Can we ever be patient enough to wait for the right one to come along? Or are we the impatient, the scared, the pessimistic to think that if we do not grab hold of whatever we have right now, it may never come our way again? Cast in a world as dynamic as today where the only constant is change, it’s not hard to feel alienated when you are alone by choice or otherwise.

People are together for different reasons – being truly in Love, out of habits, premarital “accidents” and I cannot continue enough to demonstrate the environment, the timing, the fate, the family, the hundred and one reasons that could possibly bind two in matrimony. But I know for sure that there are some who are living off a borrowed sense of security by being with another, as if their sense of self-worth is established by being “Married” and diminished the moment they revert back to an unsightly “Single”. Even “Divorced” is more preferable as it indicates having a previous experience of “lawful togetherness” even if it was in the past. Being single makes one persona non grata, if not in physical proximity with the rest, at least in emotions.

To list an example, I was feeling rather disturbed when I visited a new mother at her ward a month back. In the company of married couples, it is not difficult to observe that I am the single disruptive cause to the patterned regularity of relationships in the room. Even though unintentional, the visitors arrived in pairs and stayed that way while crowding around the bed. If I take myself out of this picture and look back in retrospect, it was a blissful one. There is a happy new mother and a grateful new father and they are a pair, four other pairs of married couples were coo-ing over the new baby and there was just one remaining pair fully intent on hopping onto the big matrimonial bandwagon in October.

I am much comforted to know that some of the couples make effort to ensure that I am not alienated when it comes to outings and dinners but it could be very haunting to be asked on a girls’ night out. The topics that appeared common to them are strangers to me. As they broached on subjects about the cheapest bedsheets in town, the most value-for-money household objects and embarked on an analysis of husbandry behaviorism, I squirmed in my seat never feeling quite so ignorant. It is not the worst when you feel left out in conversations like this but it is a total horror when all pairs of eyes decide to focus on me and switched the subject to examine my lack of a partner.

“When do you intend to find a partner?”
“Don’t you think it’s time?”

Knowing the questions were being asked out of concern or even bewilderment does not unnerve or irritate me one bit. In fact, I’ll sit and sip my lemon tea and give frozen answers that would stamp down this unwelcome topic in the most efficient manner. How do you explain that if you haven’t found someone, you haven’t found someone? What I cannot stand is the diplomatic look of obvious pity and the gentle suggestions that perhaps I should lower my standards since Time is running out on my side. What I also do not understand is … if I do not begrudge your couplehood, why do you try to make me resent my singledom? Can the Singles hear their convinced voices anymore seeing how they are drowned in a sea of silent disapproval and vocal exacerbation? Why are the “Singles” nowadays being treated like beggars on the streets, doled with sympathetic and understanding looks by the all-knowing couples who secretly questioned their disability to get attached?

Mothers and friends learn to scare young girls whose only aspiration in Life is to find a suitable partner for a happily everafter.

“Don’t eat too much. You don’t want to get fat and end up unmarried like Auntie Marge.”
“Be more ladylike. Men like their women dainty or else no one would want you.”

Since when did the “Single” become the big, bad wolf in the tale of “Little Red Wanna-Get-Married Riding Hood”?