Spinsterella

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

It's not the fucking law, you know.

"So, why don’t you have a boyfriend?" Rob, a friend of my male flatmate, asked me in the pub.
I gave him my stock polite answer:

"I just don’t. I’ve got a great life and lots of friends and I’m very happy. If I ever met someone I really liked, I’d go for it, don’t worry. I’m not totally anti the idea of having a boyfriend, but I’m not prepared to just go out with someone for the sake of it."

But later, I started thinking – why is it acceptable for people to even ask that question? I get it regularly. You would think, in an age when more and more people are choosing to live alone, that it wouldn’t be such a big thing.

With any other topic of discussion, there’s always an alternative argument. Not with singleness versus coupledom, though. If I went around saying, "so, why have you got a boyfriend then?" to my attached friends, they’d think I’d gone mad.

I appreciate that many people are happiest when they’re attached and I know several happy couples who have been together since they were pretty young. But if I, a merry spinster, can accept coupledom as a normal state of affairs, why do so many people think that being single is some sort of affliction that needs to be cured?

29 Comments:

  • it's up there with the why haven't you got any children question. The implication is that there is something wrong with you. Rude and annoying. Punch him.

    By Blogger GreatSheElephant, at 11:02 PM  

  • Beats me. Do people really still ask that? So rude.

    Particularly annoying is how, if challenged, these people tend to say they were only asking because they can't believe such an attractive, intelligent, witty etc. etc. woman could be single.

    Whereas in reality it's just what some people think passes for pub smalltalk. I always wanted to reply by giving them a narrow-eyed look up and down, and saying "Because I have standards".

    Clearly I never actually did this in real life.

    By Blogger Pashmina, at 11:02 PM  

  • Incidentally, my reply is normally, "Because I have an absolutely loathsome personality." That usually shuts them up.

    By Blogger GreatSheElephant, at 11:03 PM  

  • *notes down Pashmina's and GSE's response for future use*

    By Blogger Billy, at 12:34 AM  

  • Rob fancies you.

    But by the sound of things, he's a fucktard.

    By Blogger Tim Footman, at 3:20 AM  

  • I think Tim might have it right. I always remember that question being asked by guys who were wondering if they had a chance...and what to hide from you if there was a specific reason, like all the good ones are married.

    By Blogger RLT, at 4:34 AM  

  • Right on! GSE got in there before me with the whole, why haven't you got kids bit and believe me that question gets asked about a zillon times more when you're married.
    I'm coming to the conclusion that people are idiots and just do 'what's expected of them'. Anyone who bucks the trend (actually typed train there first) is seen as abnormal...well quite frankly I've never wanted to be normal, I mean how boring would that be?

    By Blogger Jools, at 7:00 AM  

  • Ech, it's a perfect match to the "why don't you have children?" question, and the "why don't you cut your hair?" question.
    A few years ago I was at a family wedding, and was seated next to a lady of a certain age. Pretty much the first thing she asked me was, "Do you have a boyfriend?"
    "No."
    "Ah well, there's plenty of time."
    And then she had NOTHING to say to me for the rest of the meal. Bitch.

    By Blogger Bowleserised, at 8:09 AM  

  • So......why don't you have a boyfriend?


    Oh come on someone had to ask!!!!

    By Blogger UnderCrackers, at 9:08 AM  

  • Used to get this all the time when I was single. One woman I was working with said "Why haven't you got a boyfriend? Too fussy I suppose". This from someone who always had to get home from work early to get the tea on the table for her husband because otherwise he would get "annoyed".

    Best answer to people who ask the "why haven't you got a boyfriend/children?" questions is to reply "I dunno - why have YOU?" in a really quizzical tone of voice. That usually throws them.

    By Blogger Betty, at 9:09 AM  

  • Yes, Rob does fancy me.

    However, only a couple of months after breaking up with his three-year girlfriend, he's seeing someone else. But he still talks about his ex constantly.

    Tragic.

    By Blogger Spinsterella, at 9:20 AM  

  • in a way it's a compliment. It implies you are very date-able. Worse would be if they never asked why you don't because they all feel they already know.

    By Anonymous undercovercookie, at 9:26 AM  

  • Spin,

    Envy!

    rel

    By Blogger Remiman, at 9:48 AM  

  • Easy six-step response to Rob's doltish question:

    1) Buy a copy of The Immortal Story: The best of the Only Ones.

    2) Buy a large, very loud ghetto blaster.

    3)Insert CD Into Ghetto blaster (remember to fit some batteries if you're following him around outside the house)

    4) Line up the track "Why don't you kill yourself?"

    5) Wait for Rob to ask the querstion again.

    6) Press play.

    It may not do the trick, but at last you'll have bought one fuck of a great album.

    Let me know how you get on, Spin.

    By Blogger Robert A. Swipe, at 11:38 AM  

  • "Why haven't you got a boyfriend? Too fussy I suppose".

    I get this or variations on this constantly when speaking to mates and/or aquaintances who are actually dating total dickheads.
    'Not at all' I reply 'I just haven't met the right one yet'.

    BUT my soul screams to give a different answer...

