The Single Woman's Perspective
This is a topic I would not discuss with some married women because some will just not get it. I have met a few well meaning married women, but some of these individuals just do not know what to think about you when you are single and over thirty. In your twenties they are encouraging you to go on dates and find "the one," but if you decided along the way being in a relationship is not that important to you, then some married women may not know how to approach you when the topic of relationships comes up in conversation. For instance, many people will ask you if you are married and have kids, even if you did not bring this up in the first place. Most people who are married and who have kids usually work this information into the conversation early on, and it can be awkward when someone asks you about it, especially if you have already talked to them a few times. I am not saying this is true of all married women, but if you are a single woman in your thirties or older, then you probably know what I am talking about. At first a married woman might ask you if you are seeing someone or engaged, and if they find out you are not, then they make comments that are nice, but not always helpful. "You have time to find someone," or "I hope you find someone as great as my husband," are two of the popular variants that have been thrown my way. I also have had women in relationships tell me I hope I did not feel like they were "leaving me behind", as if I am some little puppy needing their constant attention. Now if you are a social person who enjoys interacting with couples that chat about their families, then going to lots of parties with married people might not bother you. However, I am not a highly social person, and I know I would stick out like a sore thumb in such events. I never went to many parties in high school or college, and being around a group of married women talking about their husbands would make me feel out of place for sure.
Informal Conversations Between Married People
So you are this single person at the grocery store that bumps into friends, and several married ones start talking about their husband doing this and that. These conversations might even happen on social networking sites, and you usually are not included because what would you have to say about these anyway? So what do single people talk about when they get together in person, or when they interact on social networking sites? Well a lot of us talk about books, movies, art, politics, and social issues. I mean I do have opinions on family life to some extent because I grew up in one, but I really have nothing to say about why people with children deserve a tax break over single people without kids. For instance, as an independent contractor who writes online I pay a large amount of tax, and as a single woman without kids I have very few deductions. I am not a Tea Party enthusiast demanding tax breaks, but having married people tell me I should get married and have kids just to have a tax deduction is a bit insulting really. Yes, it does cost more money to raise kids than to live on one's own, but why is one segment of the population more deserving of a tax break than others?
Single Women Depicted As Old Maids
What is so horrible about being the "old maid" anyway? I have heard women who are getting divorced talk about how they hope that they do not end up alone, as if being on one's own is the worst thing in the world. Seriously, we are all on our own in many instances anyway, and I see a lot of married women carting their kids around grocery stores by themselves. Where is hubby then? Yes, I see dads doing that too, but more likely than not it is a mom picking her kids up from daycare after work, and heading to the grocery store. Many women have full and part-time jobs, but the lion's share of the parental responsibilities still fall on their shoulders. Yes, things are becoming more equitable on that front, but one complaint I periodically hear from married women is how their husband and kids do not pick up after themselves. By the way, I hear this complaint in the grocery stores as I am trying to focus on shopping and not hearing that. I am not sure how some kids can leave all the house hold chores to their mother, and as a kid I did not get that choice. I remember being six years old and standing on a step stool to do dishes. I did not have parents cleaning my room, and it was never a big piling mess either.
However, if you are a grown man and your wife is doing more laundry and dishes than you, then for shame. You are making her have all those conversations at the grocery store, and maybe if you should turn off the TV for an hour she would have more rest mister!
When I hear married woman complain about doing dishes and cleaning up after their kids and husbands, I am glad I am single and have free time to write, follow politics, and work on my art. Being married does not sound like a picnic. Too many women sound like they are doing too much house work. It is okay for married women to offer advice to single women about how the can remedy their marital status and be as happy as they are, but single women could never tell a group of married women that some of their complaints would make quite a few of us single ladies never want to get married.
Who feels sorry for who? I do not feel sorry for anyone, and neither should married women feel sorry for their single friends. We all make our life choices, and should be happy with these. So I might end up an "old maid," horror of horrors, but at least I am not a maid to a capable husband and kids who could help out a bit more around the house. You really should not even have to ask your husband to do basic things like cooking, cleaning, dishes and laundry if you are a working woman, and he has been way too catered his entire life by first by his mom, and then by you if you even have to ask him to do basic chores. If your kids are over five, they are old enough to do dishes and clean their own room. I was as a kid.