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Going it Alone
Speaking from personal experience, I know most single women break out in a cold sweat when it comes to buying tires or taking the car to the shop, largely due to the misconception that women are ignorant of such things. Men rarely need someone to go to the rest room with them, but they still prefer large groups at sporting events. Even if we choose the "safe" bet and stay home alone and watch TV, well, even there we have no respite. Popular television programs and commercials on any given night have more sexual innuendo than any one person needs to indulge in, in an entire lifetime, let alone thirty minutes.
Couples are in, and singleness is out. It's been that way since the creation of time, though, so there's no sense in trying to change the vote of the masses. Adam was blessed with Eve because our Creator knew that it was not good for man to be alone. Unfortunately, my rib-providing man appears to be nowhere on the horizon. Sadly enough, I am reminded of that fact by friends and family constantly ... as if I didn't notice the "missing party" already!
Coping with singleness is pretty much an everyday thing. We simply have to take it one day at a time. Personally, weddings are the most difficult for me. I was in college when my first "Pioneer Club" kid got married. Now keep in mind that many of my friends, significantly younger than me, had already made the trip down the aisle (as if that weren't dismal enough). But there is something especially depressing about the fact that a child to whom I taught Bible stories when she was barely out of daipers was now lapping me, a card carrying member of the "single and looking" club.
I had been actively hunting to win in the marital race for almost three-and-a-half years. I was in college, for crying out loud, with a mere three months remaining to finalize my "hunt" and obtain the most sought-after M.R.S. degree. There was pressure to perform, too! My father was (understandably) sick of providing for me. At that point he was so much more than willing to hand over the boat in the backyard for my betrothal fee. And then, of course, there is my dear, sweet mother, who means well and only wants me to be happy, but constantly chatters on about my being alone forever. Obviously, graduation from college came and went, but graduation into the ranks of the married was not a "degree" I earned.
Of course, you cope with the situation, deal with the loss of friends (they all pretty much disappear after they tie the knot), and you go on with your life, still searching for "the one." You're doing great, coping well, thankful that you don't have kids and can sleep till noon on Saturdays if you want - and then you get that wedding invitation from a "friend." You know the one. The one you knew would never get married, let alone beat you down the aisle.
There is something about that moment that causes a cold chill to run up and down your spine. Mixed with disappointment, resentment, envy, anger - and yes, even a tiny bit of joy for your friend - you trudge to the local Hallmark to find a card to represent your "elation" (muttering under your breath). The perfect card for singles to send to those who cream us in the race would go something like this:
Glad you found one
I hope he measures up
You know, of course, he is a son
And his mother will drive you nuts.
Happy Wedding Day
(I suppose there is a reason no one makes cards like that.) In our own selfish pain, we make a good showing and actually buy the mushiest card available because our prince or princess has yet to arrive on the scene, and we still have that imagery of grandeur.
We go to the ceremony (alone, mind you, because even our "backup" had a date), and deep down we really are happy for our friend. A little sad that it isn't us, but we know that once we find our mate, our match, we will be fine, we will finally be complete ... someday. We rationalize that for every Jill there is a Jack, and surely they are wandering around out there somewhere waiting to be discovered. A friend of mine often states that her "Mr. Right" is obviously lost and won't stop for directions! Figures, huh? I'm assuming mine must be with hers!
After such thoughts settle back into the "place of dredged-up emotion," we revise our "They'll never beat us down the aisle!" list of people as we go. It's only after four or five times of trudging to wedding after wedding, seeing the people we have deemed "unmarketable" find their "true love," that we decide counseling might not be such a bad idea. It's upon the realization that we are sitting in our living room (with our 20-something cats) living out the stereotypical old-maid role we never intended to play, that we slip into the depression of singleness.