Monday, 27 August 2012

My Response To Amanda Chatel.

Freelance writer Amanda Chatel from HuffPo wrote something that warranted a response from yours truly; Married Women Don't Care For You When You're The Only Single Woman At The Wedding. What an interesting and long title, but it definitely draws you in.

Anyhow, I was wondering why such a post was on HuffPo but then I realised a lot of their writers seem to write journal/diary style posts to initiate debate and discussion, share their stories... or just to show how awesome they are and how judgmental people are towards them.

Amanda is free to write whatever she wants but if you're delusional enough to think that married women don't care for you because you're single; then you deserve a response.

Amanda Chatel 
When my friend Thal got married, I was the only single gal in attendance. This is by no means an exaggeration; it's the absolute truth.
All of the other attendees were already married or engaged. I, however, had just suffered a devastating break-up a couple months before and marriage was the furthest thing from my mind. It never crossed my mind that this would be a problem for anyone, until I took to the dance floor during the reception with a bunch of the married male guests.
No, Amanda. Your single-dom is actually not a problem for anyone. In fact, no one really cares whether you're single or not. What people do care about and what was a problem is the fact that you danced with a bunch of married male guests.

If you had been in a relationship and you were still dancing with a bunch of married male guests, then (surprise, surprise), the women would have (still) looked down on you for doing that.

It should be noted that no one was dancing with each other, but just dancing in a mass they way people tend to do at weddings. But every time someone playfully swung me out and back into them, I caught the eye-rolling and judgmental scowls of the wives of these men and realized I was not exactly making any friends by trying to enjoy myself. As I watched them leaning over the tables to whisper into each other's ears with their eyes firmly fixated on me, I understood that some "mean girls" never grow up, and to them, I was either a threat or a tramp - or maybe both. In fact I was neither. I was simply a woman who was doing her best to laugh during her best friend's wedding, instead of crying over the recent event that had ripped my world apart.

It's terrific that you consider that you weren't a threat (and a tramp). It doesn't mean, however, that they didn't see it that way. The women's eye-rolling and judgmental scowls probably weren't even towards you; maybe their husbands but you just noticed.

Let me also write that I would have been one heck of a mean girl if someone was dancing with my husband. It's not out of insecurity. It's because of the inconsideration, rudeness and arrogance of the other woman. The fact that a woman can't respect that the man is married and take the other woman's feelings into consideration, permits the mean girls attitude. Womanhood is about supporting one another.

There are other ways to enjoy yourself at weddings, i.e. include the women or socialise with the women. Not sure if making enemies was a good way for you to enjoy yourself. It wasn't a good idea.

I did my best to ignore them. I knew in my heart that I wasn't interested in any man at that wedding, even if any of them had been single. Since Chris (Thal's now-husband) works in finance, it's from that world where the majority of the male guests had come. I love Gordon Gekko, but on my television; not in my bed.

You ignored their wives' disapproval. You didn't even include them or made any effort to strike a conversation with them (this is what I've gathered). These women did not know you weren't interested in any of the men and didn't know that you love Gordon Gekko on television but not in bed. Your actions and attitude during that night doesn't correspond with your thoughts in the paragraph above. What you put out there is what you put out there; these women aren't psychics. 

As the reception went on, and the lot of the wives and fiancées became tired, they headed upstairs to their respective hotel rooms. I, however, stayed downstairs with the guys to do shots and sing along to really bad 90s music. I wasn't tired, I wanted to drink too much and if those women wanted to pass judgment yet again for this choice of mine, then that was their problem. They were just flattering themselves to think that I'd be interested in any of their husbands.

It's not their problem, it is your problem because you appear to be affected by their reputed judgment. And by the way, why would some women try and flatter themselves by thinking that you'd be interested in any of their husbands? Isn't that a bad thing for them and their marriage? 

Eventually the party moved to the hotel bar where we took over several tables and stayed until last call. There were about 15 of us remaining; I was one of the guys, and honestly, I don't think a single one of them saw me any differently than that.

No, they didn't. Probably, because they're married and really had no intentions other than having fun and enjoying themselves. I bet you were the only one assuming that they and their wives, saw you any differently than that. 

Shortly after we had our final drinks we decided we wanted to go find some food. We stood in the lobby weighing our options for late night snacks when one of the wives came downstairs to see where her husband was. Of course, just like the rest of us, he was wobbling in place with glassy eyes, but I was shot a look from her as if I were the one to blame. Yes, it was I who got him and everyone else drunk. It was my fault; I did it, and had she not come down when she did I was going to try to have my way with every single one of them despite my aversion to pleated pants and loafers without socks.

You were a single and the only female in a group of men who had alcohol in their system. If I was that woman, I'd have shot daggers at you and not just looks. 

After a quick reprimanding from this particular female guest, the last standing of the party hung their heads and followed each other, single file, into the elevator. I stood there -- sans buddies, sans food -- and went upstairs to watch bad TV.

I'm delighted that you finally realised what you were worth to them. 

I didn't make it to the goodbye brunch the next morning. I chose to stay in bed until my train left to come back to the city. Thal and Chris had already left for their honeymoon, and although I had fun the night before I knew, soberly, that it would be a lackluster situation in the light of day. I also knew that I didn't have it in me to dodge anymore stink-eyed looks from women I'd probably (hopefully) never see again.

It would have been humiliating to look them into the eye, knowing that what you did was disrespectful and quite embarrassing.

I know that it's almost impossible to go through life without being occasionally judged for who you are when you're the odd person out in a room. I don't fault those women for their gossip or glares; perhaps I would have done the same thing had I been in their shoes. But I can't say for sure; I'm just not on the marriage train yet. Frankly, I think it missed my stop. So my message to you, mean girls, is to keep your judgment to yourselves. You might find yourself in my position one day.

Like I stated earlier, it had nothing to do with you being single. Dance or hang out with a man that's taken is bound to make people very judgmental of you. People don't take very kindly to someone dancing with their life-long partner... and rightly so. 

I don't think you'll have to be 'on the marriage train' to understand how these women felt when you danced with their husbands. 

Mean girls? You were hanging out with their husbands. If that was me, I would have been a whole lot meaner. That alcohol you were drinking, that would have been in your hair, face and clothes. Consider yourself lucky that they didn't take that route. 

And... you might find yourself in their position one day.