I planned to write this long before I glared at a strange waiter last week in IHOP, but my interaction with him made this post all the more necessary. I was in good spirits moments before, having just finished a sweet and hilarious dinner with my sister and nephew. I pulled on my coat and headed for the door. Halfway there, ‘this guy’ calls out to me from across the room.
“Button up that coat,” he says. “It’s cold outside.” Since I don’t want any trouble, I play along.
But he’s not finished. “Let me see that ring finger,” he says loudly enough for a quarter of the room to hear. I look at him like he’s crazy. He inches closer, eyes straining to see my left hand. “Uh huh,” he says, basing my entire life purpose on the absence of a wedding ring. “Trying to be cute and get a man.”
I know I gave him the nastiest look known to mankind, but I couldn’t help myself. His ridiculous, nosy comment aside, I didn’t mean to give him the ice grill. It’s just that in that moment, I was tired. I was exhausted from the litany of unsolicited remarks I shrug off as a single woman, and since he happened to kill my vibe with his poorly selected and ill-timed words, he was subjected to my nonverbal wrath.
So I bet you’re wondering what kinds of things people regularly say that rub me the wrong way, what types of remarks had me walking around like a ticking time bomb, ready to explode on unsuspecting strangers. Here are a few of the seemingly harmless remarks people make that many single ladies just don’t want to hear:
1. You’re a pretty [replace with nice/smart/sweet, etc.] girl. Why are you single?
There are a plethora of fabulous single women. Who knows why no one has taken them off the market. This question presupposes love is based solely on facts when we all know matters of the heart also involve emotion and chance. Additionally, pointing out all that is right about a woman and then following it up with a question as to why she still can’t find someone, just might leave her wondering what’s wrong with her. It takes time to find the right person, no matter how great you are.
2. When are you finally going to get married? I thought you would be by now.
I thought so, too, my friend.
While this comment is also meant as a compliment, it stresses how long a woman has been single (and therefore has her asking ‘Why me, Lord?’) or reminds her that she has reached an age in which societal norms suggest she should already be married. More than likely, she, too, had an ideal age in which she wanted to be hitched. If that age has passed and those dreams have not yet materialized, you have just reminded her that she is behind schedule.
SheryLeigh is a woman who loves God, words, and people. She is currently living and loving as an author, blogger, poet, and spoken word artist in the Washington, D.C., area.
A communicator by education and trade, SheryLeigh holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Howard University and a Master of Arts in Management from Webster University.