Tuesday, July 17, 2012

And STILL not married?!


About ten days ago, we celebrated BougieMom's 80th birthday. It was an awesome testimony and tribute to  a wonderful woman with a well-lived life. We had a lot of family and friends in town and it's almost always great to catch up with people who have known you for the majority of your life.

Once we got past the "you look great, how have you been" cocktail hour, we settled down to dinner. Folks milled from table to table catching up and getting a chat on. All was well until someone rolled up and leaned in. "Michele, I just don't get it. You're so beautiful, talented, accomplished and you can really cook. And you're STILL not married?! I just don't understand what's wrong with these men."

Wow. She was extra loud on the "STILL" portion of that question. My smile went completely phony and I had to literally take a deep breath before answering. "Well, you would have to tell me when you figure it out." Fake chuckle, chitter chatter, onto the next.

A girlfriend of mine leaned in and asked, "Does that happen to you often?"

I nodded, "All. The. Time."

And really, it's not even the whole "Girl, no ring? No kids?" part of it that sets my teeth on edge. It's the build up. It's the "but you're so fabulous, why aren't you snapped up" portion that has me thinking longingly of my tequila shot days. As if they need to tell me how wonderful I am but pondering what could possibly be wrong with me. Like all I should have been doing is rolling up on some gent, show him a resume, two referrals and whip him up a lasagna and I'm married by next week. I'll try that next time. I'll lead with the lasagna.

It's truly almost as if it's one thing to be "of a certain age" and single but to be accomplished, moderately passable in looks and single?! Well that's just a damn crime. Le Sigh.

Next came the insensitive party attendee who actually named names. "What happened between you and Dude1? You too used to be so tight! I just knew you and he would end up married!" I muttered some random excuse and she came back again, "But what about Dude2? What happened there?" Thankfully, my nephew decided he needed some Aunt Chele time and came to sit in my lap and ask me questions not pertaining to my single state.

Just when I thought I had a reprieve came the kicker, "So do you think you'll just never get married then?" Saints preserve us. Folks have zero couth. Especially when they've known you forever. I flashed a smile and turned to talk to someone else at the table.

Truth is, I have no idea whether I'll get married or not. And despite all previous relationship drama, after my man hiatus I reckon I'll put back on the pumps and lip gloss and see what's left in the dating pool. But all the movies and books where you see single woman doing crazy things to have a date by their side for weddings and family functions... this entire post is exactly why. 

I've asked it before but it's always worthy of a remix - What do you say when people ask you why you're still single? And if you're not, do you ask single people this? Why? Please respond...

111 comments:

William Martin said...

It's different for guys. I get the "When is a nice boy like you going to find a nice girl and settle down?"
Every holiday. Every BBQ. Every birthday. Without fail.
Just to be difficult, I say - Who said I was looking for a nice girl?
That pretty much wraps it up.

Cassie said...

I totally flip this around. "As soon as you hook me up, I won't be single any more."
Deflection and shifting of responsibilty. Thanks Psych 101.

SingLikeSassy said...

Haven't been asked this question since 2005 and back then it stung. I never say this to people or ask people this question. I remember how tiresome that isht was back in the day.

And it's getting right tiresome to hear people ask me if I will get married again. I just got unmarried, can a sista catch her breath?

GrownAzzMan said...

Chele, I feel your pain...

I don't ask this question and the only answer I ever give is, I am happy this way. Being divorced, I do get the what happened/who's fault was it/what did you do question. Thankfully it has now been 12 years so folks who know me have either heard what I have to say or have stopped asking. When did getting all up in folks personal business at social functions become ok? Did I miss that meeting?

GrownAzzMan said...

That could go a couple ways but I can just see them finding a way to excuse themselves...LOL

Janelle John said...

It's never ending so there is no point in even trying. Now that I am no longer single I just get a different set of questions. When am I getting married and when am I going to have babies (because you know you aren't getting any younger and your eggs are drying up even as we speak) etc. etc.

I have a few tactics. When I was single I would reply to personal questions with a question like "So...how much money do you make?" Usually the person who just asked about my single status is shocked, then I reply "Wait...that was such a rude, personal question, my apologies". Cap it off with a pointed look. Or, I would say "Well, I see how happy marriage has made you." That one happens after too much vino. Now, that I am in a relationship I say "I'm not on a timetable. What will be will be." Trying to be a better person. LOL.  

