall_Texan

I'm 37, never married, and consistently have had romantic companions. I am with you 100%. Anybody who is alone with no prospects is probably alone for a good reason.

In many cases, it's just that they don't get out and meet people. In many cases, it's that they repel rather than attract potential mates.

Goes for men and women.


32 posted on 10/11/2005 8:22:26 PM PDT by HitmanLV
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To: cyborg; Xenalyte; pa mom; raivyn; MamaTexan; Jersey Republican Biker Chick; njwoman; arasina; ...

Interesting essay... should be worth a chuckle or two.


33 posted on 10/11/2005 8:28:02 PM PDT by Dashing Dasher (Fleet Week = Red Bulls, White Uniforms. and Blue Angels,)
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To: teldon30
Now, if a single gal wants to keep guys away, here's a no-fail question: Are you saved?
34 posted on 10/11/2005 8:34:37 PM PDT by ChocChipCookie (I don't recognize my own country anymore.)
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To: Don W

I thought it was funny - and didn't see the Boo Freakin' Hoo that you did.

Probably because I'm over 30 and single and get the same questions from people all the time.

Snivel? Me? NEVER!!


35 posted on 10/11/2005 8:38:59 PM PDT by Dashing Dasher (Fleet Week = Red Bulls, White Uniforms. and Blue Angels,)
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To: rudy45
Couldn't he check the fourth finger of her left hand, to see if she's wearing a ring?

I know quite a few married couples that do not wear rings these days, and for a wide variety of reasons. Some don't like jewelry at all, others do not see the point (it is, admittedly, little more than ritual), and others have jobs or medical conditions which prevent them from wearing the rings (my father has a bad reaction to gold, as a real-world example). In other words, it is not a very reliable indicator in the modern world, doubly so since there are single women that wear apparent wedding/engagement rings.

36 posted on 10/11/2005 8:42:21 PM PDT by tortoise (All these moments lost in time, like tears in the rain.)
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To: Don W

I thought it was funny - and didn't see the Boo Freakin' Hoo that you did.

Probably because I'm over 30 and single and get the same questions from people all the time.

Snivel? Me? NEVER!!


37 posted on 10/11/2005 8:42:32 PM PDT by Dashing Dasher (Fleet Week = Red Bulls, White Uniforms. and Blue Angels,)
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To: Rockpile
No marriage for Bobbie Curd?

No whey.

LOL! My kinda humah.

38 posted on 10/11/2005 8:44:06 PM PDT by arasina (So there.)
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To: kpp_kpp
I think a little red wine came out of my nose..." "a little"?

That's why I like reading FR at night...
I always feel more comfortable dealing with FReepers who may have more of a buzz than I do...?

39 posted on 10/11/2005 8:50:51 PM PDT by Randy Larsen (Freedom is not America's gift to man, Freedom is GOD'S gift to mankind!....G.W.Bush)
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To: Tall_Texan

"My theory is that if you hang around an unattached woman long enough you'll eventually figure out why she is unattached. Except for the truly aestheticaly-challenged, most women that want to marry get married. Those that don't simply don't."

Maybe true for most, but not me, I have wanted to be married; but being a widow hasn't helped.


40 posted on 10/11/2005 8:56:30 PM PDT by seastay
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To: arasina
"LOL! My kinda humah."

I'll milk it for laughs if I can.

41 posted on 10/11/2005 8:59:05 PM PDT by Rockpile
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To: teldon30

Get this all the time. My answer to why I haven't married yet is a very simple one: haven't met the right guy yet.


42 posted on 10/11/2005 8:59:38 PM PDT by rintense
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To: Don W

I thought it was funny and full of sarcasm. Of course, I've been in her shoes so...


43 posted on 10/11/2005 9:00:28 PM PDT by rintense
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To: Dashing Dasher

Thanks dashing dasher, for the ping!

I tried married for almost 10 years. Didn't work out so well for me.

Single after that for about 8 years. Dated, but no long-term guys.

Been with the same VN veteran now for more years than I recall (about 20?). I'm 54 and counting...


Single female is a fun time!


44 posted on 10/11/2005 9:02:34 PM PDT by JLO (www.operationminnesotanice.com)
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To: seastay

Yep. I want to get married for the right reasons (love, committment, children, etc.)- not because society expects me to be, or because someone falsely thinks there 'must be something wrong with her'. It's a question of marrying 'just any guy'. Call me a prude, but I don't want 'just any guy'.


45 posted on 10/11/2005 9:05:03 PM PDT by rintense
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To: weegee; ItsOurTimeNow; PresbyRev; tortoise; Fraulein; StoneColdGOP; Clemenza; malakhi; m18436572; ..
I see many of you are here already but......

Xer Ping

Ping list for the discussion of the politics and social (and sometimes nostalgic) aspects that directly effects Generation Reagan / Generation-X (Those born from 1965-1981) including all the spending previous generations (i.e. The Baby Boomers) are doing that Gen-X and Y will end up paying for.

Freep mail me to be added or dropped. See my home page for details and previous articles.  

46 posted on 10/11/2005 9:32:21 PM PDT by qam1 (There's been a huge party. All plates and the bottles are empty, all that's left is the bill to pay)
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To: seastay

I'm sorry for your loss. I'd put you in a different category than the author though. You *were* married. It's not the same social pressure as the never-marrieds face. Not to minimize what you do face, but it's different.

I do know some widows who tend to turn off prospective second husbands by waxing about how wonderful the first husband was. Most men (and women for that matter) will shy away from someone who is expecting someone as wonderful as their dear departed. Particularly if there are children involved.

I think sometimes of all the widows created by 9-11 and the War on Terror. It takes a tough woman to pick up and start over. Bless all of them.


47 posted on 10/11/2005 9:38:39 PM PDT by Tall_Texan ("Give me liver, Dee, or give me beef.")
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To: When do we get liberated?
Same here! (32/single).

I just think that the American legal system is none too friendly to males!

48 posted on 10/11/2005 9:40:56 PM PDT by xrp (Conservative votes are to Republicans what 90% of black votes are to Democrats (taken for granted))
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To: rintense
I want to get married for the right reasons

I do not think you need any better explanation than that. This is not the 18th century where you get married by 20 so that you can die by 40. More than ever, quality matters.

Marriage should not be a race to some kind of societal finish line.

49 posted on 10/11/2005 9:46:33 PM PDT by tortoise (All these moments lost in time, like tears in the rain.)
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To: sarasmom

As for myself, I find a number of women, with no ring, who are in long term live-in relationships with their boyfriends.

Perhaps they have a common-law marriage.

All I know is that there are some things I would like to know up front.


50 posted on 10/11/2005 10:02:43 PM PDT by weegee (The lesson from New Orleans? Smart Growth kills. You can't evacuate dense populations easily.)
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