I should start a second blog called “No, Ma’am, I Actually Don’t Want Your Husband” because, from time to time, I am accused of that very thing. I hear similar complaints from other single women. Last week I was reminded, yet again, how sometimes just being single is enough to make a woman suspect.
Every year I rent a house in Martha’s Vineyard for a week or so with a group of friends. It’s always a glorious and relaxing time. I spend the week biking and
beaching and dancing and eating-and-drinking and catching up with people I enjoy but don’t see as often as I’d like. Evenings when we cook and invite folks over (or go to their house) are a particular favorite.
Last week I was reminded of a “situation” that kind of went awry during one of these visits. Approximately 10 years ago, I was invited to a house shared by a group of couples. I didn’t know most of them, but two of my best girlfriends were there and I was looking forward to seeing them. I recall feeling like I didn’t have much in common with the other people in the house. They seemed nice enough but I didn’t feel any particular spark that made me curious about them or think that I wanted to know them better.
One of the husbands who was playing bartender offered me a drink. I asked for something that he either didn’t know how to make or didn’t have the ingredients for. So I asked for a second drink. Same response. So I said “Ok, surprise me then.”
And that’s where the story gets interesting (or stupid). A few years later, I hear that I had flirted with the married bartender and that my “Surprise me” comment was the evidence. (Sigh). I laughed at first because it was ridiculous. And then I got mad when I realized that the other women in the house believed that to be true and that it had been a topic of conversation.
I was pissed for three reasons:
1. I’m not that girl. I can be accused of lots of things but husbands are off-limits, and I respect that boundary. Besides, I’m not the least bit interested in a man who would cheat.
2. I don’t like being accused of something I didn’t do.
3. This is the most important one. I like guys who are independent, spontaneous, exciting, with edge. This guy was rather non-descript. So my self-image was wounded. (“Is that the kind of guy they see me with???”)
They couldn’t have been more wrong.
While they’re seeing this:
I’m feeling this:
This “situation” must have made quite an impression because here we are 10 years later and it was mentioned again, last week, while visiting friends. That “situation” is apparently imprinted in lots of people’s minds. Mine, too, but for a totally different reason.
I’m pretty sure that my being single was the primary (only) reason I was accused of flirting with this man. I know that many married women assume that a single woman (1) must be dying to get married and (2) will take whoever she can get, including her husband. Au contraire…