CaliGirlED said...

*mouth flies open* DOC!!! *falls out into hysterical laughter*...Bet that shuts them up! Bwahahaha!!!

MsJamie14 said...

At this point, I'm pretty much immune. I just say "I haven't met the right person yet." And leave it at that.

I only run into problems when someone thinks they can "assess" what my problem is. Then, I am forced to thrash them (™ Coming to America).  LOL. Lookie here, when it comes to marriage, I'm going to do it "right" or not at all.

CaliGirlED said...

"Well, I see how happy marriage has made you."...*hits the floor*

TheMochaPEach said...

OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! *sigh* THis is my life. Esp now that I am divorced. I hate humanity. It just pours salt on wounds and twists the knife deeper. It's just annoying and stinging..and I wanna pimpslap everyone. LMAO!

MsJamie14 said...

Ha!

Mo said...

Imagine this, getting an  international call just to ask "why are you still single?" I had an aunt call all the way from Kenya talking about "when are we getting grandkids", and then turns around and ask for school fees for her kids.  In a voice  that was  equal parts sweet & condescending I said "maybe when I do not have to pay fees for people's kids, then I might have money  to have a baby." Le Sigh!

JB said...

as quick as i am to give a smart reply to everything else, I still haven't found a good answer for why I'm still single with no kids. I was called a 'confirmed bachelor' at the last family function, like this is a grand plan of mine lol

Jeannette said...

Well Chele you aren't the only one.  My last visit home, my mom and I went to visit my aunt up in beautiful Westchester county and my Aunt pulled up a chair Colombo style and started interrogating me as to why I'm not married yet.  I now feel what Lil Pookie feels when Sgt Caroline Mason starts breaking a thug down.  LOL  It was the wakeup call I needed.  It's easy being single, I come and go as I want, no one telling me what to do, to answer to, so forth and so on.  But like my auntie said "you ain't gonna be fine forever"! She's right... I know it'll happen, but I gotta put some effort into it to.  

SingLikeSassy said...

 YES! What happened makes my face wrinkle up. What happened is, we got divorced and really that's all you need to know.

CaliGirlED said...

"Why are you still single? "
"He hasn't asked me yet."
"Who hasn't asked you?"
"My husband."
"Are you seeing someone?"
"No."
"Oh." (confused look)

That was my latest exchange, think I'll copy and paste into future conversations!

I had a friend recently tell me he can see why I'm still single because these men out here are just playing games! This after spending a few hours hanging out with some single male friends of his.

keishabrown said...

this question irks me to the marrow of my bones. 
because what are you REALLY asking? (aka what's wrong with you and/or what did you do to chase dude away). 

my answer has been/will always be: i dont know - you tell me. you asking means you clearly have an opinion. 

Reads4Pleasure said...

Usually I answer "because I'm still not married," but the response that gets me the most side eyes is, "I'm still trying to find myself.  Have you seen me?"

blackprofessor said...

I used to get huffy when asked this question but now I chuckle and smile.  At some point, I realized that the question wasn't about me but the other person. 

How do I answer? It depends on who is asking.     

OneChele said...

Hey all, we had one comment where the person accidentally used their government name and wanted it scrubbed so that comment and replies have now gone bye-bye. #NoGubMint

blackprofessor said...

I used to say this and I went on more blind dates from hell than I care to remember!

blackprofessor said...

You are too funny Caligirl!

My ob/gyn (who is an older Black man) said something similar yesterday.  His exact words "I feel sorry for black women who have a clue.  There are no black men for you to date unless you want to marry down. Brothers don't have it together so you need to swirl!"    

thinklikeRiley said...

My answer? Nun. Ya.
Keep it moving people, nuttin' ta see here.

CaliGirlED said...

 My last blind hook-up??? I was like REALLY? And you thought we'd make a good match based on what? SMH...Some people think because you're of a certain age and single you're supposed to accept whatever comes your way! PLEASE!!!

CaliGirlED said...

 Oh my damn!!! Get her told Mo!!!

CaliGirlED said...

