“Wait, you’re single?”

My office building has a doorman and he has become a friend of mine. For awhile there we talked every day as I took my afternoon walk with my coworker. Well, she quit at the beginning of summer and I don’t leave my office anymore (apparently), so it had been four months since we had last seen one another.

We caught up with one another’s lives, talking about weight gained and lost, the Cubs, and where I had been the last week – vacation.

“A whole week? Oh, you don’t have kids, do you?”

“Nope.”

“Husband?”

“Nope.”

“Boyfriend will let you leave that long?”

“Don’t have one of those either.”

He looked stunned. “Now, wait a minute. You’re a nice girl. Why don’t you have a man? Is it your choice?”

“I just haven’t met someone. I have a hard time meeting people, to be honest.”

“Well, now this is what you do:  go to a nice restaurant and sit at the bar and wait. They’ll come.”

I laughed wondering if that were true and if I would be mistaken as a prostitute.

“Now, I am not saying everyone needs to have someone, but if you want someone, it’s a shame you don’t have someone,” he told me.

I smiled politely, all the while laughing-crying on the inside because this conversation is not new to me — most of my adult life I have been plagued with the same platitudes and compliments from others; the same pressures from society whether they mean it or not; the same remarks, “You’re such a nice girl,” or “you’re so pretty,” or “you would make someone so happy.”

I suppose I can rest easy in the knowledge that even if I were to have a boyfriend, the pressure of marriage, or children, or whatever else would not be far along. So, I will rest easy in this pressure of singleness because it’s a well-crafted friend that has been with me for so many decades now and I know it well.

This is also to say, if you know someone… I’m available.

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