By Lindsley Lowell | This article first appeared on GalTime.com
It’s difficult to be tough while wearing crap-brown taffeta. Plus, being the only single bridesmaid at my friend’s wedding was quickly chiseling away at my “Don’t mess with me, I’m the honey badger!” thick exterior. So when an extremely obnoxious fellow bridesmaid gave me a speech on how tragic my single life must be and how she would “absolutely die” if she were ever single again and how she was “so incredibly happy” in her marriage, I wanted to crawl into bed and drink a bottle of wine (which I did, after the reception).
But rather than let her see me suffer, I pulled up my big-girl panties and said to her ,“I’m really glad you are happy and I really hope you are… (Here, I paused for dramatic effect while giving a suspicious look) because I think what would be even worse is to be in a terrible marriage and have to go around pretending to everyone that it was the most wonderful thing ever. Could you imagine?!”
Then, I turned on my dyed-to-match heels and walked away, leaving her in shock with her mouth agape. Take that, wretched woman! (By the way, she is now divorced. Karma is a bitch.)
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It was right then and there that I made an oath to myself that when I got married, I would never, ever make a single woman feel like shit simply for being single.
I like to think that I have lived up to that oath. Now married for two years, I still have many single girlfriends and try to be the beacon of hope that it is possible to find true love over the age of 35, while also being the “Single ladies rule!” cheerleader.
Sometimes, I fear, it is a precarious place to be. I remember when I was single and married people would say to me, “Oh you’ll find a guy like my David and you will be so happy. Marriage is wonderful.” I wanted to go throw up into their his-and-hers towels in their well-appointed guest bathroom. When you are single and a couple tells you how happy they are, it’s like dangling a cheesecake in front of a diabetic, telling them how delicious it tastes. They can have it but you can’t. It is cruel and twisted and must stop.
I truly hope I am not making my single friends gag and wince in my wedded bliss. It’s hard at times to edit myself because I am happily married and therefore can be one of those giddy schoolgirls smiling uncontrollably, saying gooey things about my man. It hasn’t come to drawing hearts and our names on a notebook, but it’s close. It is at these times that my single gal pals want to run far away and never see me again and I certainly don’t want that, so I am careful not to flaunt it.
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Another tactic I have thought of is to complain about my husband so that they can think, “Well, I may be single but at least I don’t have to put up with that crap.” The only problem is that it gives the impression that marriage is bad and that my man is annoying. It’s not and he isn’t. I want single women to know that marriage can be great and not all men suck.
The worst part of marriage is that the members of the “Smug Married People” club are all over you and pressuring you to join. You probably know these people, the ones who can no longer speak of themselves alone or seem to be able to do anything by themselves. It is always, “We went to Hawaii” or “Jim and I love gazpacho!” It is tragic.
I recall several married ladies, upon hearing of my newlywed status, getting downright jubilant at welcoming me into their circle. Here they were, shouting out such drivel as, “Isn’t married life wonderful?!’ and “Oh it’s so fantastic that you found each other.” And yes, they are right. It is fantastic and wonderful but what’s with all the hoopla? All I did was get married, not cure cancer. I didn’t even save a life or benefit society. I love my husband and I’m glad we are together but do married people have to act like they accomplished the greatest feat on earth?
Getting married does not make you a superior person. It’s a regular part of life and millions do it all the time.
Overall, I think the best game plan is to always remember my single days and what it felt like to be pitied and made to feel like a sub-human being. If I can remember these feelings, then I can still relate to single people with intelligence and kindness, rather than accusation and stupidity. I have caught myself before I said, "God, I'm so glad I found Jonathan," or "Dating was brutal.” My single friends still like to hang out with me and I love to hear the dating stories.
To be honest, they are much more entertaining than the married folks.
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Lindsley Lowell is a GalTime Los Angeles Ambassador and author of "My Knight in Shining Armor is Coming...He's Just Stuck in Traffic." Find Lindsley at WWW.LADIESINTHEPINK.COM