Questions nobody should ever ask

How on earth are you supposed to answer these questions?

“When are you going to find someone nice and get married?”

Probably next year, maybe on the last Saturday in April, if my crystal ball is accurate.  Related to:

“Why are you still single?”

O.M.G. There just isn’t a good answer for this one although I’ve been tempted to say things like ‘Because I look at other people’s marriages and none of them make me want to tie the knot myself’. What I usually say is ‘How many nice, straight, single 30/40-something guys do YOU know?’

Another one:

“When are you going to have babies? You’d be such a good mom / You aren’t getting any younger, you know.”

Jeeeeeeepers… this one drives me crazy. Just because YOU have kids, doesn’t mean everyone else (a) wants them and (b) can have them. Oh and thanks for pointing out that I’m nearly over the hill.

So many people struggle with fertility these days, that you’d think people wouldn’t be so tactless. And asking this of a single person is even worse… I mean, are we just supposed to go out and get ourselves knocked up, to become single mothers? I have friends who are single who are desperate for children, but don’t have the (emotional and financial) resources to go it alone. This kind of question is like a knife through their hearts.

And as for those of us who prefer to remain childfree, well… admit that to these people and you’ll be given a look of horror. How could you not want little snot-nosed, screaming darlings?

If you have any snappy answers for these questions, please share them in the comments. I could do with some good comebacks.

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Pinterest makes me want to punch my laptop

OK so perhaps I do have a secret board on Pinterest that may or may not include beautiful images of sparkly rings and gorgeous (not white) dresses.

The wedding section on Pinterest is pretty scary. It’s a flurry of hippy or hipster chic – mason jars, baby’s breath, wooden ampersands and ombre wedding cakes abound. THE PRESSURE to produce a perfect wedding must be ridiculous for the people who pin this stuff so avidly. And WTF is a sand ceremony?!

They can have it all, and sure, it’s all very pretty. But the one thing that makes me want to throw up – or throw things – is all the cutesy ‘Mrs’ paraphernalia. Necklaces that say ‘Mrs’. Scatter cushions. T-shirts (“cute for honeymoon!!!”).  SHOWER CURTAINS. Seriously?

This one is the worst:

He Stole My Heart So I'm Stealing His Last Name - Photo by Beautiful Mess Photography, LLC - Art by Sarah Doriani

I realise that some women can’t wait to take their husband’s names. I just don’t understand why. What’s wrong with their own names? Taking your husband’s name feels to me like you’re becoming his property. I love my last name and it has defined me for decades. Changing it would feel very, very weird. It’s part of me and I’d like to keep it.

And why in this day and age are all males referred to as Mr, but women are still either Miss or Mrs? I have been trying for years for my bank to change my title from Miss to Ms and it’s yet to happen. Why do women’s titles still indicate their marital status, while men’s don’t? It drives me crazy. I will remain Ms Singlethirtysomething all my life, regardless of whether I am single, married, divorced or whatever.

Rant over!

 

Would this get a response on a dating site?

Wanted: A man who will be my companion and my friend. Who will love me and stand by me. Who will fight my corner. A man who will be there for me as I get older, who will help me deal with losses and help me feel that I’m not alone. And I will do the same for him. We’ll have our own interests and often go and do our own things, but we’ll enjoy meeting for dinner and telling stories about our days – at home, and in far-flung exotic places.

I don’t expect fireworks and violins. We don’t even need to have a swing-from-the-chandeliers sex life… I’d be happy with cuddles and kisses on the couch. I need my independence, but I also need kindness, intelligent conversation and warm, tight, full-body hugs – often. Where are you, Mr?

How long should you date for?

Is dating a means to an end (i.e. marriage) or an end in itself? Should your relationship always be ‘going somewhere’ or should you simple carpe the diem and live in the present?

Having never been in a very long term relationship, I’m not exactly speaking from a point of experience, but I do wonder about couples who’ve been coasting along for 5, 8, 10 or more years. Sure, not everyone wants to get married and for them, that’s fine. But what about those relationships where one of the people really does want to marry?

Two good friends come to mind. A lovely guy I’ve known for ever has been with his girlfriend for five years. She really wants to get married; he’s not 100% sure that things are quite right. In another relationship, the woman can’t understand why, after eight years together and trying for a baby, her partner is still so anti-marriage. It’s really important to her, but he won’t talk about it.

Tricky situations and high emotions all round. Not to mention the emotional manipulation and uncertainty.

I’d like to think that if I was dating someone, that within 18-24 months tops I’d probably know if I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him. And that if I didn’t, or he didn’t, we’d be brave enough to call it quits. Because I’d rather be single than with someone who is wasting my time. But that’s just me.

How long does it take you to know whether a relationship’s got legs? And does it matter to you?

Good friends, good food, good times

I’ve got four friends coming round for dinner tomorrow night. They are two married couples – one pair have been married over 10 years; the other, about 4.

I love hanging out with them. They are – refreshingly – the furthest from ‘smug marrieds’ you can imagine. Should I meet my Mr Right-For-Me someday, I hope our marriage will be like theirs. They are interesting to talk to, pursue their own interests, clearly love each other but are not nauseating about it. Within their relationships, they are independent but complimentary.

OK so guests aside, I’ve been trying to work out what to cook. One of the couples is trying to avoid wheat at the moment but other than that, they’ll all eat pretty much anything. I’m the tricky one, being vegetarian! Here’s what I have come up with:

Starter: Nachos. I make mean nachos and for the first time will be making my own salsa. Corn chips, chunky cottage cheese, spicy salsa and lots of melted cheese on top… mmm!

Main: Piquant roasted veg on a bed of baby spinach, topped with crumbled feta and toasted pine nuts. I practically live on roasted veg in winter and have perfected the dish – the key to the flavour is ground cumin, cinnamon and smoked paprika. Delicious.

Dessert: Balsamic and black pepper strawberries with Madagascan vanilla ice-cream. If you’ve never tasted balsamic strawberries before, pop over to http://www.epicurious.com and look up the recipe. Very simple, very tasty and always generates compliments.

My mouth is watering already…

I can’t talk now – my husband just got home

OK so perhaps, in my independent-single-chick mode, I am overreacting to this a little so I look forward to your comments on this one.

I have a long-standing, good friend who I don’t see or speak to very often, despite us living in the same city. In the past her work has been all-consuming and although it has improved recently, I still don’t hear from her very often. She married last year and is now one of my 7 pregnant friends.

I called her last week for no particular reason than to have a catch-up chat. I could hear she was eating and when I asked if she’d prefer me to call back after she’d finished her dinner, she said no, she’d prefer to talk now because her husband was due home soon and she feels it’s not right for her to have long conversations with her friends when he is there.

What?!

Let me get this right: hubby comes home and wifey must give him her undivided attention.

Oh heavens, if that’s how a marriage is supposed to be, then I am SO staying single.

I don’t know if this is something SHE has decided is appropriate, or whether HE has requested (dictated??). But frankly, if it was me, I would be quite happy for my husband to catch up on the phone with a friend he doesn’t see often – and I’d expect him to understand if I did the same. I’m not talking about 3 hour phone conversations to friends every evening (we are out of high school, after all!). Just the occasional great chat with someone you haven’t seen in a while.

Canvassing my other friends, the single girls reacted with horror but some of my married friends said that in the early days of their marriages, their worlds did revolve around their new spouses (spice? hee hee).

What do you think? Should a husband and wife give each other all their attention in the evenings? Or is having some separate interests healthier? (OK, so I have phrased that with a little bias…!).