Recently I was talking to a friend – single, early 30’s (not me, although I could definitely relate to what she was talking about) – and she was telling me about how down she was getting with everyone constantly asking her when she was getting married and having babies.
As a single woman, I cannot even begin to tell you how offensive it is when people do this.
- It’s nobody’s business.
- Not everyone wants children, and that’s fine!
- Not everyone wants to get married, and that’s fine!
- Sometimes people can be privately struggling with fertility issues, and asking them when they’re going to have a baby is incredibly insensitive.
- It’s nobody’s business.
Also, how come nobody asks men these questions?! We love to talk about feminism, and yet society is still hung up on imposing these traditional roles on women.
The only man I can think of who has maybe come close to enduring the kind of scrutiny women constantly face about marriage and babies is Prince Harry. And he’s rich AF. At least he gets to go home and cry into his piles of money at night.
Now I’d just like to say I have nothing against married couples or people with children, but as a single woman, it’s hard not to think they have an issue with me.
You often get the impression married people or people with families assume they’re better than single people. As if they’ve tapped into the true meaning of life and they pity you as you wander aimlessly on this Earth. A lost soul.
I’ve even had people tell me it was a “pain” and an “inconvenience” trying to seat the single people at their wedding. How quickly they forget…
If I had a dollar for every time a coupled up person asked me, “Why are you still single?” It’s like, “F***, Gina, I don’t know! Why do birds fly?”
Or every time someone told me I was going to “die alone”. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, Uncle Phil, but unless we go out in a terrorist attack, we’re all going to die alone. Do you think this is the f***ing Notebook or something?!
Could you imagine if childless singles had the upper hand in this situation?! I imagine the flyaway comments would sound something like this:
“How’s your marriage going? Has anyone dropped the D-bomb yet?” *leans in and whispers* “Divorce.”
“Don’t you miss your freedom and independence?”
“So how old were you when you realised you wanted to spend your life driving kids to extracurricular activities?”
“No more spontaneous nights out for you!”
“When was the last time you were able to take a dump in peace?”
“What’s that screeching sound? Oh, it’s just your kids. Sorry.”
“You have three kids?! I’m so sorry.”
“Is the station wagon your dream car?”
“Do you ever feel like you settled?”
“Can we talk about something other than your kids? I mean, do you even have anything else we can talk about?”
“Please, tell me more about the last poo explosion you encountered. I’m fascinated.”
“Wow! So you haven’t slept in six years?! How does that feel?!”
“No, I don’t have kids, I have a life.”
“Do you ever look at your spouse with anything other than regret and resentment anymore?”
“The good old ball and chain, huh… How does it feel to be serving a life sentence?”
“Do you ever wake up, look around and wonder, ‘How did I get here?’”
“Oh, I see you’ve accessorised with snot today. It looks good.”
“Uh, I think your daughter just spat at that lady…”
“You’re married! And you have kids! Well, you must have all of life’s answers… Please, enlighten me with your wisdom.”
“Do you ever wish you’d held out for Ryan Gosling instead?”
“Tell me more about the art of the 30-second shower. It sounds soothing.”
“Don’t you feel like you’re missing out on, like, fun?”
“I slept in until 11am today. What did you do?”
“Aren’t you worried about looking back and regretting all the things you didn’t do? I mean, tick-tock, you won’t be climbing Machu Picchu in your 70’s.”
I apologise if this offends anyone… Actually, I don’t. I’ve been offended plenty of times by unapologetic smug marrieds (yep, everything Bridget Jones talks about is true), and now you know how it feels.
I refuse to perpetuate this myth that being single and childless means being sad, desperate and alone with cats. Well, you know what, I’ve lived alone on the other side of the world, and it’s been pretty damn great having no one telling me how I should live my life. People have tried, sure, but the sound of the Pacific Ocean has drowned you all out.
At the end of the day, there’s no “right” way to live your life. Everyone has their own hopes, dreams and aspirations. If your dream is to live off the grid and spend the rest of your life sketching wild animals on grains of rice, I fully support that. I hold some concerns for the future of your eyesight, but that’s your business.
Everyone is on their own path, and just because they may be venturing down a different path to you doesn’t mean it’s the wrong one. Some people are single, some people are in relationships but don’t want to get married, some people are married but don’t want kids, some people are married with kids… None of it is wrong, and nobody’s path is fixed. You do you and quit worrying about what other people are doing. To each their own.