After a conversation with a coworker, I came to the realization that I’m a bit of a snobby single. Many of my conversations with him have revolved around how doing things with married people was a terrible way to spend my time. I may have implied that I’d rather be impaled by unicorns, Triton’s spear and a myriad of other sharp mythical objects than socialize with the married people.
I don’t really feel this way, but it entirely depends on the dynamics of the group and, more importantly, the ratio of singles to espoused. When I’m mingling within a group peppered with those flying solo and those happily entrenched in a duet, I have a splendid time and don’t think twice about the distinguishing line that becomes so pronounced when it’s me and a room full of couples.
Maybe I’ve been conditioned to be unfairly skittish in these situations because of past experiences. Or maybe it’s because when a group of random individuals get together, the conversation will naturally tend toward the topic to what the greatest number in the group can relate to, making it difficult for others to join in and feel included. The same holds true if I hang out with a bunch of law school students, groups of gamers or a legion of sports fans.
Still, it does go beyond the conversational topics. When you arrive at a social gathering with a spouse, you are inherently paired off so when there is a lag in the conversation, you can go to your spouse and strike up a new conversation or interject yourself into one he/she is already having. It’s like a social safety net. So when you are the only single person in a group of people paired off it’s like being left chairless when the music stops.
There are individuals within couples who are cognizant of this and make a point to bring the lonely cheese into the conversation. But, as with most things, we are often left to fend for ourselves while the paired off hyenas gnaw on the bones of conversation in their exclusive little corner… Ok…wow… that was jaded even for me. The reality of the matter is there are some fantastic individuals who happen to be married and some wonderful couples who are more fun than a barrel of mating monkeys.
Just because I’ve had some less than spectacular experiences with coupled people, doesn’t mean I should assume all of my encounters will be equally abhorrent. I know this to be true because, though I sound like a embittered old hag who spends her free time flinging feral cats at twittering love birds as they pass, I have spent time with some truly lovely couples (you know who you are, so please don’t stop being my friend after reading this).
So I guess what I’m trying to say is, I’m sorry coupled people. I’ve unduly judged you and made broad generalizations. You don’t all suck as social companions. However, the next time you have an all couples meeting, could you pass along the concerns of the singletons? And maybe distribute a list of single-friendly topics that don’t include babies, buying a house together, wedding plans and adorable things my pooh bear does? Thanks, much appreciated. In return we will refrain from talking about our cats and how awesome it is not being tied to the same person day in and day out for all of FOR-EV-ER.