Friday, January 15, 2016

A Letter from a Single Woman to Her Married Friends

Written by: Ala Hamdan  Original Post From The Huffington Post (Arabic) : Click Here

 Translated by: Lama and Thalia Obeid
A Letter from a Single Woman to Her Married Friends

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“Some of us girls get married while still in college, while others do after graduating. A few years after graduating, I look around and see that all my friends have become mothers, whereas I have not gotten married yet; this is all normal, but why do those around me make me feel that it’s something strange and that there is something wrong with me?

My married friends, here are a few messages for you:

1- I am not picky; I am not looking for a millionaire, athlete, nor am I looking for prince charming. I am not waiting for a knight in shining armor on a white horse to come and save me; I am not looking for the CEO of an international company, nor for a man who travels around the world. I am not looking for a dark man, a tall mall, a handsome man, nor a man who is not as good looking as me. And of course, I am not looking for a man who has gone bald, I am not… you know what? What I am looking for is none of your business, so do not categorize me as: “demanding, a gold-digger, conceited, prejudiced…” What I want in a man is only my business and do not make my “sad life” the topic of your interest.

2- Feel free to talk about your children in front of me, I will not give them nor you the evil eye, I promise.

3- Yes, I would have come if you had invited me to your “married-women-only” gathering that day,  , but it seems that the only way to get invited is to have a special invitation card; the ring on your left hand  .

4- When we go to a wedding together, and the bride walks in, please do not look at me with pity in your eyes. Let me enjoy the wedding without your unwanted sympathy. When the couple begins to dance and my eyes tear up, please do not reach for my hands or pat my shoulders to console me as if I were at a funeral. Frankly, I cry while watching Titanic 25 times a year, so crying is a normal thing for me.

5- “How are you?”
I’m fine
“Tell me honestly, how are you?”
When I say I’m fine, that means I’m fine. And let me tell you, if I’m not fine, believe me, the possibility of it being due to me being single is probably 0.00001%. So please, do not over-analyze the situation and leave the 1st grade math for your son to do and let us go on shopping in peace.

6- Loneliness is difficult in all cases: the loneliness of a wife every night whilst her husband watches TV leaving her alone in bed , the loneliness of a son who has gone abroad to study, the loneliness of a father after his daughter leaves him for her marital home. The single woman is not the only one who feels lonely. Loneliness is losing a person you once felt was there. Loneliness due to a loss is greater than loneliness of wishing for something you never had.

7- Your life is not better than mine, neither is mine better than yours. Do not bet that the stability of your marital nest will bring you long-lasting happiness, while the single woman will die from loneliness and lack of passion. You cannot guaranty what the future holds, be happy with what you have now and leave others be.
 8- Do not treat me as if I have lost a foot, hand or eye. I was born as a complete human being, so why do you think you have the right to judge me and make me feel less just because I am single? Why do you see me as “incomplete”? Who gave you the right to feel pity for me?
9- Let’s say I have reached the age of 35 and I still haven’t married, please do not tell me about a divorced man who used to hit his ex-wife and is now looking for a new wife. Do not tell me about the jobless widower who spends all day smoking and is looking for a wife, do not tell me about a man who is 30 years older than I am...
My age does not mean I will marry any guy that comes around and lower my expectations just because I’m still single and “need” to have a man living under my roof. I still have a mind of my own and my heart has preferences that I will not let go of to please anyone.

10- Your husband will take care of you when you grow up, and you will take care of him. And there are men who married three wives who all died and he stayed alone. So please do not poison my youth with things I will not experience for at least another 30 or 40 years
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11- When I see your husband and you in the market, do not ask me to hide. First of all, I will not give you the evil eye. Secondly, I will not seduce him into marrying me, so don’t worry we aren’t living in a foreign movie.  .
12- “When will you get married?”, when they ask me this question I think in my mind Do they really think I have the answer or is it just a question they have become used to asking?
-        I will get married after 2 days 5 hours and 12 minutes!!
-        “Ha, Ha, Ha, you are very funny. I will pray to God day and night to send you a man, for you are a close friend.”

      13- Yes, a single woman can have lots of social and professional contacts, and she can be successful in her life. Why do we always imagine her in a brown room with old-moldy furniture?

   It is sad how our society views a single woman especially after she passes her 30th birthday. It is like she has become a burden or sad whereas she might be successful and completely happy like any other person. The only difference is that she goes back to her family’s home and not her husband’s home. There is not one universal rule or secret recipe to happiness.  

I believe that a human can be happy without marriage, even after losing their spouse, or in case of divorce. Do you think it’s possible that God created people and gave them “half happiness” only because they didn’t find a life partner? God is fairer than making a girl live half a life and half happiness, so stop harassing her.