never married, over forty, a little bitter

theme parks

At 31 I had a pretty rockin’ social life, actually, but I didn’t realize I was at the top of a mountain I was about to ski down:

4) “I remember being single. When I was 25.”

Single in your 20s cannot be compared to single in your 30s. They are different beasts, for so many reasons, but the one I’ll focus on here (I’ll probably hit others in future posts, don’t fret), is the fact that when I was single and 25, I had lots of single and 25 friends, too. The pool of single friendship shrank drastically after that, so when you’re 31 and feel alone, it’s on two levels: friends and lovers. You don’t know what it’s like, but thank you for trying to find common ground with me. On the flipside, I don’t know what it’s like to be 30-something and married, so we both have lots to teach each other.

Some other good points in the article, like these:

7) “Are you seeing anybody?”

And here’s why I hate this one. You’re asking me about my love life. I’m SO not asking about yours. What if I started a conversation with, “How happy is your marriage these days?” Awkward. There is more to me than my singleness, and far more to talk about. Let’s start there.

My job is pretty cool, wanna talk about it? I have an awesome hobby writing for xoJane these days, want me to tell you about it? I’m obsessed with Momofuku Noodle bar, wanna go? Have you traveled anywhere cool lately? I have! Blah, blah, blah and so on. I am me more than I am single.

8) “OMG I’m SO excited to be single now! Let’s go out!”

My dearest, newly single friends, welcome. I’m happy to have you, and I’m sure you’ll navigate these waters just fine. But you just arrived in this theme park. I’ve been on the same ride for years. I am not your tour guide/wingman/nurse through your new foray into freedom. My singlehood is not a toy for you to play with.

Also, could we not go out when you were wifed-up? Why is it now more okay than it was before? Why am I in a different bucket than your couple-y friends? I don’t appreciate 2nd class friend status, all the more reason I’ll likely shut you down when you come to me in wild-child party mode. I will however help you move out, change your locks, or find a new apartment. What are friends for?

status updates

Last week I ran into an old friend I haven’t seen in a good ten years. She’s several years younger than me and has always been a cool, alternative type. She married and had a couple of kids quite some time ago.

We friended each other on Facebook, and I found that her pictures are the same array that I see with both sorority girls and tatted-up chicks alike: a bunch of photos of the kids, several with mom holding the kids, one photo with the whole family with dad as a barely discernible blur in the background, and one or two photos from the wedding. That is so different from my Facebook photos, which are all from parties or travels or events. Interestingly, when I clicked on the dad’s Facebook page, there were no pictures of the kids!

When I asked her about some of our mutual acquaintances, her answers all began (and mostly ended with) s/he got married or s/he is still with her boyfriend/girlfriend or s/he has a new partner. I was reminded of the prominence of that theme here, and how it was a big reason I had become so antsy to move away as a single woman in my thirties. It seems to me that relationship status was not as big a deal in L.A., but then I lived in the central city, near Hollywood.

I will have to guard against getting bored here in the same way again. As long as I stay focused on hobbies and certain kinds of community engagement, hopefully I’ll be okay. If I stay unemployed, I plan to get on that organic farm next month!