Bachelorhood is generally viewed as an unholy aberration which should therefore be expunged from proper society. Inasmuch as Adam and Eve had each other for naked fruit smuggling tag, so the animals marched two by two onto the ark (Except for the clean animals who climbed aboard in groups of seven. The seventh animal was probably a spare bachelor should another male die from motion sickness or as spare ribs.). Single women generally receive more derision or pity than single men as women are considered old maids and spinsters, whereas men have more wiggle room with just being cads and swingers. I’ve just been brainwashed that singleness is abnormal all around and don’t find as much enjoyment as I might in my single life, particularly as I’m lovingly harassed regularly by people close to me, especially my aunts, my brothers, and my mom. Nags.
Family conversations are full of clichéd advice such as “you’ve got to get out there and date”, “you won’t get anywhere until you try”, “You’re not getting any younger”, or queries like “So, have you gone out on any dates lately?” or “You don’t want to be single like your uncles, do you?” These intrusions are flatteringly annoying. Ok, mostly annoying (and perhaps a bit hostile to the uncles). Yet I still talk to these people semi-regularly and visit them on vacations. After all, they are family. When I do happen to like someone, I may be foolish enough to mention it, when asked, in the hopes that the insane naggings might lessen, but the results are quite to the contrary.
A few years ago a female classmate of mine from college came back into town. We’d been good friends in school and I’d liked her, but one of my close friends had been dating her. Also, because of her take charge (a.k.a. bossy) personality and the fact that I get really stupid around girls I like, I usually clammed up nicely around her anyway, unable to exhibit my most clever charm, so famous in the 5-state area (I’m actually kind of a pseudo-introvert, so it’s all very tortured). Because she was beautiful, intelligent, and musically talented, I usually looked past the fact that our personalities were rather incompatible (she’s psycho-choleric and I scare easily) and I harbored a longstanding crush on her. When we met again a few years later, she was no longer dating my friend and we seemed vaguely interested in each other and partook in some non-date innocuous social activities (mini-golf, bowling, camping) within the safe confines of a larger group of our unsuspecting friends.
Foolishly, I mentioned the young lady’s reappearance to my brother who seemed to like her almost more than I did (of course he’d like anyone for me at this point) and thoroughly harangued me to ask her out. Having not dated since approximately summer camp (ok, maybe the 3 years since college), I wasn’t in a rush to do so now. But then, as quick as she was back, she decided to move out of town again just to be difficult (or to get a better job). Of course, I was stupid enough to mention this. My dear brother, who also knew her from college, took this badly and determined (With my mom! Mercy!) that I should take this girl out as there was nothing to lose in doing so and that perhaps I would leave an impression on her and that she might return someday to resolve the pining I had instilled in her or some such crap. Wicked puppetmasters. It’s great when people can influence your decisions for you because you‘re so weak and indecisive (that was sarcasm).
The naggy relatives got me worked up and I ended up asking her out to the finest Ethiopian food and it was okay, slightly uncomfortable and forced, but she still moved away as an appeasement to Thor. Whew. That was a close one. I’ve learned to shut up about such things around the family. And that’s the real moral: the less you tell people, the less they expect of you. I wish I‘d practiced that sooner. (By the way, not long after this girl moved away, she found a nice malleable bloke and got married and has since procreated as is the custom with the tribe.)
Do you overshare with friends and family? Do they harass you? Do you hate yourself? Do I regret posting this? On so many levels.
Disclaimer: My brother is swell. He’s very helpful. He’s awesome! Not a nag at all!
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