I’m 28: I’ve my own house (well a little apartment), my own dented car, a job I love; meaning I am financially independent if not exactly buoyant, my (excusing my recent vanity induced brush with Ward 11) health: so therefore plenty to be pleased about: yet many of my friends, nearly all of my family and quite a few of the wonderful women I work with, see me as something of a sad little case because of one very small but seemingly significant piece of information- I’m single.
These women, and it tends to be women, are not in fact would-be Stepford wives, covered in baby vomit and passing out knitting patterns and strudel recipes, but are the yummiest of mummies who have sexy shoes, great haircuts and careers they are expertly and mindblowingly juggling with childcare and their own busy social lives.
Their pity takes on various forms, but out of ‘love’ for me they feel the need to do all they can in an attempt to remedy my dire marital status. An example being the “We’ll find you a man” as happened on a recent work night out. The theory being, I can only presume, I had no time to consult, given the desperate situation I found myself in: single on yet ANOTHER Friday night; that they have done it already- they kissed their frog found their Prince and just what the hell had I being doing all this time?
These women, all of whom have gorgeous, loving and sexy partners waiting for them in their IKEA beds with beautiful sheets when they get home; think they are doing me a favour by scouting the “talent” of whichever eatery we all happen to be in. They, of course, have nothing to lose and only the sheer thrill of the chase to amuse to them. They are unstoppable: Challenge Anneka with much better outfits; the pursuit is as relentless as it is animalistic. On this particular night I had a plant toppled into an unsuspecting man in my “honour” – I kid you not. These women cared nothing or little as to my opinion of their would be victim: there is no talk of the zsa, zsa, zsu. Instead they say this, “This is my friend Carrie, she is single and desperate and needs to have a stilted conversation as you wait at the bar for the world’s slowest gin and tonic”.
In fact when you return from the bar, having in your attempt to leave ASAP, gulped the g&t, choked on the lemon wedge and spat it on his typically ugly shoes- they are indignant, in fact livid that you haven’t sealed the deal- in fact you deserve to be single (like its some terrible punishment) because you’re superficial enough to want to like the person you might potentially date.
Even worse than “find a victim” is the dreaded, ill-fated, never ever gonna work “set-up” with their equally desperate and single male friends. This ‘its not a date’ often occurs at your friend’s house for a ‘casual dinner’, meaning there’s no escape. You can’t hide behind the bar You can’t pretend you’ve met an old friend in the ladies. You are a prisoner. When inevitably the ‘match’ doesn’t work you have to explain to your friend why you didn’t get on with her husband’s/boyfriend’s/ fiance’s best friend/ work colleague/ cousin/ dental hygienist (or they have to explain about why you didn’t rock their world).
It doesn’t end there: you have to avoid calling into your friend’s house in case he’s there, you have be patted sympathetically on the arm when he gets engaged to the blond bombshell he went out with immediately after you (“You’re SO much prettier!”), the hug when your friend is deciding what to wear to their society wedding, and the almost tears at the birth of the first baby: your friend feeling forever guilty that someone else got your happy ending.
They mean well this misguided coupled up friends of mine, really they do:. I know they only want me to have the same happiness they have (the huge post wedding debt, the difficult in-laws, the sleepless, nappy filled, milk stained nights- unfair I know and a topic that deserves further exploration) and I’m sure that there are couples out there who have met through the determination of matchmaking friends, but I’m guessing they are few and far between- the exception rather than the rule…
In saying that, to any friends out there reading this, don’t take me off your “Still Single but Shouldn’t Be” list, who’s to say I can’t be exceptional?