singletons and smugs

In ALL, LIFE OBSERVATIONS by Stephanie Klein31 Comments

Married couples accompany the singletons of their life to dark red bars and sit at small round tables beside one another, communicating with their bodies as they smile politely at their single friends.  She rubs her husband’s knee under the table as he performs a witty story she’s heard at least four times before.  She doesn’t worry she’ll offend him if she picks up her cell phone. Mrs. Married Smug is wearing something black and low cut, but she wants to be wearing pajamas or at least a turtleneck because it’s cold outside.  But, Mr. Smug will ask, “Is that what you’re wearing?” before they leave.  So, she’ll change.  I used to be “she,” the one who changed because he said, “you dress like you’re 40. Can’t you buy a new coat?  No one our age wears a long coat.  Go shopping.”

Thanks asshole.  With the money I have left over after paying all our bills, and your bills, I’ll be sure to swing by Burberry’s and stare at all the coats you think I should wear that I can’t afford.  Good plan. 

The singletons across from the Smugs aren’t cosmopolitan pink single; they’ve been dating one another for four years.  She wonders why they’re not married yet.  Shit, they’ve been together longer than The Smugs.  Mrs. Smug will go home, telling Mr. Smug how happy she is that they are married while she removes her mascara with a cotton ball.  “I can’t believe they are still not married.  What are they waiting for?”

“Seriously.”  Mr. Smug will add with great economy as he chooses his tie for the next day. 

They will climb into bed and talk until their words retard and drift into sleep.  The singletons will sleep, too, but their bodies will not touch.  She’s pissed off that they’re still not married.  He’ll spend the night trying to convince her that it will happen eventually.  She will have cried her mascara off into the pillowcase that he’ll wash on Sunday to show her how much he loves her.  She doesn’t want him to do the Laundry.  She wants him to make her an equal… to him, and to her friends, The Smugs. 

Comments

  1. yeh, cos every nite i was in my 6 year relationship i just boo-hooed myself to sleep wondering why we weren't married yet??? spare.me. is this really all we aspire to? or maybe my attitude really is crap like he told me and that's why i'm still single 5 years later and he's married? who knows? who cares.

  2. Are all married couples like this? The husband dictating to the wife what to wear? I think not. What happened to just being human and real? Just because you're married doesn't mean you have to kiss your husbands ass all the time. In all sincerity that could be a huge part of why your relationship didn't work out. Steph you don't have to change so that someone will accept you. If your significant other doesn't accept you as you are leave them alone-they're not the one for you.

    It seems to me there's the one group of married fakers who try to do everything their spouse asks or demands to keep them happy.

    There's a second group of married people who truly are happy with each other warts and all.

    Then you have a third group of single people who may be divorced but they've sworn off marriage forever.

  3. This is so disturbing. Is this really how women think? Do you really cry yourself to sleep at night because you're not married. Please…tell me who you've met that is married AND happy? It doesn't happen. My parents…are…but I put them in the minority. What's the rush? Is that what women aspire to? Unhappy and married? That's lovely…then have kids…so you can be unhappy…divorced…with kids…trying to date…and get married…again…and repeat the process…

  4. Stephanie honey if I may I recommend a time out for you from the heavy burden of your seemingly tortuous "love life". Go see "Gunner Palace", this will get your mind off the rocky road that is your relationships past and current with men for a little while, I'm certain it will and I think such a break will be a good thing for you :)

  5. Dear Stephanie,

    Contrary to what you may have experienced in your own life, most women do not cry themselves to sleep every night because they are not married. Nor do they allow their husbands to decide what they should or shouldn't wear.

    I realize that you were attempting to provide insight into a particular type of relationship(s) but seriously…this kind of piece does not empower women in any way. I do realize that we are genetically wired (in most cases) to seek out a mate but that is certainly not the most important thing we will do in our lives (and for anyone who thinks it is – I pity you – you have completely missed the point).

    Websites like yours do nothing but perpetuate the antiquated idea that all women are looking for husbands. Please. Stop.

    Sincerely,

    Betsy

  6. Stephanie, I thought that was a wonderful perspective into the imperfections of each situation. Once again, your voice speaks volumes, without having to say a lot of words. I also have a special place in my heart for proper semicolon usage, so this was a good read for me on several levels. Have yourself a terrific day!

