My Holiday Pet Peeve: “Are you still single?”

Alright everybody, I know I am not the only one out there with this particular pet peeve, so we’re going to cheer each other up right now.

On Thanksgiving Day, I was at my mom’s side, who are generally all Catholics, married young, and had a boatload of babies.  This goes for my aunts/uncles and my cousins.

Then there’s me and my three brothers.  Not one of us has a significant other and I don’t think any of us are actively looking at the moment either.  While I wouldn’t turn down a date if one came my way, I’m a little more focused on things like looking for houses and my job and doing whatever I freaking well please to whenever I freaking want to.

But who gets asked the dreaded question?

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Oh, right.  Me.  Not my brothers.  Me.

I hate this sexist question.  With a bloody passion.

Only the funny thing was I didn’t get asked this question yesterday.  And I had a fantastic time.  One of my younger cousins and I nerded out about history and Bing Crosby and made plans to have an old Christmas movie marathon.  I hung out with my uncles and brothers and watched football and knit a shawl.  (Yes, my uncles gave me some crap about it, but I can take it.  In fact, I prefer it to being upstairs with the aunts.)

It was only this morning that I found out someone had asked about my relationship status.  One of my aunts, who is typically described as “nosy” inquired with my mom about my status.  Was I single?  Was I even looking?

“Well, she’d better hurry up and get you those grandbabies!”

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…This is actually pretty mild for what I’m feeling right now.  No one, no one has the right to tell me how to live my life like that.  Yes, I’m 27 and I do feel the pressure of the “biological clock” and all that, but I also want to be with the right guy and have a family together.  I don’t want to settle and then get divorced and then be a single mother dealing with custody battles and all that.

One of my aunts has done that and it was horrible.

But then here’s the best part.

When asked if I was even looking, my mom said she didn’t know.  So my aunt goes, “Well, she should start going to bars and looking!”

Why. In. Zeus-loving. Hades. Would. I. Do. That?

First of all, I never frequent bars.  Ever.  I have only set foot inside a bar I think twice in my life.  And not once have I actually had a drink there.

Secondly, as if that didn’t nail home the point enough, I don’t really drink.  I may have the occasional sangria at home, but I don’t drink in public at all.  I don’t see the enjoyment in it.  I’ve never been drunk and I do not relish the thought of ever being drunk.

And thirdly, I’ve kind of been down this road already.  One of my previous boyfriends was a fairly heavy drinker and during our relationship, I found myself a couple of times trying to keep pace with him.  I drank more than I really wanted to and I didn’t care for drinking just to keep someone company.  Another of my boyfriends had worked at a bar in the months before we met and spent most of his nights drunk.  By the time we met, he was on probation of drunk driving, but at least he’d sworn off alcohol after that.  I didn’t know it at the time, but later I’d learned he’d replaced alcohol with other drugs.

As you may be able to imagine, this makes me more than a little hesitant when it comes to dating now.

My mom’s on my side at least.  She almost turned to my aunt and said, “Why would she go shopping for men at a bar?”  To us, at least, it sounds horrible.  I’d be putting on a front the whole time just to meet someone who probably wouldn’t even be compatible with my introverted, bookish personality.

But she didn’t say that, only because she realized that’s how some of my cousins have/have probably met their significant others.

One of my cousins is actually a bartender and a serial serious dater.  He dates a girl for about a year, nearly gets engaged, and then something happens to break it off.  Two months later, he’s serious with a new girl.

Wash, rinse, repeat.

That’s not the life I want.  I want to be with the right person, someone who finds it interesting that I read all the time and have quirky interests.   I want someone who has their own quirky interests as well.  But all I keep seeing are dude-bros who still have the mentality of a college frat boy and want brainless arm candy.

And I’m not doing it.

So, if this holiday season, someone asks you if you’re still single and you’re as fed up as me, here are some types of responses you can give them:

1. The Truth

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2. The Evasion

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3. The Funny Truth

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4. The Response I’ve Always Wanted to Say

“Hey, if you can find me a guy who is X, Y, and Z [fill in with your own requirements, like tall, bookish, and nerdy] then I’ll be happy to date them.  But I haven’t been able to find that person yet.”

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Happy Holidays, everyone!  Don’t let family bother you too much.  They do (usually) mean well, even if they do make us mad sometimes.

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