|May 15, 2018|
After my most recent encounters where I comfort myself with the thought that people really do mean well and just forget to actually think sometimes, I've settled on my version of the sentence. It goes like this, "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single woman in possession of a beautiful face, must be in want of a husband." I tend to make it a little more modern in my own mind, "It's a known fact that a single woman with a pretty face, must be after one thing, namely a husband."
The last year has been rough for me in a way I didn't expect. It makes me feel like a jerk to admit it. At 27 years old, I thought the whole getting hit on thing would slow down. Talking about it makes me feel precocious. But, here's the deal...I've got to talk about it.
The guys I can handle. It doesn't take me long to size them up and figure out what to do with them. What wears me thin is a guy who won't take an obvious no or who seems like serial killer material. If I know he's finagled his way into having a conversation with me, give me 10 minutes and I'll have him shot down and on the hunt for another pretty face to smooth talk. What I can't seem to handle are the well meaning people who are more disturbed by my singleness than I'll ever be.
After the initial hand shaking and name swapping, people want to know three things: what you do, where you come from, and whether or not you're married. That's alllll well and good. Relationships begin through the discussion of those three topics. Some of the best stories and encounters come when people connect over their answers to those questions and the questions that follow.
But. I can't tell you how many times people begin the conversation with the assumption that I'm married. When they find out that I'm not, they're dumbfounded and they're always quick to tell me why, "You're beautiful. You're really not married? You don't have any kids?"
Have you figured out why I feel precocious here? On the one hand...I've never felt like any kind of supermodel. I'm so skinny it grosses my own Mother out and she's always riding my tail about it. On the other hand, my posture is terrible and I'm constantly contorting my body into the weirdest positions. And on yet another hand, I have so many freckles here, there, and everywhere that I'm amazed at my ability to keep track of the ones that have just shown up. Yeah, I've got a great smile. Thanks to spending half my childhood in braces. Yeah, my hair is pretty nice. If you don't look too closely at all the gray. And yes, I'm half leg. But, you guys...They're chicken legs. We're all harder on ourselves than we ever are on each other. Someday, I'll be 67 and men won't check me out or go out of their way to talk to me and women won't be doling out compliments. Someday, these days of graciously accepting well meaning comments and looks that make my skin crawl will be a distant memory.
I realize that.
What I'm trying to get at is that it's an actual predicament to be a single girl with a pretty face.
I know I'm not alone. I know you've had the conversations with the gushing complimentors. I know you've dealt with the guys with the roving eyes. I know you've been questioned and smooth talked. Chances are you're more gracious about the whole thing than I am.
Yes, I'm single. Yes, I must be some kind of pretty given people's reactions. Yes, I'm a woman of marriageable age. Yes, in the good old days I would have been married and had a house full of kids to my name by now.
But, can we please not make our conversations about THAT? Please?
Because here's the thing...I'm not married and I have no children for one reason: God doesn't want me to be. There isn't another reason. It has nothing to do with who I am or who I know or don't know or how I've handled past relationships.
I appreciate your care and your concern. I appreciate your interest. Or, at least, I'm trying to.
Single isn't something I need saving from. Pretty doesn't make good men fall at your feet. Please don't try to save me. Please don't expect me to be flattered. It might disturb you that I'm not in a hurry. It might disgust you that my attitude seems indifferent and rude and put-offish. I really am trying.
I'm trying to be polite. I'm trying to be gracious. I'm trying to smile without bursting into a fit of laughter. I don't want to join a singles group. I don't want to meet that great guy you know in a situation you arranged that's just going to be weird for everyone involved. I'm not lonely. I'm not waiting on my life to begin. I'm not battling discontentment. I can talk to a guy and smile at him and care about him without expecting him to make me his wife.
If I'm meant to get married, I will. If I'm meant to raise kids of my own, I will. It won't be because I put myself out there. It won't be because I made sure my accomplishments were accentuated. It won't be because I finally managed not to strong arm someone who thought pursuing me was a good idea. It will be because it was time.
If you need me, I'll be in the parlor with my girl Austen. There will be a cup of tea close by, ink stains on my hand, and a writing callous on my finger. I'll be chuckling to myself as I gaze out the window before lacing up my shoes to go for the long walk I always seem to be looking forward to. Someday, there might be a man sitting in a chair nearby and a stroller full of kids in front of me. If there is, it'll be because God said it was time.
Do me a favor? Join me on waiting on Him.