Alrighty then Dr. Vajayjay! LOL....I don't agree with that in its entirety, but the pickings are slim amongst the brethren. That is if you're not willing to settle.

CaliGirlED said...

Can't stand you!!!

CaliGirlED said...

 We beez in the Land all incognito and what not! LOL

Think P. Smart said...

I start by asking them what  type of person they think I should be with.  Then, when they are all done, I ask them if THEY know anyone who fits the bill.  Invariably, this brings a hush over the crowd.  And if I am feeling really froggy, I ask if any of their sons (not for me but for my other unmarried friends) or sons friends fit the bill.  If I have been drinking, I say how it's a shame parents aren't raising sons they way my grandparents raised sons.

CreoleSoul said...

Family members STAY trollin'.

TypeALady said...

For the life of me, I will NEVER understand why folks just feel like they HAVE to know the nitty gritty details  of  a relationship that is no more.  I mean really, at the end of the day, we were together until we weren't, period.  Keep playing and asing for info like this is a 'Lifetime' movie and I promise you'll be featured on an episode of  'Snapped'!

Only1DivaC said...

I never get the questions from my parents, sisters, close friends, or people below 35. I get the questions from older family members and folks that have seen me grow up over the years. My typical answer is "when y'all married folks make being married more appealing" Um, yeah that usually stops them from asking that question.

TNDRHRT said...

At the last family reunion Labor Day Weekend 2011, a male cousin with umpteen kids told (not ASKED) me that I must be a lesbian since I wasn't married and didn't have any kids.  He didn't use the term 'lesbian'.  He used a more derogatory term which I won't repeat, but it starts with the letter 'D'.   I walked away as he was trying to apologize.  No one on the maternal side of the family ever asks me why I'm not married with no dependents; however, my father's folks have no decorum and constantly go there when they see me.  I give them a simple answer of "The right one hasn't found me."  Of course the conversation turns to me being selective and I should just settle for any guy at my age. O_o  No.

Jubi The Great said...

I don't understand how people think its perfectly ok to be RUDE AS HELL. Especially with people they don't know.

I used to be polite & give an honest answer like "I haven't met the right man yet", but now they get the blank face & I just look at them.

C Nelson said...

When I was single, I'd smile and say I was enjoying my own company. If they really pressed to the point of aggravation, they got a mini review of my favourite sex toy and a smug "and I don't need to spend all day cleaning up after it." After I parted ways from the ex-husband, I stayed married on paper for years just because it got me out of those kinds of conversations. "Why aren't you married?" "Well, technically, I am." And I didn't change it till I was ready to consider marrying again, either.  Some people are just nosy.

TypeALady said...

Twin, permission to use this exchange for future tomfoolery??!

TypeALady said...

Totally LOVE this!!!

Bailey said...

At a wedding recently, my cousin got up and took the mic. She announced, "Since everyone keeps asking - no, I'm not married or dating anyone special. Perhaps if I didn't have the example of your raggedy relationships, including the one we're here celebrating, I'd be more inclined to join you in matrimony. Hope that answers your questions. Enjoy the day."
I fell out.

TypeALady said...

Totally LOVE this!!!!

La said...

"I'm still trying to find myself. Have you seen me?' *DEAD*

Mo said...

Oh.My.

Just_A_Thought1218 said...

I put my full Capricorn evil on display and say "You want me to pay upwards of $10k to be legally hitched to a species that I will likely outearn, bear his genetically inferior offspring, and shorten my life expectancy because of the stress he brings in my life? And that's just the best case scenario.  The better question is whycome you want me to sign up for your life, as if it's all rosy"

I am of the age where my single, childless, never-married status is bringing looks and unwelcome comments.  Usually I let it ride.  Thankfully, most of the people nearest and dearest to me think I'm too ... too much of a spitfire to be married, and the rest I ignore.

Except my mother.  Because she is firmly in the despair stage, after giving up on seeing me married off with children.

Only1DivaC said...

Yes indeed! I love it!!!

Carey Jackson said...

Welp!!!
*copies and pastes for later usage*

La said...