    ~~(__)8>

  7. I love and hate you for it. I’m infatuhated with you because you’re an idiot who thinks she knows what she’s talking about.

    If I didn’t hate tattoos, I’d get one:
    FOR THE LOVE OF GOD.

    I’m still deciding if it would look better in all caps.

    This post is not about what I expect in a relationship. If any man told me how to dress at this point in my life, I’d give him a tour of my apartment, taking extra care to show him the hinges of the door, and how the dead bolt worked. Then I’d show him the hallway on the other side of that door, and use the heavy lock to keep him out for good.

    I’m also not the type of woman to be smug in a relationship, giggling about what I have and my friends don’t. It’s not who I am. I know women who do this. They admit to it, the evil comfort they find in their cozy relationships. One day the smug might come to a screeching halt. She’ll be left with a sick case of whiplash. Believe me, even with a seatbelt and an air bag, she’ll walk around with a neck brace for months.

    Would I even dream about crying myself to sleep because I wasn’t married to the man beside me? What do you think? After everything you’ve read here about what I hope for myself, about controlling people, about what I know I deserve, about what I left. Do you really think I want that life again? Don’t be dumb.

  8. i, personally, enjoy your writing and love that it's so honest. regarding this post, no – it may not be how ALL women feel, but i know i've been there before. thanks for sharing parts of you with us, and thanks for keeping it real.

  9. ya there are women who cry themselves to sleep at night, because they aren't married, to that one 'perfect' guy. washing his dirty underwear, sucking his everday/nightballs, listening to his boring stories. I'm happy to be single. the world is full of billions of men, and I want them all all.all.all. well except for the married ones.no use to me. why be criticised by one when u can be adored by many. life is too short to be married to one man.

  10. I know of at least two women who gave their boyfriends ultimatums about getting married. Both were with their boyfriends for a long time (7+ years). One wrote a seven page letter, the other just gave a drop dead date. The one with the letter eventually did get married and is happy. The other extended the drop dead date a few times then finally ended the relationship. So there are women out there like this.

  11. Never understood the whole ultimatum, drop dead date.

    "I love you so much that I want to get married and sped the rest of my life with you. But if you don't commit in 45-90 days I will walk."

    How does that logic make any sense at all??????

  12. I don't think ultimatums (ultimata?) are about how much the deadline giver loves the deadline receiver, and they're not even really about the giver wanting to see how much they can get from the receiver. Mostly, ultimatums are about wanting the same thing in the long term.

    At least, mine was. But maybe I'm an oddity.

    I gave a guy a deadline — we met when I was 21, and I gave him until I turned 25 to decide if he was in it for the long haul. I figured if he couldn't decide in the span of 4 years whether he wanted to marry me, then probably the answer was that he didn't. And since I knew I wanted kids and I wanted them to have a traditional mom-and-pop setup, I knew that meant I wanted someone willing to at least take the first step that direction.

    To his credit, he backed out with six months to spare.

    We both worked for newspapers, though. Maybe we take deadlines more seriously?

  13. Women are programmed from day 1 to look for Prince Charming to rescue her. Once you've found your prince do everything you can to keep him happy. There is a middle ground. Sometimes it does feel like every relationship will ultimately end in disaster but that's part of the thrill. For a while a year or seven you can know that you've been part of a real relationship.

  14. i was watching the last DVD of sex and the city, with all the special features on it and such, and they kept saying how this was such a great show for single women. i agree, but then when i thought about it, the last two seasons (or maybe just the last one) they were all hooked up with steady boyfriends/husbands…and ended up with those people. same principle that is in bridget jones…she is a singleton, but by the end she's seriously dating her prince charming, who loves her 'just the way she is'. barf. so really, the whole point of even shows/movies that are garnered to singles, is that at some point you have to change, no one can really be single for that long. or something. plus, i think the definite of singlehood is not dating or sleeping with anyone, and i don't know very many people who are actually that single.

  15. (sigh)…now that's a bedtime story I've experienced many…many times…

    Signed,
    Ms. Singleton

  16. Go Stephanie! I was thinking the same thing about that "letter" to you.

  17. do you really not see that you are putting your "expectations" out there in every word, action and deed? do you really not see that by maintaining a website like this one you are simultaneously trying to get fucked while also looking for some kind of validation from a bunch of strangers who know nothing about who you really are? because really – what other reason is there to maintain a site like this?

    that's why they call it a vanity project.

