I actually completely forgot about this little instant at my friend’s twin’s birthday party in April- but I laughed myself silly at the time.
And then it came up in an email conversation today when friend L and I were both lamenting that fact that even now- in this supposedly modern and enlightened era- people STILL expect women (especially those 30+) to WANT slash NEED relationships and marriage and so on and so on ad nauseum. Especially us single mothers. How could we NOT want our children to have fathers!!
See, friend L is also a single mom. And like me, she’s more than happy right now to share her life and her love with just her son and her animals. But people don’t get it and- like me- she’s often asked if she’s STILL single, like it’s an offense, or an illness.* I’ve actually started getting a kick out of hearing the surprise in people’s voices when I say “yup- happily so. . .” But then, I always did like being otherwise.
At the kidlets birthday party I attended, I was- as always- alone. Well, Damien was with me so I wasn’t ALONE alone- but I never have a partner. It’s been a little over six years since my last relationship ended. I had met most of the people that were at the birthday party many times before, at birthday parties and braais and so on, but I haven’t known them for ten years like I have the kidlets parents, so most of them have never seen me with anyone. I forget what the conversation was about, but the twin’s mom said something about me being single because I was gay. Immediately there followed a silence in which you could almost see the little “a-HA” light bulbs going on over people’s heads, just like in the cartoons!
Suddenly, one and one made eleven!
Naturally I must be a lesbian- I never have a date; I like cars and motor racing and bikes; I never mention Damien’s father; I drink beer; I never show an interest in anyone (even if I’ve had a couple of beers)- so of course I must be gay! Perfectly reasonable!
Of course- the silence happens because people don’t know what to say. Something like “Really? Congratulations!” or “Are you sure?” which are normal things you might say if someone announced they were pregnant slash engaged, can make things a little awkward. . .
Of course when poor friend A noticed the stunned quiet (it couldn’t have been more than two seconds later) she immediately realised what had happened (she’s a smart chick- shmaak her stukkend), and then she said that anyone who knew me would be laughing their heads off at such a ridiculous statement, which resulted in a smile or two. . . but I think there are more than a few people who are now sure that I am in fact gay, and that friend A contradicted herself because they think she might have said something she shouldn’t have, KWIM?
I thought it was hysterical of course, and relating it to friend L brought on another asthma attack inducing giggle fit!
*“So are you still battling with that. . . ahem. . . infection?” would be asked in a similar tone of voice. . .
**I used this word especially for you Vangiepants- oh goddess of coping skills- where every you may be! I think of you often girl!