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Single Life: What You Say Vs. What We Think You Mean

Being single, I believe I have a mini atmosphere around me that transcends conversations to appear as they ought to – kind of like BS-O-Meter that revs up on authenticity. Many single women have an almost supernatural ability to wade through the excrement that is served to us in the form of compliments, suggestions, or just passing remarks.
It need not be verbal; I can even read glances.
For instance, that side glance I get when I serve a double portion of bread-pudding in the cafeteria is a grim ‘Given up on yourself so soon?’ The cursory glance from the super-buffed guy in the gym, whose fitness regiment includes flexing his biceps, downing pre-workout supplements by the litre, and taking endless selfies translates to, ‘Oh hey, wanna shag?’
This works almost in the same way when it comes to saying things to single girls, especially those who have been for a long time and enjoy status quo. Here are a few instances that all single girls over the age of 25 in Sri Lanka encounter, and what it really means. (To me, at least)

“You’re still not married”: The emphasis being paid to ‘still’. What this means to us is, ‘There must be something wrong with you, let’s try to talking a little more so that I can figure it out for myself’. This happens when the enquirer in concern is a middle-aged aunty-type who was rushed into marriage via a proposal.

“How old are you now?” This is best translated to, “That dream with the white dress? Yes, you should forget about it, it’s not happening”. This too is directed to you from the matronly types whose horizons only included providing a never-ending supply of tea for their husbands.

“How is it that you are single? After all, you do work in a good multi-national company” My eyes could roll for days. I don’t even find the energy to form words to explain to the person in concern that there is no linear relationship with the magnitude of the organization and its supply of good-looking men. To the single girl what this means is, “You are beyond salvation; you are the least desirable, your womanhood will soon wane, and your household will only be acquainted with feline beings”.

“Do you eat healthy?” These four words are connoting that your edges are no longer ‘edgy’. It directly translates to “The only thing that can work for you is your body – do whatever it takes to hang on to it”. Why aren’t guns commodities available as freely as lipstick?

 “Do you not get enough sleep? You look tired” The words, “Bi*ch, please, this is what I look like’ forms in your mind, because you know with absolution that this only means “You don’t look young. I am trying to deduce if you stay up late at night talking to anyone or if you are actually ageing badly”.

I have given up on rationalizing and providing my actual reason for remaining single. It just doesn’t sink well with some people. My current ‘excuse’ is – ‘Oh, all the good guys are taken’; to this, I receive “Not everyone is taken!”
Without a doubt in the world, this means, “Honey, you are not as great as you think, maybe it’s time you lowered your standards just a bit?”

“Maybe you are not associating the right people” Strange enough, this remark comes from your pseudo-friend. They are the smug-married types (borrowed this from Bridget Jones) who have 2.5 kids, live in an urban apartment complex, own two automobiles and have an annual trip overseas that scour your Facebook newsfeed for weeks. They suggest that you should stop enjoying your nights out, stop the casual drinks, not slave away in a corporate office, and pay more attention to the matrimonial section of The Sunday Times.
They secretly detest your casual, albeit ‘happening’ (for the lack of a better word) lifestyle. They would rather you spend your life with the exact mundane routines as them on the isle of ‘Married Maurines’

“Wear some makeup sometimes, it brightens your face” I know full well this means that no male will not find my face au naturale appealing, therefore not looking like myself is a sure-fire way to bring about nuptial bliss. For those suggesting this, what they really mean is “Don’t even go to bed without your makeup. Why is your face your face?” I mean, I can’t wear makeup to Cargills, can I?

A colleague who recently left the establishment I work to my great delight, considered it opportune to ask me every single time we met if a wedding was being planned for me. Every. Single. Time. So, this is how the conversation would proceed; 1. How are you? 2. Did you meet anyone interesting? 3. Are your parents suggesting and marriage proposals. My answers 1. Good 2. No 3. NO, respectively.

His conversation end with his conclusion of my work being self-satisfying, “You must be earning enough” – now this loudly translates to “Let’s hope your job pays you well. That is the only thing you might have until the rest of your life”. #STFUMoment

Nine statements that ring true for every single, in every season of her life; even if you have just exited your teens or even as you enter your forties! There may be plenty more you encounter on a daily basis, do share your tales of horror. Let us know in the comments section below what you think I have missed out on and look out for Ms. Confidential next week.

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