I turn 37 in about two and a half months. It’s a little bit surreal. I feel like just yesterday I was on a school bus hitting boys in the face with my clarinet case for bothering me. But here I am. Adulting all over the place or I am trying to anyway. As it happens, I am also unmarried and I don’t have any kids. My age plus my marital status has caused some panic. The panic doesn’t come from me though. I am so chill about it. My friends and family are freaking out for me.
I recently discovered that my aunt and my mother watch “Say Yes to the Dress” and plan my wedding for me. My aunt told my mom not to worry because she is paying for my wedding dress. I am like, “Can I just get the cash for that dress please? I have a shoe addiction that needs to be enabled and wedding dress money is just what I need to fund my next fix.” My aunt even went as far as to call me up one day out of the blue and ask me if I had a significant other. I was baffled because other than her and my mother’s strange ritual of talking about my wedding day while watching bridal shows on television, I had no idea that she even cared if I had a boyfriend or not. The conversation went something like this:
Aunt Edna: I haven’t heard from you in a long time! How have you been? Do you have a significant other? (Note that she didn’t wait for me to answer the first question)
Me: Uhhhh…no I don’t have a boyfriend. Why?
Aunt Edna: *sigh of disgust* Come on, Kim!
Aunt Edna: I need you to hurry up and meet someone and have me a baby. I need a niece or nephew!
Me: You have a son, Edna! He is shacking up with a girl and fornicating all over the damn place. Call him and tell him to have a baby.
Aunt Edna: No. Not him. He doesn’t need to have any kids. You. I want you to start working on that.
The weirdness doesn’t stop there. Not only is my Aunt concerned about me getting laid and growing a baby in my body, I am catching heat from my married friends who suddenly want to set me up with their friends. One particular smug married man (who is actually pretty cool when he isn’t being all smug and married) will randomly announce that he has “a homeboy” that I need “to hook up with”. Every year he and his wife throw a holiday party at Christmas time and a pool party in the summer, neither of which do I ever attend, and he says, “So I have some single guys on deck for you at the party!”. Let me just say that these attempts to set me up are completely unsolicited. I have never in anyway suggested that I would be interested in any of this dude’s friends. The fact that those parties would be a reenactment of The Bachelorette for me is really what keeps me away from those parties. But maybe I need to go this year just to entertain you all with a good blog post about how I turned a pool party into a reality show…hmmm. I can get someone to record my interactions with these men with their phone. But I digress.
The best thing about being on the downside of your 30s and single is other single people trying to make you feel bad about being on the downside of your 30s and single. It’s my favorite things in the WHOLE WORLD! I recently befriended a guy from my church that has made it clear that he is marriage minded and is looking for his wife. He is a sweet guy. He is fun to talk to. But his incessant inquiries about my marital status make me want to fight the air.
Nice Guy Friend: So why aren’t you married?
Me: I don’t know. Because I’m just not.
Nice Guy Friend: So don’t you want to be married?
Me: Sure. Maybe one day.
Nice Guy Friend: I don’t understand. What are you waiting on?
So I wonder what would happen if I gave my married friends the same treatment that they gave me regarding their marital status. I listen to one of my girlfriends complain about how her husband forgot to pay their car payment again or he still hasn’t fixed the upstairs toilet. I have guy friends who are husbands who complain about not having sex enough times a week or whose wives nag them and spend all of their money on designer handbags. I am going to start asking, “So when are you getting a divorce? Don’t you think it’s time you dropped that ball and chain! Be free!” I would say all of this while playing the theme song from “Chariots of Fire” in the background. Go ahead and get a picture of that in your mental. If I were to say things like that to my married peeps, I would be told that I am way out of line and inappropriate. “God hates divorce”. “God’s covenant shouldn’t be broken.” Blah blah blah. Yet it is okay for them to say things like that to me and make suggestions about a decision that would completely change my life. I enjoy double standards.
I know that I am babbling but I have a point. Somehow men and woman have been led to believe that having a spouse is some kind of status that is the equivalent of owning beach front property at the Hamptons or court-side seats at a Lakers’ game. The reality is that being a husband or wife does not make one’s life better than someone who isn’t married. It is just a different way of life. Not better. Just different. The offers to set me up and the inquiries about when I am going to push a nine pound person from my body come from people with good intentions. I don’t believe that these are people who want to hurt my feelings. However, what married people and even single people who have been brainwashed to believe that married life is the only life that will make them happy are really saying when they offer to set you up with people is, “Your life isn’t good enough the way that it is. Here, let me help you. You clearly don’t know what you are doing.” This is me, an old potential cat lady, telling all of my friends who are both married and single to calm their nerves. I am fine. For those of my single friends who aren’t fine with their lives where they are and are succumbing to the pressure that society is putting on them by jumping into relationships that they have no business getting into, I have some suggestions for you to do to entertain yourselves and things that I would like for you to remember.
