By BROOKE FALVEY
“You’ll make a beautiful bride.”
With this one sentence I found myself caught like a deer in the headlights, en route to an unnecessary—and somewhat misguided—reality check from a stranger.
While you might think it sounds like a compliment, a backhand quickly followed.
After dishing out advice on what NOT to wear if I walk down the aisle (no strapless, sweetheart-necklines with an embellished bodice … apparently that look is so 2007), this matrimonial-focused stranger asked my age.
“I’m 31 next month,” I replied, causing her to practically choke on her canapé.
“The average age for brides is 29,” she spluttered, horrified that I had let an extra 24 months slip past without securing myself a groom and a happy ever after with 2.4 kids and a house with a white picket fence.
Apparently, without realising it, I had passed my prime.
Once again, my marital status had hijacked a conversation. I’ve had dinners disrupted with offers of blind dates, psycho-analysis performed over pancakes and been told I was too choosy over coffee.
Unfortunately, common decency means I rarely respond with the two word, seven letter phrase I’d often like to use.
Instead, I smile and nod while thinking about where to take my next overseas holiday or whether to splurge on a new leather jacket or Marc Jacobs handbag.
Then I go home to my single-girl apartment and do whatever the hell I like.
I watch back-to-back episodes of Law & Order SVU for eight hours, dance around my lounge room to Nikki Minaj at 7am in the morning and drink milk straight out of the bottle (not that I do… often).
New York University Professor of Sociology Eric Klinenberg (author of Going Solo – The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone) claims the majority of people who live alone are actually more socially active with friends and neighbours than their married counterparts.
So what does it matter if my life occasionally resembles a Taylor Swift song? Or if I have moments where I seem to be the romantically-challenged lovechild of Bridget Jones and Nina from Offspring?