Thursday, July 31, 2008

Right after my sister got engaged...

...a relative said to my mom (as I stood right there):

"One down, one to go!"

I took offense to that.

(The “Single and Fabulous?” episode of Sex and the City was on TBS the other night, dragging all this stuff from over two years ago up. On a related note, I know plenty of fans who were very disappointed with the end of the Sex and the City movie. They feel that the movie should not have ended with Carrie marrying a guy who had hurt her time-and-again...it should have ended with Carrie being "Single and Fabulous!" This time with an exclamation point...not a question mark.)

My mother yelled at me for being too sensitive...(which she often does. I am too sensitive…I will be the first person to admit that I, in no doubt, have a very good spot on the Most Hypersensitive People in the World list) but I honestly took offense to that.

Should I have?

Was that comment offensive, or was I just acting out on my own insecurities? That a (small) part of me does feel that being “alone” really is sad and something that needs to be “cured” as soon as possible...that I do need to defend my reasons for not having a "plus one" on an RSVP card? (Could it be that I'm just not looking right now, or is that just so unbelievable?)

Let me get this right...judging from the “One down, one to go!” comment…an unmarried woman is a burden to, not just her family, but…hey! Probably to society as a whole.

The most important thing ANYBODY can EVER do is GET MARRIED. (I mean, I’m sure that’s the most important thing Mother Theresa or Golda Meyer or Joan of Arc ever did, right?)

NONE of your life accomplishments matter as long as you get married!!!!

Comments like this relative's made me wonder if I really DID have something to be ashamed of by being single...were people looking at me like I was a freak? Were people feeling sorry for me? I actually started dreading having to go to my sister's wedding alone...and daydream that maybe I would change the world before then and people would see me at the reception and go:

"So! You don’t have a date tonight, huh? But, CONGRATULATIONS ON THE PULITZER!”

“HOW many weeks has your book been on the New York Times’ bestseller list? Twenty, is it?”

“That was a GREAT photo of you on the cover of Marie Claire last month!”

(A girl can dream…)

I hear girls (I guess I should be saying “women”, but it sounds weird) my age commenting that they’ll only go to their high school ten-year reunions if they are married…that they have “backups” (My Best Friend’s Wedding agreements, one might call them) and turning down invitations to weddings because the girl would rather not go at all than go solo.

Girls go through wedding announcements and watch A Wedding Story on TLC and tell themselves, "Hey! THAT girl found somebody! And I'm so much prettier than her! I should find somebody eventually!"

I think it’s terribly sad…guys don't worry about this stuff, do they?

I have a friend whose parents’ marriage was arranged. She is first generation American, brought to this country so that she could have chances that those women before her in her family didn’t.

And now she is 26…and unmarried…and her family treats her like a leper for it.

What exactly was the point in bringing this girl to this so-called “land of opportunity” if they are going to keep such barbarian values?

Recently, an 18-year-old girl I know commented that she really hopes she is just married and settled by the time she is twenty-three.

I wonder what she sees when she looks at me...a washed-out, on-the-shelf old maid of 26? (Well, considering I still get carded at rated "R" movies, I don't think I can pass off as a 26-year-old ANYTHING...)

I told her, "I think you should get married when you MEET somebody you want to marry and decide it's the right time for you both to...get married." (I could have changed it up a bit and said “wed”, but then I would really sound like I was coming out of another century.)

She looked at me sympathetically and said, "You don't have a boyfriend, do you?"

You know what? No, I don’t! And I’m okay with it until I have to feel the need to defend myself...and that is when I start wondering if something really is wrong with me.

What makes it even harder...I have found...is not being able to go a few months without being invited to another shower...wedding or baby...engagement party or wedding...and if I see one more Facebook default photo of an old classmate holding up a newly bejeweled left ring finger, I just might take one of myself!!!!

(I am also announcing right now that I am going to throw a HUGE "What-Wedding-or-Baby? I-Can't-Even-Seem-To-Meet- Any-Straight-Guys-and-I-Don't-Make-Much-Money-And-Would-Love-Some-Gifts!" shower.)

Diana Rissetto

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