Monday, June 27, 2011

Single in my 30s

I'm pretty much the token single girl with a group of friends. I have other groups, with more single people, but one particular group is pretty much all married or at least in serious relationships. Which makes for some uncomfortable nights out for myself when I am sitting on the edge of the table while 6 (or more) happy couples share entrees and secrets. Most of the time it's a non-issue, because they've all been married long enough that the women sit together for a hen party and the guys wander to the bar to get drinks and talk about sports or hunting or fishing. (Which all means stare at the young waitresses.)

However, there are some nights that it is absolutely unbearable. When I'm sitting in the middle of a group of people, and am overcome with a total sense of loneliness. It's silly, I know, because I have fantastic friends, but it can't be helped. I'm hit with the realization that I'm going to have to order my own drink, that no one is bringing me a beer and making sure I get home okay. That if all I want is a couple of bites of a burger, no one is there to eat the rest, so I am awkwardly holding a to-go box with the excuse that I'll take it home to my dog. Even though I'll probably eat it the next day because cooking for one just isn't that much fun.

There are the weddings and birthdays and random vacations that I want to take with no one to join me. The awkwardness of sitting in the back seat with my friends' kids because they feel bad when I'm going to be driving somewhere by myself. The comments about why I'm still single, and how guys are jerks, as their husbands give their jacket to them because it's chilly in the restaurant. Or, as has happened to me recently, the comments on how I don't know what's best for my friends' kids because I am not a mother. As if that has something to do with common sense. I was also told that about never being married, when a friend's husband pulled a stupid stunt. While both comments were made in the heat of the moment, it opened my eyes to what some people think about me, and girls like me.

Even so, both instances felt like a kick in the gut. Just because I'm not married nor have children does not mean I am not a complete person. I realize that sometimes (always) my dating life seems like a joke, and that it's kind of pitiful to use my baby sister as a reference when everyone around me is talking about their kids. But that doesn't mean that I don't have some idea of what real life is like. The grass still needs mowed, the laundry still needs done, and the bills still need to be paid. It's just that I do all of it in my house, instead of having anyone to help and support me. How's that for real life?

Friday, June 24, 2011

Charity work makes me less charitable

After the fourth night of Vacation Bible School last night, I was sitting eating mini-tacos and drinking fruit punch while we tried to decide what games to play with the kids for tonight. As we were talking about a hula hoop game, the game leader suggested we give them barbed wire hula hoops.

Electric fence limbo was also suggested, but only after the kids ran through the water sprinkler. I think it's safe to say that we're suffering from burn out.

I've helped with VBS for several years, despite that I don't have kids. I taught Sunday School a couple of years as well. And I'm still surprised by the number of people who don't think it's necessary to pitch in and help with programs that benefit their kids. Do you think I really want to spend my Thursday evening strapping 80 wet kids into harnesses for the zip line after they've been dancing around in a water sprinkler? No. That's the last thing I want to do. I would much rather be sitting on a patio drinking with my friends. But someone has to be there, and I remember the adults who made my VBS years memorable.

So here's to you, old church ladies. I hope you've been sitting on a patio this week boozing it up and playing canasta. Lord knows you earned it after dealing with the hellions me and my friends were back in the '80s.

Back to the craziness

Sometimes, I think everything I say and do is new and extrordinary and amazing. Other times, I realize that my friends are probably pretty tired of hearing the same plot lines with different names. Most women at the age of 32 have more to show than a bunch of vodka-drenched memories and missed opportunities at happily ever after.

I quit writing for awhile because I felt like it was just getting too predictable. Every new person I met, every new situation I found myself in, I could look at it and within 30 seconds tell you how it would probably end. I still feel like that, most of the time. However, I had the comfort of knowing I could refer back to my old blog (by the same name) and remind myself of just why that cute boy who was just a little too young was a bad idea.

But then I tried to log back in after de-activating it 2 years ago, and IT WAS GONE! So here we go again. A couple years older, wiser, and hopefully, better.