- Start doing awesome stuff by yourself. I take myself on “me dates” every week. Sometimes I go on more than one date by myself. Guys, I am the best date ever. I don’t talk during a movie in a theater, I don’t pretend like I forgot my wallet so that someone else has to pay (because who else hates it when someone who is broke “forgets their wallet” or their credit card declines?) and I don’t expect to get lucky when the date is over so I don’t have to worry about having a pregnancy scare or taking the morning after pill. I treat myself like a lady by opening doors for myself and buying myself flowers. I go to a movie, I take myself to see a Broadway show, I go to amusement parks and people watch. In fact every Sunday I have a me date. I go to the earliest church service, I take myself to Cheesecake Factory to have delicious blueberry pancakes, and then I see a cheap movie at the AMC. I sit quietly at a table and read a book, quietly judge parents who bring their children that misbehave in the restaurant or listen to a couple argue or have a deeply private discussion at their table. I am nosey and a little judgmental. This seems like it would be an obvious suggestion but I have been called a loser before for going into a restaurant alone and eating by myself. But the chick that called me that was stuck at home in her apartment with ramen noodles and no friends. #whosthelosernow
- Travel Somewhere. I recently discovered the beauty of frequent flyer miles. I am racking them up to take impromptu trips to New York City and to visit my friends who live in other states. I am also taking a trip to Spain next year! I am super pumped about that. Did you know that if you are married, your spouse doesn’t like for you to take vacations alone? If you have kids, your vacation choices are probably going to be limited to Lego Land and Disney World where there are more obnoxious, screaming ankle biters stealing your joy and your peace. And If you don’t like traveling alone and you don’t have any friends to travel with you or you don’t have the funds to travel, do you know who takes trips all of the time? Your local church. They have these things called mission trips. You create a GoFund Me account and people will GIVE you money to take a trip. Plus you get to travel with other people who love the Lord so you won’t be alone. Can you believe that? Disclaimer: You won’t be staying in a hotel and some knowledge about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is necessary. You might want to pick up a Bible or download a Bible App before you take this plunge.
- Take this time to work on yourself. I have some pretty horrible habits that I know that a man isn’t going to appreciate. I am not exactly the neatest person on the planet. I am not a slob and I am not disgusting. I am MESSY. I take off my clothes as soon as I walk through the door of my apartment and leave a trail of clothing from the door to my couch where I likely left my pajamas from the night before. I repeat this process each day when I get home. At the end of the week, I have a full load of laundry to do and it is all in one place but not a laundry basket. This is me being transparent, people. I am working on not doing this anymore. When I left the house this morning, there were only like five articles of clothing on the floor. Progress.
- Divorce is Expensive. I have a license to practice law. I charge a $5,000.00 retainer and 250.00 an hour to watch you fight with the person that you chose in haste to marry over who gets the salt and pepper shakers and who is going to have primary custody of your pet ferret. When that 5,000.00 retainer is gone, I ask for another 5,000.00. Your retainer is funding my vacations. If you feel like you have to pick the first person that asks you to marry them or the first woman that says yes because you are about to reach your expiration date or your eggs are hard boiling, remember that your expiration date comes when you die and if you still bleed then you can breed. You have lots of time and you don’t want to give your money away to me. The repercussions of being in a hurry are expensive.
- Most married people want to be single again. Let me say that again. Most married people want to be single again. I am just going to let you marinate on that for a second. I know you might be saying, “But wait, Kim! I am happily married!”. Good for you, Boo Bear. The fact remains that if you give me a dime for every time I have heard a man say, “I wish I had met you under different circumstances” or he tries to tell me that he is really unhappy and he and his wife are on the brink of divorce, I would be able to hit up the Coach store every month with the money I earn from the thirst of the married dudes who are up to no good. I wouldn’t be shopping the clearance section either. Upon hearing this foolishness from the sad married man, I pray for him to the Patron Saint of Farewells. #byefelicia
Note that I didn’t say that these are things to do and things to remember while you wait for “The One”. These are things that I do and remember while I am living my life. My life is pretty awesome. So to my friends trying to hook me up and my family members who are trying (and failing) to put pressure on me to run out there and pick someone before I get too old to have a baby, please stop it! I ovulate dust anyway. My biological clock does not have batteries. Nothing solid and nothing that can weigh eight pounds or more is coming out of these lady parts anytime soon. I am fine. Single friends, you are fine! Enjoy yourselves. And the next time that one of your married friends asks you, “So don’t you want to get married and have some kids?” Tell them, “Absolutely! It’s going to happen as soon as your divorce is final.” And then give him or her a big awkward wink. Let me know what they say. *insert maniacal laughter here*