I get asked this all the time. It's important to note I'M NOT EVEN 30 YET.
It's the most backhandedest of backhanded compliments; You're so wonderful so what's wrong with you? I think that's what bothers me most. Not that people genuinely want to see me happy and in love. But that simmering underneath the question is what they REALLY want to know; what is your problem? And this is why I always answer this question with the most out of pocket answer I can think of. I've told people that I'm a lesbian. That I'm waiting for my boyfriend to leave his wife. That I'm an escort and my pimp won't let me marry until I'm too old to be of service to him. That I'm already married but because I was my husband's 2nd wife and polygamous marriages aren't recognized in our state so technically I'm still single. That I had to change my identity to “get away from some bad people” and I’m afraid if I file any legal paperwork “they’ll find me.” This brings me delirious amounts of joy.
The new, most offensive thing I’ve encountered? People who assume that I am unable to have children because I have not yet had them and start talking about the joys of adoption and/or their friend that had great success with IVF. I actually yelled at someone recently, “My uterus works I just don’t want to use it right now!” And that was the end of that.

La said...

LMFAOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! I am crying. lol

CaliGirlED said...

 Yes ma'am be my guest!

CaliGirlED said...

*jaw hits the desk, picks it up, puts eyes back in their socket* Well I'll be John Brown!!! They would have put me out of the room because I would have literally been hollering! (Yeah y'all have never heard me in deep fall out laughter in person!) OMG!!! Bwahahahaha

blackprofessor said...

Girl, my ob/gyn is a trip!!!  If I didn't know any better, I would have thought he was drunk because he let it rip yesterday.    

blackprofessor said...

 OMG!!

DCbywayofCali said...

On twitter I said I wasn't gonna comment, but. . . I don't even get asked. I get automatic shade in the form of: "well I could have gone off and gotten fancy degrees too but I made the choice to have a husband and wonderful family." All out of the blue and unrelated to whatever conversation was being had.

CaliGirlED said...

 I QUIT YOU FOREVER!!!

JoycelynC said...

I do get asked that a lot, especially by my uncles.  I finally had to tell them I had other things going on in my life besides my being single.  Now my cousins, bump the marriage, they keep telling me I am ready to have a baby now that I am through with school and seemingly financial stable.  I kindly inform them that I don't have the parents they do (the kind who will give up their lives for the grandchildren) and I need some help in raising those kids.      

Foxy Brown said...

one of my cousins tried to play me at a family function. from across the room she yells out, "foxy, why you wanna be gay when you know you can't get married."  to which i replied, "i'm sorry. i think one of yo baby daddies is callin you."  yea. my family leaves me alone about it now. 

JoycelynC said...

Next time respond "and I'm happy that you decided to do what you thought was best for you just like I did".  That might shut that line of commentary down

bashowell said...

I'm not marriage minded at all so the question of why I'm single doesn't hurt as much as it annoys.  I don't get the question from my parents (they know better) or sisters (same as me).  I get it from random work people or my roommate's old school relatives.  Especially her mama (who thank the Lord lives in Mississippi and only comes up every three years or so).  "Why aren't you married?" "Because." "You gon' have to grow up some time." "These bills say I'm grown." "You need to ask the Lord to send you a man." "I'm agnostic." (knowing she don't know what that means) "Well I know your mother wants grandkids." "Why? Have you talked to her?" Boo, ma'am, boo.

bashowell said...

*cries*

Jubi The Great said...

It kills me how folks are totally fine with folks just randomly having babies instead of getting married and THEN having kids. WTF?

Jubi The Great said...

I hate all the ppl you know!

A few months ago I was talking to a guy at a nightspot, and after he learned I was 29, single & childless, he goes "oh so there must be something wrong with you, or wrong with your..." and he proceeded to PAT MY PUBIC AREA! You sir, are an asshole. Ugh, I'm still pissed off abt that.

TypeALady said...

Tick...tick...tick...tick...KABOOM!!!

TypeALady said...

"My uterus works, I just don't want to use it right now!"

Time of death...2:10 PM EST

TypeALady said...

Folks have been shot for far less...smh.

TypeALady said...

To this I say "Shut yer sweet potato piehole....if you could have, you would have!"

JoycelynC said...

Those making the suggestions are single parents.  I usually tell them they don't make it look easy even with supportive parents. 

