Mostly I just putter.

Doctoral student, amateur cook, beginning sewer.

Mostly I just putter.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

I know why you're single

A close friend of mine has been doing the eHarmony dance for several weeks now. She’s an amazing woman and I’m so sad that she hasn’t met and married a great man, because she has a ridiculously funny, thoughtful, and loving outlook on life. This week she forwarded an e-mail to me that she’d received from a man she’d been communicating with through the website. She was frustrated because he’d made an awkward and juvenile sexual comment in response to a semi-serious question she’d posed. As we were talking about it I noted that I have so many amazing women friends in my life who really want to be married and haven’t found the right man. They’re frustrated, discouraged, tired and fighting off a raging case of “cynical” every day. The men I know who are single? I have no doubt in my mind why they’re single.

For the edification of the single, late-30s crowd, I present “Beulah’s Tell-Tale Signs For Single Men That Probably You’ll Never Get Married If You Don’t Figure These Out Already”. A lengthy title, I know, but I didn’t want to downplay the importance of this list.

  • Operating in a world not of this one. It’s a cliché for a reason: they’re badly dressed and slovenly, but still expect that Claudia Schiffer is going to be the woman they end up with. Take a shower every once in a while. Repeat after me, “The foul and unwashed stay single forever…The foul and unwashed stay single forever…The foul…”
  • Can’t read the basic social cues. My friend identified herself as a Christian on her profile. While I admire his attempt to avoid jumping to conclusions about her based on that label, she put it on her profile so he would jump to a few conclusions about her based on that label! The topic of pre-marital sex is (to many) Christians an important relationship milestone that you don’t open with a crass one-liner from a Chris Farley movie.
  • Not making an effort. Flowers and chocolate are always nice and are easy to pick up at Safeway on the way to someone’s house, and very few women are going to turn that down. But the best gift I ever received? The cables that I needed to connect my laptop to my stereo that I’d mentioned as an aside in a conversation with my boyfriend the week before. It meant that he had listened, and looked at my stereo to see what length cables I would need, and then he went to Circuit City and bought the cables. As I unwrapped the gift (He even wrapped! With paper and tape and a RIBBON!) I distinctly remembered thinking, “This man is definitely a keeper.”
  • The Peter Pan syndrome. This well-documented disease is easy to diagnose but hard to treat. “Friends with benefits” is no longer an option, because women in their thirties are over that drama and want a MAN. A Man who will be there when life goes in the crapper. A Man who will fold the laundry and load the dishwasher without making a federal case about it or (worse!) feel they’re doing you a huge favor. A Man who can manage their finances and think about purchasing real estate (if they haven’t already bought a house) and maybe even having babies without breaking into a cold sweat and whimpering like a newborn puppy.

My hope is that the amazing single women I know will continue to stay connected to their belief that being single is still better than settling…and we all know a woman who did and we feel sorry for her. She’s the girlfriend that can’t leave her husband home alone with the kids, the girlfriend that can’t schedule anything on Friday or Saturday nights because “he” might want to do something, the girlfriend who manages the finances because “he” can’t be trusted to remember to pay the bills.

A post for another day? Women in their late 30s who dress like they’re in late puberty. Women who are so desperate to get married they say and do whatever it takes to get to the altar. Women who create drama for the sake of creating drama.

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