So far, 30 isn't too bad. But I'm not going to lie. The thought, "What if I'm single forever?" has crossed my mind more often lately than usual. It's probably a combination of turning 30, and entering into full on wedding and baby growing season.
So, in the last 24 days, I've decided I need to avoid being described with the following titles:
A spinster is described by the Googles this way: "If someone is a spinster, by implication she is not eligible to marry; she has had her chance, and been passed by." Now, in reality, this describes someone who has far surpassed marrying age which, for the record, is 30 + a very large number. But, it's hard not to feel like I've missed my chance and there will be no other suitors headed my way.
The feeling of being "passed by" is one that I absolutely resonate with. I've never been one who dated often. Of the three of us kids, my brothers always had a waiting list of ladies trying to take on the Rogers last name. Me? I was always the "great friend." Which then leads to the typical crazy lady thinking, "Am I not pretty enough? Skinny enough? Nice enough? Homemaker-y enough? Damsel in distress enough?" And on and on and on.
Thanks to social media, we live in a world where everyone knows every second of everyone's business at any given moment. In a lot of ways, this is fantastic. We can celebrate with the newly involved. Newly engaged. Newly married. New dog owners. New house owners. Newly pregnant. New parents. And we can suffer with those who are hurting. Who have lost loved ones. Those who have lost jobs. Those who are struggling.
Whether we like it or not, we have others' lives shoved down or throats. And, when you are a little sensitive to a situation, like being a single fish in a pond full of couples, it makes things a little interesting.
Step One to Avoid Being Called a Cat Lady: Do Not Get Cats. WHOOPS. Step Two: Do not get more than one cat. DOUBLE WHOOPS.
Back to the Googles for a definition: "A stereotypical cat lady, or cat woman, is a single woman who dotes upon her cat or cats. . . Women who own cats have long been associated with the concept of spinsterhood. In more recent decades, the concept of a cat lady has been associated with 'romance-challenged' (often career-oriented) women who can't find a man."
Basically, my two fears collide: Spinsterhood and owner of a cat museum. I'm often worried for people to even find out that I have cats for fear of immediately being labeled with this stigma. And the fact that I not only like to work, but have no plans to be a stay-at-home cat sitter? That's the icing on the cake.
Let me tell you every single lady's worst nightmare: Attending a wedding. Want to up the nightmare anty? Attending a wedding with your entire family and every childhood friend (and their 13 kids) single and without a date.
I will be the first to admit that I have skipped my fair share of weddings because the thought of sitting through another couple's nuptials was more than my sensitive little heart could take at the time. Or that I have had to scroll past a friend's 47th picture in 90 minutes of their new baby on Facebook for the day. But I have also met my fair share of unhappy single women and I don't want a lack of a significant other to be my excuse to be a Grumpy Gus.
The natural inclination of one who has been single for longer than they care or are willing to admit is to cling to the first opportunity that comes along just in case it is the only option that will ever come along. This, single ladies, is a terrible excuse to stick with a fella.
I am a firm believer in When You Know, You'll Know. You'll know when this guy is worth keeping around. But you'll also know when this guy needs to hit the road. I look at it this way: I didn't wait for 30 years to take the first guy who comes along without assessing if he is the right one. Because while I think that women can be too specific looking for Mr. Right, there is absolutely such a thing as Mr. Wrong.
Let's be honest. Most days I am probably some conglomeration of all of these things rolled up into one neatly decoupaged ball. Let's be honest. I could very well meet my future Prince Charming at the UDF on Warsaw when I swing by to get my reasonably sized 44oz Diet Coke with a shot of Cherry Coke for flavor. And let's be honest. If Prince Charming at all resembled Prince Charming from ABC's "Once Upon a Time," you will hear no complaints from this little lady.
But, let's be honest. No matter what happens, I'm still going to be a-okay.