Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Doctor Struck a Nerve

Dina Goldstein's Fallen Princesses
Dear Dr. T,
While I love you and consider you one of the most brilliant people on this planet, you were a bit of a jerk in high school, so I feel completely justified in making an example out of you.
Thanks for the stupid comment.

Ok, so conversations like this never cease to amazing me (pulled from Facebook):

My status update: Carrie Hanson wants to hibernate.  

Dr. T:  Do cougars hibernate?

Me:  Dr. T, if you were just a little bit closer I'd kick you in the balls 

Dr. T:  What? You went to BYU!

Me:  uh-huh, I'm sure that's what you were referring to

Dr. T:  Seriously, you're not old enough to be a cougar. But you are on the prowl.

Me:  This morning I realized that if I don't get hitched this coming year then I will be entering my TWENTIETH year of dating! Now if that doesn't make you want to get drunk I don't know what would.

Dr. T:  Come to my ward and feast your eyes on all of the 28 year old women who have 5 or 6 kids, have been married for ten years, never got to graduate, from college see their husbands about 20 hours a week, and haven't been out of the house for 6 months. Single life isn't perfect, but it doesn't pay to romanticize the other end of it either.

My initial thought:  ah hell, he didn't.

My response:  Are you talking about your wife or someone else's? 

Now, I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY wish I could say that was the first time I've heard that response to a single person's complaint about being single.  Why is it that married and/or divorced people think the "well at least you're not a miserable uneducated housewife" card is the antidote to a single person's desire to not be single any more?  Don't people realize that comments like that fall into the same category as these?

Person 1:  "We're losing our home and may be homeless."
Dumb Ass 1:  "Oh my gosh, sometimes I wish I were homeless.  Ever since we remodeled the kitchen and doubled the master bedroom/bath I haven't stopped cleaning!  It's such a pain!  I hardly have time to go shopping any more!"


Person 2:  "My mom has terminal cancer"
Dumb Ass 2:  "Well, at least you have plenty of time to watch her die and say good-bye.  My cousin's mom was beheaded in a car accident and she didn't have time to say good-bye.  Consider yourself lucky."

or my personal favorite:

Person 3:  "I had a miscarriage"
Dumb Ass 3:  "It's ok, there was probably something wrong with the baby anyway.  You don't want a retarded kid do you?  My neighbor has a retarded kid, and she has NO life."

Do ANY of those things make ANYONE feel better?  

No.  They do not.

Neither does someone telling me that I should be grateful that I'm not in a miserable marriage.  Every time I hear that I want to scream, "NO SHIT SHERLOCK.  Did you come up with that on your own or did Einstein give you a hand in reasoning that one out?"

Folks,  I'm THIRTY-FREAKING-FOUR-and-ELEVEN-and-a-HALF-MONTHS-old and intelligent enough to know that if I wanted to be in a shitty marriage I probably could have shanaegled one of them together YEARS ago.  Hell, if I wanted to have a house full of kids and a GED I probably could have figured that one out too.  Saying "I'm tired of being single" is not synonymous with saying "I would gladly trade my college education, life experience and blessings for a crap-ass relationship and a piece of paper saying I'm *sealed for all time and eternity to a self-centered porn-addicted douche bag".  Saying "I'm tired of being single" simply means what it says.

I'm a MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPIST people.  You think YOU'RE relationships are f***ked up?  Let's sit down and talk, I will gladly tell you what f***ked up really looks like.  I work with f***ked up.  You don't have to tell me the statistics.  You don't have to share examples of people who've made poor choices in the marriage department.  You don't have to point out what I am all too familiar with in some lame-ass attempt to "put it in perspective" or to point out that "the grass isn't always greener".  

It's insulting.

I get it.  I see the flip-side of my life all of the time.  Hell, I listen to many of YOU complain about it.  I'll be honest, there aren't a lot of you (married/divorced readers) that I'd care to be.  In fact I'm grateful YOU made YOUR mistakes so I can learn from them.  But don't project your or anyone else's piss-poor marriage on me.  I know plenty of people who have amazing IMPERFECT relationships.  HAPPY imperfect relationships.  It is possible you know.  Not everyone is trapped (or was trapped) in a war zone of marital hell.

SO, next time I say, "this morning I realized that if I don't get hitched this coming year then I will be entering my TWENTIETH year of dating! Now if that doesn't make you want to get drunk I don't know what would", be intelligent...either keep your mouth shut, or offer to buy me the first drink.


Kate said...

Oh, baby. Come to Utah. I'll buy you your first drink... you know it!

I do really relate to what you say, though... when I got divorced, I was really mourning the fact that I never had kids. I felt I had lost my chance. Lame people would say to me, "Well at least you didn't have kids! Now you don't have to share custody! You never have to see your ex again! Your kids probably would have turned out crazy from his genes, anyway!" Um, thanks people, but that doesn't help me AT ALL. It doesn't change the fact that I am still childless! Also telling me "You should have left him sooner, I never liked him, he treated you like crap" didn't help, either. You might as well just tell me I was a complete idiot for marrying him and trying to make it work.

Not trying to make this about me... just saying I totally get it. These "helpful" comments people concoct really don't help at all. And if I ever said anything like those things to you, you can kick me in the shin and scratch my face the next time you see me.


Rita - 40 and single by choice :) said...

There are some things that need no words.....except for one maybe!!!!

Amy said...

I'll buy the first round of drinks the next time you're in town.

The funny thing is that I tell myself this all the time when my friends are bitching about their spouses/marriage/kids. But when someone else says it to me I have the exact same reaction you did.

Sarah Humble said...


Natalie said...

I'm right there with you, my friend.

Jenny P said...

One word: Cheers! Okay, three more: I love you!

Armelle said...

Where does choice stop, where does fate start, that's what I wonder.

Love you girl.

Mrs. Olsen said...

Umm...yous funny. I found your link from a friend's blog. I'm married with kids but don't have stupid stick figures on my car.

I burst out with the "you don't want a retarded kid do you?". Oh dear. Keep em coming.

-Andy said...

Having been on the other side of this conversation I have to admit I've probably thought of some similiar things that you list here as horrible examples. Mostly as an "It Could Be Worse" response. To be honest I'm not sure how I should react. If I'm in a conversation talking about important things to someone and things like this come up I'm never sure what the person I'm talking to would want to hear. Most of the people I spend time talking to are not the kind that troll for pity, so it's almost always awkward or at least uncomfortable. About the most honest thing I've ever been able to say without feeling like I was the invitee to a pity party was this. You are a wonderful person that deserves joy and happiness in every way that you desire. This world is full of people who,like you, deserve better, hopefully they will be able to deal with their disappointments as elegantly as you have.

Sarah said...

Oh Carrie! right on! I was laughing at this post because someone just did this to me recently! I was walking around their new HUMUNGOUS house at all the fun things and people in it just thinking . . . Wow! When the woman asked me,
HER: What are you looking at?
ME: It's gorgeous! You're so lucky!
HER: It took us SOOOO long!
ME: You're 4 years yonger than me!
HER: SO? We have 5 kids, it's so nice to have room for everyone. But it's lame because we don't have any money to decorate it.
ME: But you have it! That's like a dream!
HER: Like I said, it took SOOOOO long.

I'm standing there staring at her thinking about how all my belongings fit into a 10' x 12' room that I barely make rent on---and I'm 4 years older.