So, Sepia’s single. Been that way for quite some time now. Not a complaint. More statement than anything.
Up until a few short years ago, all my friends were single as well. We did the double dating thing, spent time together on the regular. It was like a group of friends who just happened to be dating. No pressure. We shared inside jokes. Things were cool.
Enter marriage, better known as the end of the gray area. Once everyone, and I mean, everyone, got engaged and married, and my relationship ended, things changed. Like that quickly.
No longer were we one cohesive group. There were pairs of people.
Being an introvert, that didn’t really bother me. I loved spending time alone. Sure, it gave me time to go thrifting, count the tiles on the bathroom floor, reorganize my unnecessary scarf collection, walk aimlessly through Wal-Mart on date night, learn the choreography to Single Ladies (finally!) y’know, the things any normal non-lonely single gal would do.
It wasn’t until my favorite couple-friends had a housewarming that I noticed what would inevitably become my normal.
It’s a Saturday, The Couples are all in attendance. A few children and older folks are there.
I greet each woman with a kiss on the cheek, because these are my friends, right? Right.
The guys are in the other room, watching something sports-related. I found it more interesting to sit and watch the Heat game – being fluent in ESPN and all – than to talk about the rising cost of daycare of which I can’t relate.
After five minutes in the TV room, unattended, I suppose, one of The Wives stood at the door and motioned for me to come to the kitchen.
“Why? I’m watching the game. Hold up, it’s almost half time.” I lean back and keep enjoying the game.
Less than a minute later, another one of The Wives is at the door.
“Sepia, did I tell you about the chili recipe Keri and I made last weekend? I made it again. You should come and try it. Now!”
My excitement to watch the Heat demolish the Knicks in an overtime victory was interrupted by Wife after Wife after Wife.
One of The Husbands finally brought something to my attention.
“[Sepia], you know why they keep coming in here?”
“Either they really want me to try that chili or…”
“They’re afraid.” He finished for me.
“Wha-aaat? Afraid. Of ?”
“You. Here with us.” He points to a room full of men who I consider my brothers and I laugh.
“I’m just watching the g – oh! OH! OHHHH! I get it now.”
“It’s The Threat.” He leans back into the couch and turns the volume up.
From that day on, I’ve been careful to not be “one of the boys”, at least not in that circle. I’m not overly friendly and there are no personal jokes between one of The Husbands and I.
There’s and unspoken rule that Sepia + The Husbands ≠ Solo Time.
I’m good with this but The Threat came out of nowhere. One day, we were all friends. With the exchange of rings and vows I became a silent enemy. It’s an adjustment to make, however, am I to blame completely?
I will not – I repeat – will not dull my shine in the face of The Wives just so The Husbands won’t look my way. HOLD UP! Let me fix this. Read on. I promise I’ll explain.
As a single woman, I see a lot of married women so into their husbands and children that they’ll neglect their own appearance. Ok. This. Is. Not. MY. FAULT.
Therefore, I won’t present myself as the Humpback of Single-Dame in order for you to feel comfortable. Will this heighten The Threat? Sure, but, how am I supposed to not be single forever if I’m blending in with mediocrity?
Another side effect of The Threat is The Hook-up.
The Hook-Up: In an effort to rid the scene of The Single Woman, The Wives attempt to push said woman into the arms of any single, divorced, available man regardless of lack of interest, zero attraction or sub standard conversation *not limited to these circumstances.
Um, what The Wives need to realize is this: though The Threat is real, it is also invalid. Just like I don’t want your husband, I don’t want any random man from church, your job, in line at the bank or in the frozen foods section.
Single does not equal desperate.
The Single Girl Threat, though mostly innate – on the part of The Wives – causes unnecessary strain. I look at it this way: before you jumped the broom, signed the papers, took the honeymoon, had the children, WE WERE FRIENDS! I’m still that same person. Also, The Husbands married The Wives because they wanted to. If I was in the running to become America’s Next Mrs. -Insert Dignified Last Name- then you’d have something to worry about. But. I’m not. So, please chill.
Stop hovering over me when I’m having a business related conversation with one of The Husbands.
Stop it with the “I called you by mistake.” (Sure, and it happened to be from your husband’s phone.)
Stop analyzing everything he says in reference to me.” [Sepia’s] haircut looks nice” does not mean he wants me.
Realize this: I won’t be single forever but if we wait until I get married to trust me fully around The Husbands, then why not just drop this friendship?
Now, The Threat does not apply to everyone. Yes, there are some women who know that the quirky, uber random, well-dressed, know-it-all [Sepia] is the farthest thing from their husbands’ minds. For the selected few, Thanks bunches. Teach the others.
I’m learning that there is a certain level of maturity and self-esteem you must possess in order for The Threat to not even affect you. Maybe one day The Threat will raise its ugly head in my relationship. Maybe it already has. How else would I know what it looks like?
Are you threatened? Share.
Sepia N. Brown.