I am enough.

“You’ll make a beautiful bride.”

With this one sentence I found myself caught like a deer in the headlights, en route to an unnecessary—and somewhat misguided—reality check from a stranger.

While you might think it sounds like a compliment, a backhand quickly followed.

After dishing out advice on what NOT to wear if I walk down the aisle (no strapless, sweetheart-necklines with an embellished bodice … apparently that look is so 2007), this matrimonial-focused stranger asked my age.

“I’m 31 next month,” I replied, causing her to practically choke on her canapé.

“The average age for brides is 29,” she spluttered, horrified that I had let an extra 24 months slip past without securing myself a groom and a happy ever after with 2.4 kids and a house with a white picket fence.

Apparently, without realising it, I had passed my prime.

Once again, my marital status had hijacked a conversation; I’ve had dinners disrupted with offers of blind dates, psycho-analysis performed over pancakes and been told I was too choosy over coffee.

Unfortunately, common decency means I rarely respond with the two word, seven letter phrase I’d often like to use.

Instead, I smile and nod while thinking about where to take my next overseas holiday or whether to splurge on a new leather jacket or Marc Jacobs handbag.

Then I go home to my single-girl apartment and do whatever the hell I like.

I watch back-to-back episodes of Law & Order SVU for eight hours, dance around my lounge room to Nikki Minaj at 7am in the morning and drink milk straight out of the bottle (not that I do … often).

New York University Professor of Sociology Eric Klinenberg (author of Going Solo – The Extraordinary Rise and

Surprising Appeal of Living Alone) claims the majority of people who live alone are actually more socially active with friends and neighbours than their married counterparts.

So what does it matter if my life occasionally resembles a Taylor Swift song? Or if I have moments where I seem to be the romantically-challenged lovechild of Bridget Jones and Nina from Offspring?

I am enough. Just the way I am (thanks Mark Darcy).

I have a great job working for an organisation I believe in. I pay my bills on time. I have lived overseas and lived on my own. I have travelled extensively and continue to do so.

I donate to charity. I vote and I fish. My friends trust me to babysit their children and help plan their weddings. I am impulsive and spontaneous and have been known to rearrange holiday plans and cancel flights at the last minute. I cut my own fringe.

At school I danced to Paula Abdul’s Opposites Attract in the talent quest. Twice. And I won a bottle of champagne in a New Year’s Eve limbo competition when I was 17. I learned the hard way not to say yes to a date with someone you don’t know/like and I discovered that sometimes love isn’t enough.

And, yes, I did once break up with someone because their laugh annoyed me, but that doesn’t make me picky, it just means I can’t fathom a life without Rebel Wilson and Will Ferrel movies.

“The most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you find someone to love the you that you love, well, that’s just fabulous.”
—Carrie Bradshaw, Sex and the City—

Maybe I’m waiting for Ryan Gosling to come along and sweep me off my feet or maybe—and this is shocking, I know—I’m not waiting at all. I’m out there living my life, one glorious diaster after the next.

I’m okay with not knowing what or who is around the next corner … perhaps it will be someone who finds my weirdness endearing and wants to fly his freak flag and join in my crazy adventures or perhaps it will just be a kickass pair of shoes from Dubai.

But what I do know is that I don’t need some random stranger—or even a well-meaning friend—pushing their expectations onto me and trying to make me doubt my choices. Because I am enough.

So please stop asking me why I’m single because, if I’m honest, the answer might offend you.

Bottoms up to the single life!
Bottoms up to the single life!

14 Comments

  1. Karen Cooley

    I didn’t get married until I was 44. Bugger 29 – it is just a number. As I often told those who queried my marital status “I just haven’t found a face I want to see every day”. Then I did the unthinkable and had a child before I got married (I was engaged though lol). And now I get asked about a second baby. The questions never stop, they just change focus. More importantly, Miss Blonde Ambition, you are a good person and that is something a marital status doesn’t create.

    Like

  2. Francesca WritesHere (@FrancescaBlogs)

    Thanks for adding your post to Francesca’s Festa of Favourites 🙂

    “But what I do know is that I don’t need some random stranger—or even a well-meaning friend—pushing their expectations onto me and trying to make me doubt my choices” – I completely agree. I think that whatever the situation, this comes up again and again. For you, it’s being single; for me, it was having kids “young” (meaning before my friends – but I was still married and 25 when the first MissyMoo came along!). You are the one living your life, not anybody else 🙂

    Like

  3. Christiaan

    Our culutre is so caught up with the idea of marriage. For a single women who passes 30, the masses start to murmur about pickiness or emotional stability. For a man beyond the age of marriage expectation, doubts about sexuality and selfiness become topics of conversation.

    Life is life. I am. That is all.

    If we all shared an appreciation of this world view, it might just be a simplier and happier place to be.

    Like

  4. Kieran

    HI Blonde ambition. What a lovely summary of us all. I set expectations of myself so hi that when I didn’t perform as they expected they were let down….in essence you’re correct in saying or quoting one must come to know and accept who and how they are first and only then may you be useful to others. Wish you all the best on this blog adventure. Keep drinking milk from the bottle (sometimes) please.

    Like

  5. Mystery Case

    Why do strangers feel the need to dissect your life. I married at 25 so missed a lot of this but I remember being single at 19 and bumping into a friend from school’s mother. Her daughter had just become engaged and she was asking after my relationship status, surprised to hear I was single. Almost rubbing her hands together that being engaged at that age was a feat and I was failing and her daughter was winning.

    I was speechless at the time and it was only after leaving that I thought of a few smart comebacks.

    I suppose if you weren’t single, the next comments would be when are you having kids and so on. People seem to like to pass judgement.

    Like

  6. Belinda Jacobson

    I really enjoyed this post! I was single until 18 months ago and I loved being single – I was happy confident and enjoyed having my own space and being independent much like you by the sounds of it. People constantly asked me when I was going to settle back down and what the problem was blah blah blah and my response was when I find someone worth it! Now that I am in a relationship there are times where I really do miss my single self too, but we’ll just keep that between us…. 😉 Thanks so much for sharing and you are always enough – in fact you sound bloody fabulous to me! xo

    Like

  7. thestylewithin

    Great post lovely! Whilst I can’t relate entirely as I’ve been with hubbie since I was 20 and we celebrate twenty years together in March I found the worst culprits were my two sisters both of whom married at 19 and couldn’t fathom why we didn’t tie the knot until three years later! And then the kids questions…. again because we waited another few years. Honestly it’s never ending and nobody’s business but yours. I agree with Belinda, you sound fabulous xx

    Like

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