I subbed today in a new school and had a conversation with the teacher across the hall that went something like this:
Mrs. I work at a school and hardly know you but I’m going to ask you lots of personal questions upon first meeting you anyway: So have you been subbing lots then?
Me: Yes, actually it’s been pretty busy which has been really nice.
Mrs. I work at a school… : Uh huh. I bet your husband likes that you keep busy. (At this point she glances down and sees what I imagine is her own version of the scarlet “A”, a left hand sans wedding ring. Gasp! The horror!) Oh. Not married then?
Me: Nope. I’m not.
Mrs. I work at a school…: Hmm. So I guess your boyfriend likes that you are keeping busy?
Me: Nope, actually I’m working single status right now.
(Mrs. I work at a school gives me a blank stare as though I just responded in Swahili.)
Me: I’m flying solo. I have no boyfriend.
(Mrs. I work at a school…. looks like I just told her that I enjoy curb stomping the elderly and using puppies for target practice. Single?! At 26?! Tragic!)
Mrs. I work at a school… : Oh! I’m sorry.
And before I accepted her apology I stopped. And I thought.
Everything I see and hear lately makes it sound like if you are single it’s because you are sitting, waiting and wishing for a man. It feels like… somewhere along the way it stopped being okay just to be single. Single and not looking. Suddenly saying you want to take a break from dating sounds a lot like “I’m just adding this final nail to my coffin”. I’m not depressed or sad or turning into a recluse. I’m not too blinded by my shoe collection, obsessed with work, or too high maintenance to know a good thing when I see it. I promise. I’ve just been busy thinking about upcoming visits of friends and travel and a possible job opportunity (!) and all sorts of wonderful things that the idea of searching or hunting or waiting for a guy hasn’t popped up on the radar. In short, I’ve just been too happy living my life to wait around for a man to make my life this grand dream come true that everyone thinks will happen. And I’m okay with that. In fact, I’m fabulous with that.
So I sat there as the bell rang and the kids swarmed in eager to see who their
victim substitute teacher was for the day and thought of the woman in front of me and her apology and gave her a smile and the only reply that felt right,-
Me: I’m not.
And despite the fact that I said a swear into the microphone of the partially deaf student, it was a very good day for everyone.