Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Gasping at single living

from Ruth

It seems that the older I get (and I’m hardly old at 33!!) the more people are baffled by my single status and the more I have to contend with their bizarre questions about my “lifestyle”. I was recently at a friend’s wedding and was having a conversation with one of the guests (a married man) and when he found out that I was single, he was absolutely stunned that I had somehow managed to buy my own home and (gasp!) a car as well! And then (here’s the kicker) he inquired as to whether I had a job!

I almost felt like saying "No, I just beg for money on the street". It's just so ridiculous, I am far more likely to have a job than a married woman! Who does he think supports me?? Daddy?? He just couldn’t seem to believe that a woman can successfully live without a man. And the funny thing was that while I was talking to him, I was thinking to myself "Boy, if only you knew what I was planning for next year!" I think his head would have exploded if I'd told him about my SMC plans!

Anyways, I just laugh off comments like these now, but in the past they were hurtful because it seemed that married people didn’t feel I was a real "grown-up" woman because I didn’t have a family to take care of (I’ve even been asked if I cook for myself! What do they think I do, order pizza for breakfast, lunch and dinner?).

As an interesting footnote to this story, I was having lunch with my (single) brother the next day and he also owns his own home and I asked whether he hears similar comments about buying a house alone, but (no surprise here) he never does! Is our society still so male-biased that a man is presumed to be more capable of living on his own than a woman?