  18. At first I thought your post was amusing (as are most of your posts – which is why I read your site. I don't know why you write it but I assume it is for entertainment value. If so, good job). Then I read all the comments and now I'm actually thinking about all this stuff seriously. Feminism. Dating. Relationships. Biological clocks. Humanity. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD.

    Ug. I'd rather go back to being amused.

  19. Our brain is merely an overgrown gland, resting upon our chunk of mammalian instinct. The more regretable parts of our nature (the Author's so-called perpetuation of an antiquated idea) usually stem in that under-brain. However, our learned responses can improve us as a person, thus her maturity into a stronger, more capable person. A trial by fire, as we say for infantrymen. However, we cannot repress thousands of years of instintual responses, which is why even women like Betsy sneak glances as a happy couple. Note happy. There is such a thing. It's not that every women is looking for a husband, or that every man is looking for a rolling fuck; it's that drive, coming from the under-brain and it's enhanced by our new brain and its enjoyment of the less atavistic reasons for a relationship….like love. BUT LOVE IS AN INSTINCT! Scream the flamers. Not learned love. Instinctual love (under-brain love) is love of a child, falling in love with a man or a woman is a new brain ideal. There isn't a predetermined soul mate for everyone, but rather a pool of psychological compatible people. That's the trick, is finding someone you can connect with on a new brain level. If your under-brain does your matchmaking–for example, the sexy-as-fuck girl or guy at the bar–those relationships, while gratifying, ultimately don't work out because the drive to be with that person wasn't coming from anywhere but your under-brain and your crotch and those are two fickle creatures.

    Word.

  20. annoyance has prompted a comment.

    a blog is not a hidden camera into the blogger's life. we're not here to shout out at the screen and offer to help. it's not a video game.

    rather than attaching a whole load of political shite to a little snapshot of a life that most definitely does exist out there, why not just read it for what it is. a story; about anybody.

    bloody hell i want to smack people sometimes.

  21. Thank you ChapFu. I'm so with you. I really love when people tell me, "this story doesn't empower women." Well, too bad. This shit exists. Ignoring it certainly doesn't empower anyone.

  22. I, personally take thie post for what it is. To ME it is a glimpse of what I have felt at one time or another.

    Thanks Stephaine, for sharing. Whether or not you've felt like this before is not the issue.

  23. empowerment.deadlines.relationships.some
    times what a girl needs is just a good old fashioned fucking.no strings.no wedding rings.no place cards.
    one night or 2 or 3 ..forever one nights.men boys.guys.studs.hunks.CEO's.construction workers.doctors.professors.data analysts.hot dog vendors, I.T guys, sanitation workers, bar men, Italian language teachers.high school basketball coaches, animation directors,saxophone players, co pilots, train passengers, fat greek bakers…that's alot of men…studs.boys…and i still want more.more more.I want it all

  24. post-divorce bitter twat… call me when you need some penis to justify your existence… cheers love!

  25. Blogs, like pictures, are just moments in time. You as a reader can put those pictures together, but you've still just captured a bunch of moments colored by your perceptions. Most of life is the stuff between, but it's kind of boring so nobody writes about it.

  26. Stephanie, I read a lot of blogs and I have rarely come across so many anonymous commenters driven to this level of madness. Consider it a credit to your writing that you are able to move them to this kind of insanity. It's funny, when I was younger I always thought that it was only females who would react with the kind of erratic behavior exemplified by girls passing out at Beatles concerts. I humbly eat those thoughts.

  27. Well it appears that I must be Mrs Smug. The only difference between us is that Mr. Smug does not encourage me to spend money, I do that well enough, and after 10 years of marriage we still have great sex! And he does not tell me what to wear, and happens to love me with the extra couple of pounds that I have put on…seems to come with marital bliss? If your man cannot except the whole package then he's just not worth it.

    On a lighter note, Keep up the writing – I love your work!

  28. um, is this for real? my bf and i have been together for years (we've been living together for 3 years) and i have no desire to be married — i love being with him for him, not for the idea of being a wife. it's so pathetic when women want nothing more from a man than to get married to him, regardless of who he is and what he does. you of all people should understand this — the desperation to get married. i agree that your blog is like SATC, but you're more of a Charlotte than a Carrie — a desperate Charlotte who will do anything just to have a ring on her finger and who has convinced herself that one can only be happy when married

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