Single and ready to mingle. I hate that saying. But when I overheard a colleague say it with contempt, she had my attention. At work I usually have music on, and if I don’t, I am eavesdropping on a couple of ladies a few desks down who gossip, moan and complain a lot. So when I heard one of them say ‘oh yeah, she’s single and ready to mingle alright’ with an evil little snicker, I was all ears. Her neighbor asked her to elaborate, and she speeched about a friend of hers that was recently single, not very happy about it, but had thrown herself back into the dating scene with all kinds of successes and failures.
As I listened to their conversation, eyebrows near my hairline behind my computer screen, I couldn’t help feeling resentment. I happen to know both these ladies got married at the age of 24 and abstained from sex until marriage. I don’t believe in either marrying young or abstinence, but if you do, awesome. I’m not judging. But don’t go around judging others for something you don’t know the slightest thing about. Aren’t you lucky to have found someone in high-school and not have to go through those stressful, exciting and nerve wracking dating scandals and insecurities. Or maybe not, and you’ve been missing out. I was annoyed and had to bite my tongue to not butt in. The assumptions and stereotyping flew across their desks, and maybe I was irritated because in a way, they were talking about me and everyone else that plays the game, too.
That same night I went to see Sandy, one of my best friends who has had a baby a little over a week ago. I had been nervous about calling her. I know nothing about pregnancies apart from what she’s told me, babies or social etiquette in that area. I imagined her whole life to be changed, and I might not fit into it anymore.
But off I went, with gifts and flowers. Her house was full of pink cards, balloons, a photo crazy grandpa, and a fiancee running up and down with drinks and snacks. A wonderful picture. And as I was given a sleeping baby that was too tired to drink from the bottle, I was deeply impressed with my friend. She had manufactured a tiny human being. I never see babies that young, and there was definitely something wholesome about it. Eventually her parents left and we were left alone to talk, and she told me all about it while I held the baby, I didn’t have much to say. Not because I didn’t care, but because I was in awe. She almost seemed superhuman to me.
When she asked me about my recent dating adventures, I gave her a filtered version of the Sean story, and told her I only went on one date. It seemed inappropriate and it would probably be far removed from her anyway. Her fiancee joked around with his familiar ‘you could be sitting here next year’, but secretly I was a little relieved to find out their daughter was not triggering any emotions of that sort.