For single chicks, another weekend joyous celebration of family togetherness can be an emotionally exhausting event—one that can lead you down an introspective path of “should have”, “could have” internal monologues of self-berating comments to a mid-life crisis search for the meaning of life and the answer to the “why” of your single status.
Somewhere in the midst of the festivities, a single, confident, financially independent woman can crumble in emotional fragility—if she takes herself too seriously or thinks about her life situation too intensely.
Admittedly, this began to happen to me not too long ago. I was invited to an open house party for a couple who had newly adopted their first child. Initially on arrival I was quite calm. My new-mommy friend was gracious and welcoming, as were the rest of her family. I liked the chance to tour the home a little bit and felt confident in myself and in my position in life.
But as the people kept coming in and out with children in tow —many that I knew as my single, graduate school peers, people who looked happy and successful now—and the conversation subtlety shifted from career and free-time activities to home improvement and childcare, I found myself plastered to the safety of the refreshment table, gobbling up the goodie trays to avoid conversing, instead of connecting with the parents congregating in the other rooms or crying over the tender adoption video. And you have got to understand: I like children; and they usually like me.
It’s just that when unexpectedly overwhelmed, I find myself faking it. Ever been there? You fake that you know lots about kids or that you understand about homes or other “grown-up” topics by smiling and nodding in agreement. You might swap stories about your sister’s or brother’s kids, or even pathetic vignettes about your dog, in hopes of relating on the same level so as not to be left behind in the conversational volley.