JoycelynC said...

this "That I'm an escort and my pimp won't let me marry until I'm too old to be of service to him" has got to be the most unexpected response.  Oh to see the look on the face of the person who got that response.  LOL!

TypeALady said...

I work with this population and it boggles my mind daily.  Like really, you have HOW MANY Baby Daddies??!  What REEEEEALLLY kills me is that these chicks then  tell me that most of the BDs go on to SETTLE DOWN with other women, marry them and THEN start  a family, in that order.  My, my, my, what a novel idea!

CaliGirlED said...

"...including the one we're here celebrating..." I had to come back and re-read this!!! *falls out all over again*

CaliGirlED said...

 Shot betwixed the eyes no doubt! O_o

CaliGirlED said...

1) My degrees are not fancy, they're real. 2) Your family is not wonderful, bunch of dysfunctional mofo's cohabitating. NEXT!

CaliGirlED said...

 You don't say! O_o

CaliGirlED said...

 It's NOT easy!!! And my child was gone darn near every other weekend!

CaliGirlED said...

 *howls*

EvolvingElle said...

Just turned 30, so I try not to lament on the fact I'm not married.  Plus, I know I got things to do before I become a Mrs.  In any event, I have two stories.  When I went home for Memorial Day, I visited my childhood church.  One of my BFF's growing up and ex-middle school boo are cousins, and I love their grandmother as if she were my own.  So I went to speak.  When she realized it was me, she said, "When are you going to get married?  I want to go a wedding!" 0_O  Yeah, I wasn't ready.  I replied, "My husband hasn't found me yet."  A few weeks ago at the neighborhood pool, a neighbor (stranger) asked, "Why don't you have any kids?"  I almost responded, "Because I'm not married."  But I went with the less confrontational, "Because I haven't met a man that I want to have children with."  Yes, I realize my reply was lengthy, so please forgive me; I'm a writer. Play Cousin Chele, sometimes you have to be a little "nice/nasty" with people.  It's an art form where you tell people off so sweetly, they don't realize what you said until you're halfway across the room. (My old stylist said I had it down to a science.) It's guaranteed to not have people come at you sideways again.

TypeALady said...

Yeah, I was like wayment, we've only been at the reception for a couple of hours!  Their relationship became raggedy on the the way over from the church?  Dang man...lol!

TypeALady said...

Twin said 'betwixt'!  #bangbang

The Bunni said...

 OMG!!!  Hilarious!!

The Bunni said...

 My baby sister got married last month so that is all.i.heard. from EVERYONE!!! I even had relatives and some of my parents' friends swear that I had been married and was divorced!  One aunt told me, "baby there's no shame in being divorced" O_o    I guess there's shame a plenty in being over 35, single with no kids though...

Angel Blanca said...

I thought I would be married at 22-23, and have my first child soon thereafter.  No husband, but I have a beautiful daughter.  I still get the inquiry, although lately it's been from people I meet at the gym/rec center.  Apparently, I'm a catch, but so many throwing a line don't even have bait on the hook, so...yeah...

Those questions are a pain, and they are one of the reasons I eschew some family functions.  I'm going to my cousin's wedding in September; I'm grateful for the open bar.

Leo the Yardie Chick said...

Never mind marriage. Folks look ready to have a stroke when they find out I'm 28 and childless. Asking me why I don't have any children yet, as if children are like collectible handbags. *side-eye*

And the folks doing the asking aren't even people who'd help me raise said children.

Leo the Yardie Chick said...

 Please tell me he lost that hand.

CaliGirlED said...

 Naw that mess was prolly raggely from jump! Right Bailey? LOL

invectiva said...

 I saw this on one of those e-cards people are throwing around on facebook lately. "Oh, I didn't tell you? Then it must have been none of your business."

invectiva said...

 You are Too Much. :) :)   This is perfect.

invectiva said...

 What.

...
...
...

I can't even.

invectiva said...

