“Hey Kel, I know this really nice guy – “
“But I haven’t said anything about him!”
“You said you know a guy.”
“You said ‘nice’”
“You’re trying to set me up.”
I do not need a husband. I’ve had one and frankly the model I chose required significant work and then developed fatal safety flaws which broke my family into pieces. I’m reluctant to get another one. There’s too much hassle, too many unknown variables, and that’s just getting to the abandoned car yard of Single Adult activities. I’m quite happy just looking at the top models (thinking David Tennant, Jason Statham, John Scalzi, Stephen Fry and The-Rock-Whatever-His-Real-Name-Is here) and cruising along in my one-adult-two-kid jalopy.
Unfortunately, some people take my reluctance and disinterest as a personal challenge. Or they only see the fact that I and He-Whom-Is-About-To-Be-Spruiked share the same marital status of “single/divorced”.
“Hey, I should introduce you to my brother! He’s single!”
“Is he a good bloke?”
“Yeah, he is! He doesn’t have a job at the moment, and is living with my Nanna but-“
“You want to introduce me to your unemployed, living with your grandmother brother?”
“See, that right there? That’s why I’m not dating. Or being set up on a blind date.”
A recurring refrain is “You just need to get married – problem sorted!” Dear Delusional One, I don’t think so. As President Hugh B. Brown is quoted as saying, marriage gets you to the end of your troubles – the front end. I understand that people care about me, and want me to be happy and share my life with someone who loves me, which is why they are keen for me to get hitched. Regardless, it seems, of if it’s to a rusty farm tractor or a bullet-proof Benz. “I’ll give you two years to get married,” my former Branch President told me, “then I’ll get involved if it hasn’t happened.”
Two years? My brain staggered off to peer groggily at the calendar. Two years? You mean the next two years in which I’m trying to finish my nursing degree, raise my sons to be something more than fighting, messy barbarians, earn money to feed, clothe and educate those same barbarians and maybe fit in a couple hours of sleep? Those two years?
Sure, why not. Sounds like a plan. “Deal!” I told him, then promptly scrawled “Getting me married” onto my “Things That Prove My Friends Are Undeniably Insane” list. Obviously I need to worry about porcine pilots more than planning any future nuptials.
“If you just signed up for LDSingles/wore makeup more/let yourself go a little/stopped watching sci-fi movies/didn’t read so much/didn’t worry so much…” – I’ve heard all sorts of ‘helpful’ (to quite stupid) suggestions. I loathe “If you just [insert stupid/unhelpful here]” comments. Like the person saying it has the inside scoop on the situation. Against all odds the person has the simple, obvious and surely never before considered solution that would just –POOF!- sprinkle happiness and success all over your life, with zero ongoing costs, no hidden expensive extras and absolutely nothing to worry about ever again. It’s a solution, but rarely do the people offering the advice have the full picture of what your driving history is, your personal preferences, and the grim reality of the limits you have on your choices, whether they are financial, emotional, health related, familial or a combination of everything.
“If you just exercised…”
“If you just became a distributor…”
“If you just stopped dying your hair those colours…”
“If you just thought before you spoke…”
I know I’ve been the one guilty of saying “If you just [insert super-tactless here]”. I was trying to help, yes, but nowhere near the right way. I should have carefully negotiated the curves of the compassionate route instead of yelling out the traffic report from my superior Icarus-class helicopter. Accidents happen, brakes fail, sometimes our indicators don’t show where we want to go, but we do tend to keep going with the new damage, often getting lost in the process. The road to hell may very well be paved with good intentions, and I’ve driven along that stretch for more klicks than I’d like to admit to.
So please, for my own education (and no doubt mortified sympathetic laughter as well), I’m interested in the “If you just [insert stupids]” you’ve received or delivered^. Have any of them dinged your fender? Made you wind up your windows and shout “I’m not listening!”? Ran anybody over with your own enthusiastic, well-meaning mouth?
^Unless you’re typing “If you just met my brother/cousin/neighbour/mechanic/weird guy from church…”, in which case I’m incredibly NOT interested.