1. “I know someone for you.” The variations are endless. Especially don’t say this if you are a) a family member (they should know you well, but they never know you well enough to know “your type”) b) a stranger. Ever met someone, as in literally just met someone, and you’re talking, and as soon as they find out you’re single, they jump right in with “my brother/father/cousin/best friend/therapist is single! You should meet him! You would really like him!” No, we shouldn’t meet him, and no, we won’t like him. Please don’t insinuate that you have all life’s dating answers. I know you think you’re just being a good friend or trying to help, or something, but when you introduce me to your friend/brother/father/cousin, etc. and he has a tattoo of a topless woman and thinks his idea of a great date is taking me to a sports bar and watching the UFC fights and wants to share a plate of buffalo wings and then wants to spit tobacco into a little cup which he places next to said plate of food and then wants to buy some PBR to take back to his place where he insists his Rottweiler share the couch with us as we watch a Steven Segal movie…I will probably not only never talk to him again, but I will probably never talk to you again, either.
2. “Wanna go to happy hour?” Don’t ask us this. Because the answer is yes. Yes, we really, really, really want to go to happy hour. When is happy hour anyway? 4:00? 5:00? 6:00? See, I don’t even know when it is, because I don’t think I’ve ever been to a happy hour. This is the time during which “second shift” begins. Single parents know what I’m talking about. The time of the day when you have already been to work and/or school and would really like to have a moment to relax a bit, but it’s time to pick up your kids from school. Second shift. Sometimes, we are watching the clock waiting for 5:00 to roll around so we can pour ourselves a glass of wine and not feel so weird about it. That’s happy hour for us. Either that or midnight to six when we’re asleep. And when they’re asleep.
3. “Want to go on a trip?” Basically, see above, but increase the frustration of not being able to go by about…a lot. Unless you want our fussy baby, temperamental toddler, or moody tween along for the ride, don’t ask us to accompany you on any trip, ever. Unless it’s a kid-friendly trip, like Disneyland. But even then, being single parents, it’s doubtful we could skip out on our lives for that long a period of time anyway.
4. “I love my hubby.” Don’t say this for two reasons. 1) You’re not special because you love your hubby. What’s your point, anyway? And 2) the word “hubby” is stupid. Stop that.
5. Any type of parenting advice. Especially if you’re not a parent. I know zero people whose unsolicited parenting advice is welcome. This means you aren’t one of them.
6. “He’s single.” This is usually preceded by a wink or nudge. Usually this comment is made because some guy somewhere has mentioned his ugly divorce or bragged about the size of his…bank account, or has mentioned that his wife just died, or has snuck the fact that he’s single into a conversation somehow. We’re not cats in heat wanting to lift our tails to anything willing to answer to our meow. I wonder how long I can continue with a cat metaphor.
7. “You need to find yourself a man/husband.” Honestly, if you say some variation of this to a single mother, she will most likely walk away immediately in an effort to keep herself from either spitting in your eye or interrogating you about what other antiquated ideals you may have meandering about in your fortune cookie wisdom-filled head.
8. “He/she looks like his/her father.” Don’t say this. Because we know this. Especially don’t say this if the parent to which you are referring is absent. If our child looks like his/her father, believe us, we are well aware of it. Every time she smiles like him, every time he grinds his teeth like him, every time. Ok?
9. “I’m so tired.” The only permission granted for this one is if you yourself are a single parent. Otherwise, knock it off. Ok, so you’ve had a bad day, are tired, didn’t get everything done, etc. Single parents are tired by noon. And the kids aren’t even home from school yet. Sometimes we’re tired by 9 am, and the day just started. Seriously, mornings are the worst.
10. “Give me a call any time you need a sitter.” If you say this to us, we WILL call you. And we’ll keep calling you. You can’t hide. And don’t say something like “Oh, I can’t right now, but any other time” because we’ll get out our calendars and date books and keep throwing out dates till you commit. Any single parent has, at any given moment, about five to ten days for which he/she needs a sitter. We’ll fit you in somewhere. And you brought this on yourself. You have no one to blame but yourself.
Feel free to help continue the list.
Posted by: Missi