Mmmm, yeah. Hate this one. I had this conversation with my father on Father's Day. He believes that the reason I'm single is because I'm emotionally stunted and don't have any use for a long term partner. O_o

I tried to gently explain how I don't hate the idea of a permanant thing, or
think it's worthless, but there's not a store somewhere where you can
just browse for Compatible Intimate Partners. Aside from the fact that
it's not fair to be looking for intimate partners when you're not ready to
be one (lingering medical issues from multiple surgeries), I have mostly met a few under age 26 who are interested (no joke!!! and I'm in my 40s), and those I've met of a decent age have a
whole *slew* of issues, not the least of which are raging entitlement,
childishness, and an overwhelming ignorance of their own privilege. I
don't need a partner for that, I can just pay attention to Fox News.

mojitochica said...

I believe I would have been thrown out of that club for assault and battery...

mojitochica said...

The "Why are you childless?" question irritated the hell outta me when I was single and marrired!

Jubi The Great said...

 Yall, I was so stunned that for a sec I couldn't do anything. Then I leaned over to his friend & said "You guys have a good night" & walked away. It wasn't worth it.

Up4Dsn said...

Wow! That is a clear example of some people having no sense respect. Just getting all up in your mix...when more than likely it wasn't any of there business. I don't know how people are able to just do that so nonchalantly.

I've never had anyone ask me about marriage. I've had a few people ask me when I'm going to settle down and get a girlfriend. I typically don't let it bother me. Just brush it off, change the topic and keep it pushing. I'll admit that I've thought to myself whether or not I'll get married someday. Sometimes I think I will, other times I don't. At this point I've stopped worrying about it. I just plan to live life and let things occur as they may.

Up4Dsn said...

 Don't you find it interesting how some of the most irrelevant people are always the one's wanting to know every detail of your business?

nylse said...

well, sometimes i do ask single folks why they're not married but it usually is because they've expressed marriage as a desire but not to imply that something is wrong with them being single.  i try not to get in to people's business, unless we really know each other - then everything is fair game. some folks welcome the questions if you're concerned (not that you're sick) and not just being nosy. it has often led to great heartfelt conversations on relationships, marriage, etc.

No Comment said...

I need to know what happened if I am dating you otherwise I don't care what happened. I think it is a valid question if its somebody you are dating. 

I hate when MEN ask me why am I STILL single. 

tiffanyinhouston said...

People who ask this very annoying and intrusive question should be tarred and feathered, then drawn and quartered. I HATED it when I was single and I hate it even more now that I do happen to be married.

Cheris Hodges said...

This is so not Bougie, but I really ask the old church ladies what do they think will happen first, my wedding or their funeral. Then I smoothly walk away. 

Cheris Hodges said...

 Try being 35 and childless. It's as if you're a unicorn.

Sol_dier said...

I have a variety of responses 

1) I'm fine thanks, how are you doing? (yep has nothing to do with the question)
2) I smile, shake my head slowly from side to side (in a 'I know something u don't look) and turn away

Sol_dier said...

standing ovation. #nice

Sol_dier said...

bloody hell!

bashowell said...

Unfortunate but true

bashowell said...

*35 and childless here* Exactly...  Less shock over not being married and more shock over no kids.

nicole said...

LOL! LOL! Cruel but hilarious

nicole said...

Try being 40 and childless

nicole said...

Yeah that shade is hard. Its like I will try and hurt you cause I am jealous of a part of the life I had prior to marriage. I just don't see why we can't be happy for each other.

nicole said...

And you didn't grab his penis and twist that sh*t? WTF?

nicole said...

Loved the way you summed it up!

nicole said...

OMG! You gave me a major chuckle today.

nicole said...

lol.. your evil plan is working!

Brneyed1 said...

Well OneChele , at least she didn't ask you if you were straight, like my dear Grandma did me...


"Baby...do you even LIKE men???"


*sigh*

JOY2LOVE4LIFE said...

*Waving and jumping up and down* Fellow Unicorn! And oh how I hate how people ask me if I don't like kids since I don't have any by now. Annoying and even worse when they go on about how much younger you look and how time is ticking. BOO..sometimes I wish I had a water bottle and could just squirt them. 

JOY2LOVE4LIFE said...

I always say "Good for you girl...I decided to stick with school cause I preferred to be a reader rather than a breeder, but it looks like that was your calling. Get it girlfriend" :)

Brittany Geneva said...

People act like they were never single...like they forgot what it feels like. Very annoying. Next person who asks me I may just cuss em out. #shrug

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