    'Well, that depends if you regard fussy as turning down every loathsome, sex obsessed, ignorant chav bastard that paws at me in clubs whilst you, my less 'fussy' aquaintances, go for it regardless of any sense of self worth/smell and proceed to get dicked around by these loathsome gits. I am waiting for someone who chooses not to tuck his jogging trousers into his socks and who's idea of education is not watching 'Who Wants to be A Millionare'.


    I apologise if I show myself up with poor spelling and grammer.
    Or bitterness.

    By Anonymous Button, at 12:16 PM  

  • Aw, Rob's actually a very nice bloke.

    I get this question mainly from women. Attached women, obviously.

    I'd like to respond by pointing to their fat/ugly/stupid/irritating/boring/unwashed/illiterate etc boyfriend and say:

    "Because I'd rather die than wake up to THAT every day for the rest of my life."

    By Blogger Spinsterella, at 12:18 PM  

  • "Because, under my clothes, my body is entirely covered in scales..."

    By Blogger Hannah, at 12:55 PM  

  • Interesting. . When you do have a boyfriend you end up being called 'erindoors. The greatest insult from when they first called you sexy, darling and sweetheart

    By Blogger erindoorz, at 2:04 PM  

  • Am with The Swipe man, only surely Unbearable by The Wonderstuff would be more appropriate?

    By Anonymous Hoodlum, at 2:04 PM  

  • "I get this question mainly from women. Attached women, obviously."

    yup,

    what happened to sisterly solidarity etc?

    *grumble*

    By Anonymous Button, at 2:14 PM  

  • I get 'why don't you have a girlfriend?' all the time. I normally say 'because I really like someone and she's not available/interested/in this country at the moment', which is pretty much always the true answer (when I say I'm always single, this is not really comical exaggeration).

    If someone's asking it normally means they think I'm not a total fuckup and wonder why no girls/boys (delete or not as appropriate) think the same. The rudeness is if there is the implication that its because no-one thinks you're worth a second look.

    Anyway, after that answer, I lose patience with those people who say 'why not ask someone else out?'. Because I don't fucking like them! I'm happy enough with myself not to settle for second best just to have something else to think about / talk to.

    By Anonymous riddledwiththepox, at 4:02 PM  

  • Most enjoyed Mr Swipe's comment. It certainly is a fantabulous album.

    By Anonymous lethe, at 5:28 PM  

  • believe me, even when you're attached and have a small person it never goes away. the sheer brass neck of people never fails to astonish me. i have one child. i am happy with the situation.

    and still, not content with asking "when are you having another one then?" (this starts when your first child is around four months old), when told that i'm not having any more people act as if it's perfectly ok to berate me for my decision..."oh, you can't just have one! poor mite! they'll be lonely".

    um...fuck off??

    jesus.

    *swigs more wine as apparently this one still stings despite small person being six-and-a-bit*

    By Blogger surly girl, at 7:30 PM  

  • Well, I suppose there's an annoying query for everyone.

    Couples get the 'When are you getting wed?' shit after six months together; married folk get harrassed about their first baby as soon as they're back from honeymoon; a second baby is then required as Surly points out; although if you knock them out too quickly there is much disapproval there as well.

    You just can't win, I suppose.

    Apart from saying 'Fuck away off!'.

    By Blogger Spinsterella, at 8:17 PM  

  • Surely the only appropriate response was: "But then I couldn't blog about cunts like you."

    By Blogger Wyndham, at 8:48 PM  

  • I've never understood why people feel it's ok to ask such personal questions.
    A co-worker and I had to endure an endless diatribe from a woman we'd known for all of 5 minutes telling us that we should hurry up and find significant others so that we could have kids because otherwise, we'd "regret it forever." I looked at her and said, "Did my mom call you? She did, didn't she?" That shut her up, thank god.

    By Blogger Cloudy Lucidity, at 5:09 PM  

  • As annoying at the whole "why don't you have a boyfriend" question is, i gotta be the wierd one here and say that's it's even worse to NOT be asked that. During my 9-year involuntary singlehood I only got asked that once or twice, right at the beginning. After a while I assumed people stopped asking because it was PAINFULLY OBVIOUS to the entire world why no one would date me. yeah, that did wonders for the ol' self esteem.

    By Blogger Chaucer's Bitch, at 10:13 PM  

  • Well, you could retaliate with:

    When are you getting divorced?

    Why haven't you got a decent job?

    Why don't you own your own place?

    Why don't you lose weight?

    Why are you so shallow?

    Or any other really insulting question that would be inappropriate to ask, but may be appropriate, as appropriate.

    By Anonymous Gert, at 2:44 PM  

  • I guess the real reason why this question upsets us is because we do get upset by the fact that we are single *sad realization*

    this is not to say that not having a boyfriend is not all right. I FULLY agree with button's comment. I'm not scared to admit that the possibility that there exists no mr.right for me frightens me shitless. But it frightens me even more shitless the idea of getting tied to mr. wrong. Really in today's world people are so out of touch with themselves, they don't take the time to listen to themselves and find out what they really want. or maybe they do but they're just not patient enough to wait for it.

    Well I know why I don't have a boyfriend... I haven't met anyone who inspires me enough. And when I did, it turned out that I don't inspire him enough. Tough luck.

    But it's "I have a boyfriend. He lives in India :)" for me.

    By Blogger ~*~Sephora~*~, at 4:13 PM  

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