Three 20-something women trying to figure out what it means to be lay, Catholic, and modern all at once.

August 19, 2009

Miss Manners on Being Single

Dear Miss Manners:

I am 40 years old, and by a series of unfortunate events and three broken engagements in the past two decades, still a single woman. This is not necessarily a status that I celebrate.

I am accepting of it for now, but I would like people to understand that I do not come to this place in my life by choice. The common misconceptions are that I am either much too picky or that I somehow enjoy being a free, single woman. Neither is true. Only my close friends understand how painful it is for me to be alone at this stage of my life.

At weddings, I just dread having to dodge yet another "throwing of the bouquet" tradition, where it seems everyone at the reception thinks it's fun to shove any single female, including toddlers, out on the dance floor to battle for that "prize."

At what point do they realize that I don't want to bring attention to the fact that I'm single? The tragedy and embarrassment of it for me has long outlived the original ceremonial spirit of this youthful custom.

Gentle Reader:

That you find this custom silly and dislike being pushed into it, Miss Manners can understand. But that is the only thing you have stated that she does understand.

Why should you be embarrassed to be single? But since you are embarrassed, why do you object to people thinking that you enjoy your life? And why would you not want it known that you are single when attending a social event where there might be eligible gentlemen?

However, Miss Manners' job is to answer the question. If you are pushed forward, take the hand of one of those toddlers -- whose presence incidentally shows that no one but you takes this seriously -- and help her catch the bouquet.

(From The Washington Post)

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