Single Thoughts

Facebook and I have an on-again, off-again relationship. Sometimes I go for days without checking it, and sometimes I can’t stop looking. It’s made this people-watcher even more of a voyeur. Which is what I was doing today, instead of studying for my Poli Sci midterm.

As I was peeking into my friends’ lives, I saw a comment written by someone under 20 years old, that went something like this: “When I’m 35 and not married, will you come be a nun with me?” I laughed. Then I stopped. How many similar pacts had I made in my lifetime? The one with my best friend–we decided if we were both still single at 30, we’d find a house together and co-habitate. He got married the year we turned 31. The pact with my friends from church when I was a sophomore in high school–we swore we would open the first Mormon nunnery. When we’re young, we start making plans on the off-chance we might not ever get married, thinking those plans will not ever be seriously considered.

I wasn’t going to ever blog the following story, but I’m pretty sure very few people read this, so I’m taking my chances. Last week someone asked me how much longer I’d be in Bowling Green. I said, “Until July.” Then this someone asked if I was going to go back to Nebraska.

“Yep!” I must have replied too quickly, for this person responded:
“Not that you’re counting the days or anything.”
“Actually, I’m quite happy to be here,” I replied. “I grew up moving all over the country, and it was just expected that we make the best of wherever we were. But my family is in Nebraska, and I miss them, so that’s the logical place for me to be.”

This person’s response? I’m paraphrasing here, but here is the sentiment: “Well, it must be hard for you to be without a spouse and move all over the place by yourself. So I can see why you’d want to be near family.”

I can’t remember exactly what I said to that, which indicates to me that it HAD to be inspired, because obviously my reaction should have been righteous indignation, accompanied by a hasty exit and a door slam. My sis gave me a classic response for future run-ins, should they occur: “I guess I’m just grateful that the Lord trusts me enough to navigate life without needing the aid of a spouse.” No offense to all my married friends, but I agree with my sis (who is married, and crafted that response) that a response like that would instantly quiet those who are most ignorant.

3 thoughts on “Single Thoughts

  1. And I realize that it is ignorance, but do people not realize that, while I would love to be married, if that’s all it was about I could be…but excuse me for thinking I deserve better than settling. 🙂

  2. Here’s the thing…All people everywhere make comments based on their life experiences. How can we help that, right? So the beautiful thing is that you have so many life experiences that other people do not have. But the downside is that your perspective and understanding are much greater than most you encounter. It is a blessing and a burden all in one. As you and I have frequently discussed, the truly unique human quality is not to be married or single, old or young, but to be happy. I think your sister’s response is beautifully crafted – and accurate. I think it is completely appropriate to open people’s understanding to their own ignorance and help them see what they didn’t before. Besides the real trial in life, whether you’re alone or not, is to see if you’ll lean on the Lord or the world. The struggles you face being single have made you a stronger person than you may have been had you married young. I like who you are. Our trials define us. So I guess I like your trials…or perhaps more accurately, I admire how you’ve handled your life’s challenges. And from this married friend, no offense taken.

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