By REBECCA SPARROW
I’ll cut to the chase. Last week I behaved like an arsehat.
I was out at a book store event with my splendid, 40-something friend Zoe when I took it upon myself to insult her. More on that in a sec.
Let me tell you about Zoe. Zoe is one of those people whose life is brimming with interesting. She works in the music industry and joins cool clubs and plants herbs at her community garden and takes fabulous holidays and embarks on country drives and speaks Italiano. So she’s the opposite of, well, me. ( I go to bed at 8.30pm and spend much of my time folding laundry and clicking on stories on the net that feature the words “Ricky Martin” or … nope that’s pretty much it.)
She also happens to be single which is a bugger because I happen to know Zoe would dearly love to be married with a baby on her hip.
So naturally when Zoe and I sat down for a coffee post-bookstore event, I decide to tell Zoe what she’s doing WRONG
That’s right, I started – uninvited – dishing out advice on what Zoe needs to do to meet the right man.
It gets worse.
My low point is the moment I actually hear myself saying (while shoving marshmallows in my gob), “I just think you’re closed. I don’t think you come across as open.”
It’s entirely possible I then trotted out something about “self-sabotage”. And then attempted to bully her into trying internet dating.
In other words: “It’s your fault you’re single, Zoe. Try harder, why don’t you?”
I know, I hate me too.
Of course at the time, I thought I was being helpful as all smug married people think when they are explaining to other people exactly how to FIX THEIR LIVES and have what they have (a life of laundry and Ricky Martin cyber-stalking). But when I got home I realised with horror that I’d possibly left Zoe feeling like she’d just been pecked to death. Or worse – made to feel like the fact that she’s single – and doesn’t want to be – is because she is living her life, you know, ALL WRONG.
Thank you, Rebecca “Dr Phil” Sparrow. No, really.
Saying to a single person that they should “Be more open” (or worse that ‘love will come when you stop looking for it’) is akin to saying to someone dealing with a serious illness that they “Just need to be more positive.”. Or like saying to an anorexic person “Just eat this burger, why don’t you?”