Discrimination of a singular kind: A rant

November 24, 2016 22:56

As I boarded the vessel, I came under immediate attack.

But, unlike that suffered by IDF naval commandos a couple of months ago, this assault was both innocent and purely verbal. It was, however, no less unwelcome:

"This is Mike. He is 42, and looking for a wife."

This is how my (with) friend(s like these), Donna, introduced me to the several middle-aged women seated with her at the rear of the boat, in Herzliya Pituach marina, last Tuesday afternoon.

And stern (back of a boat, geddit?) was what I was. Indeed, if I was not so used to the way that so many married people relate to us single folk, a second flotilla incident may have been unavoidable. But shrugging off, rather than reacting to, Donna’s introduction (she is, after all, an ex-Hasmo girl), I extended a cheery greeting to my fellow sailors and thanked Donna for prompting me to turn my attention to a matter to which I had alluded in an earlier post to melchett mike, i.e., the very different treatment given by certain married people to their single friends, and especially the seeming assumption that the love and private lives of those friends (and not just those who write about them on their blogs!) are fair and public game.

I mean, it is hard to imagine a reaction as restrained as mine, above, were we singles to give our married friends a taste of their own medicine and to start introducing them in an equally uninhibited and intrusive manner:

"This is Josh and Becky. Don’t be fooled by the show – they are utterly miserable. Josh is looking for fun with a woman for whom rigor mortis has not yet set in . . . while Becky is just longing to be touched by any woman."

Why is it that those same married people (and it is not all of them) seem to forget everything that they know about you, their single friend – what you are like, what you do, what you have achieved . . . in short, who you are – but, instead, reduce you to the fact that you have, as yet, always opted for “I won’t”?

Even ignoring the occasional (and always hilarious) gay jibes, such marrieds seem to have all kinds of misconceptions about their single friends: That you somehow won’t be able to cope at a meal out or dinner party with their other, married friends. And, if you do receive an invitation, it will usually be an afterthought, rather than the advance one received by the other, ‘normal’ guests (so a fellow ex-Hasmo would, at the end of Saturday morning synagogue, invariably invite me back for lunch with other, married ex-classmates who had had the date in their diaries for weeks; I never went). Then, of course, there are the weddings and bar mitzvahs where you get seated at the “sad singles” (with whom you have nothing else in common) table, rather than with your married friends.

But, then, it is not unusual for the same married couples – especially, the male halves – to show inordinate interest in all the gory details of your love life . . . which causes me to wonder whether they actually live vicariously through us.

I mean, of course, most of us singles would love to find our soul mate, procreate (as opposed to merely copulate), and live happily ever after. But, believe it or not, many of us are also pretty complete individuals, who – until we find that person – are quite content with the advantages, and they are not negligible (see previous brackets), that we currently enjoy.

So, if there is a Gay Pride Parade, then why not a Single one?!

Towards the end of our sail, I asked Donna (whom, incidentally, I love dearly) about a guy on the catamaran whom I had not yet met (though I was determined to introduce myself, this time). And I soon got talking to Paul – “Divorced. Looking.” was Donna’s complete profile of him – who told me that the next time he starts thinking about marriage, he will instead (to save on lawyers’ fees) just find someone he dislikes and buy her a house . . .

Which guaranteed that if I was “looking for a wife” when I got on the boat, I certainly was not as I got off.

November 24, 2016 22:56

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