Is it really that time of year again, huh? I have to start caring what people think and making small talk with people I loathe? Ugh. When people start asking me what I'll be doing for the holidays, I know I'm about to hear some outrageous things every single mom hears from her relatives around this so-called "joyous" time of year. Bah humbug, you guys. I am Grinch incarnate, and I make no apologies.
I mean, there’s a reason I watch Die Hard at Christmas. It’s a story about blowing things up and it all ends in divorce. Of course, I might only feel this way because I am a single parent at the holidays and that means I will experience unsolicited advice and backhanded compliments until the carol singers are blue in the face. The thing about being both single and a parent is that we get to experience the delectable commentary of acquaintances, relations, and acquaintances of relations on two fronts. We will hear the standard things that all single people hear at the holidays, but we'll also hear all of the "fun" tidbits that parents get to hear. Basically, lucky us.
If you’re not a single parent but want to understand, or if you’re a single parent and need to know you’re not the only one hearing this bullsh*t, here are some of the outrageous things single moms will hear from relatives over the holidays. Also, can we not? Thanks.
“Are You Still Single?”
Yes. I would not choose to identify myself as a single parent if I were, in fact, not single. Though, this last holiday I brought a friend along and after a few comments, he offered to pretend to be my boyfriend. I genuinely considered lying to my entire family. Sorry guys. It’s not you; it’s me.
“How Do You Think Your Child Is Doing?”
This is one of the subtle digs administered by self-proclaimed "experts." Note how the person will not ask, “How is your child doing?” No, this particular commentary is designed to assess your ability to notice your child and tend to their needs. It’s mostly silliness and comes from silly people; at least that’s what I tell myself after being asked this very question multiple times in a single evening.
“I Knew A Guy In The '80s Who Never Loved Anyone And He Was A Good Guy”
I usually hug whoever says this. It’s not always this exact version, but every single parent will hear something along this particular line. The person who says it is usually older and says it with a tiny tear in their eye. They mean well, they really do. They want you to know that you’re going to be OK and that you're not defined by your romantic relationships.
Still, when they yell this incoherent nonsense across a table of feasters, loud enough the room goes silent, you’ll still have to acknowledge that it’s outrageous.
“You Know, I Have This Friend Who Just Got Out Of A Relationship Or Is Thinking About Getting Out Of A Relationship As Soon As He Can Find A Job And I Think If That Happens, You Two Should Totally Go Out”
The person who utters this absurdly long, hedge-filled sentence also means well. Really and truly, they just want you to be happy. They haven’t lived long enough to acknowledge that you’re not defined by a relationship, but they still want to help.
Whatever you do, do not give them your real phone number. If they already have your number, don’t answer calls from unknown numbers for at least two months. Also, he's never getting out of that relationship. Ever. You will waste five years of your life, so just forget this ridiculous sentence (while well-intentioned) was ever uttered in your direction.
"Do You Want A Refill?"
This is outrageous because the answer is way too obviously yes. I want a refill and if you'll leave the bottle, I'll take that, too.
“I Remember The Days When Children Had Two Parents”
They probably also remember when women weren’t allowed to vote, and people of color were told to sit in the back of busses. Let’s just agree that not every group is fond of the past. #minorities #women #killerwhales