Odd Phenomenon


Over the past year, I’ve noticed an interesting phenomenon in my life as a single woman. First, there’s the disbelief that you would leave a man if you didn’t already have another man, followed by the expectation that, in the extraordinary case that this should be true, after all, that you aren’t forthwith set upon acquiring one. This is followed by a lull in which people temporarily lose interest in your affairs because they can’t figure out what you’re up to, then a return of the tide with the assumption that you must surely have a man by now and are keeping it a secret.

These kinds of comments randomly come upon me from friends, family, and strangers alike.

I mentioned it to Morgan recently. After she got done laughing, she said, “You’re already married–TO THE FARM!”

Now there’s somebody who knows me!

Just a few of my current lovers:

(All of the above photos were taken by Jerry Waters, who is just a friend.)

One of the oddities amidst this oddity is–where would I meet a man anyway?

I’m never sure whether to be amused or offended by remarks of this nature. Perhaps the oddest part of this odd phenomenon is that a lot of this comes from women. A bit from men, but more from women. I actually spend more time around men than I do with women, mostly because that’s just part of farm life–I’m either “out there” due to some farm-type activity, or wrangling them over here for some farm-type activity. (Which is the only way men get here–I haven’t found them to be naturally occurring in the woods on my farm, except perhaps during hunting season.) I’m the one out there asking for help or advice or purchasing the hay or the equipment, the feed, whatever. I spend time with hired men, neighbor men, farmer men, and other men with whom I share common outdoor interests. And while in the beginning, I did receive a lot of comments from men along the lines of, “Isn’t there a man on the place?” or “You need a man on the place,” that quickly transformed to acceptance that there wasn’t, while it seems (some) women are still looking around the side of the barn to see where he’s hiding–or questioning which one of the hired men, neighbor men, farmer men, or men friends I’m having an affair with.

(I don’t mean to paint every woman with the same brush. I’m just speaking from my individual experience. I do still get some comments from men that are similar.)

I think the saying is true that you have to be happy with yourself before you can be happy with someone else, which then begs the question: Once you’ve achieved the sublime state of being happy with yourself, what do you need a man for anyway? (Ha.) One thing I’ve found about men, in my personal experience, is that they want a lot of attention. One thing I’ve learned about myself is that I’m not going to give it to them. (At least, not adequately. I have too many other interests, and I love my work. Refer back to Morgan’s comment above.) It’s a one plus one equation that equals disaster. (It’s good to figure these things out about yourself! And it’s a public statement that should have a likely negative impact on my chances of ever being involved with a man again.)

That, combined with the fact that I now come with the warning label, She might write a book and put you in it, should pretty well settle it, don’t you think?

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on November 23, 2012  

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34 Responses | RSS feed for comments on this post

  1. 11-23

    Morgan is right. And the book threat should scare the rest off!

  2. 11-23

    I have decided that men no longer fit into my lifestyle. Stopped looking….the whole 9 yards. It’s much easier and you only have to ask yourself what you want to do. :snoopy:

  3. 11-23

    ROFLMBO! :shimmy: Great post! :shimmy:

  4. 11-23

    You are a smart woman. Thanks for your writings.

  5. 11-23

    Nah, there’s probably guys out there who’d be just fine with it, (all of it, their not needing the time, attention and ok with the blog thing) but they’re hard to get together with because they’re just as happy with themselves as you are happy with yourself so their busy with their own lives too. You’ll either meet him or not, but things are just fine for you either way so it’s a total win win situation. I’m pretty much right there with you attitude wise, so I get it. I chuckled out loud at the comment about being offended or amused. I choose amused because smiling is lots better than frowning.

  6. 11-23

    :happyfeet: :happyfeet: congratulations on reaching the moment in life when you realize what you have in your life at this moment is blessings enough. You may occassionally need a man around to do jobs that are physically too hard but you don’t need a man around to validate your worth or make you happy. It is easy to see from your writings that you are happy with your life and that is all that matters. Please continue being such a great example for Morgan and other young women.

  7. 11-23

    Doesn’t it make you feel lighter to know yourself so well? I figured this out about myself a few years back, and you expressed it so well in this post!
    BuckeyeGirl, you are so correct!

  8. 11-23

    While I am happily married, I still appreciate the fact that some prefer not to be attached. It DOES require a lot of time, effort and attention to be with someone. If I find myself alone in the future, I don’t see myself looking :bugeyed: for someone else. I’ll just spend the rest of my time being completely selfish. You know, I’ll turn back into a…teenager!! :yes:

  9. 11-23

    PS – today it’s “happily”…but it weren’t always so.

  10. 11-23

    Hmm, I don’t know, I’m still holding out hope that you hook up with the ‘very good-looking’ man that gave you his T-post;)

  11. 11-23


    I have a similar problem about not talking to my family. People think I need to forgive them or I’m angry or (something). I’m not. I’m just MUCH happier without them in my life.

    Frequently, when I tell people that, it will shut them up, because then their objections start with something that means they don’t care if I’m happy, and the misguided advice is supposed to make me happy, and . . . Anyway, the conundrum frequently stops them cold!

    Thank you for the smile this a.m. as usual. :lol:

  12. 11-23

    Suzanne, I could not agree more with your sentiments vis-a-vis men! They take a lot of time and effort, often with minimal return. I have only one caution: a woman who keeps looking around to see where you’ve hidden ‘the man in your life’ may begin to think that you’re secretly prowling after her man. Sad, really, but it happens.

  13. 11-23

    I agree that you need to like yourself first which is hard for some of us to do. And no man is definitely better than one that makes you unhappy. But (there’s always a but lol), you already have your children. My daughter’s marriage only lasted a couple of years and she’s stayed in counseling and is okay with everything except not having kids so I know she feels this pressure. She can’t afford to have them on her own so it is a dilemma.

  14. 11-23

    What Bonita said! I think a lot of people can feel threatened by a frankly single person (of either gender). I was in the same boat, and I finally made up an invisible boyfriend who “lives overseas” when pressed. It makes the nervous people I sometimes work with happy, as once one is categorized one isn’t as threatening I suppose.

    And sometimes I just ignore them, but that isn’t always wise I guess.

    Congratulations on your one year on Sassafras Farm! My, that went by quickly!

  15. 11-23

    Reminds me of a tee shirt I used to have. It had a drawing of a fish trying to balance on a bicycle and underneath is said,

    A Woman Needs a Man….
    Like a Fish Needs a Bicycle

  16. 11-23

    Boy did I laugh at the image of the fish and the bicycle comment, and it’s true. I’m of the age that as spouses pass away, I see a real difference in men and women. Women seldom remarry, going on with their lives, though missing their spouses, they manage just fine. Men, on the other hand, can not seem to remarry FAST enough. I mean, it’s like they have a jet pack strapped to their butt looking for someone to take care of them. They don’t seem to want to do their own laundry, fix their on meals, pay the bills, or entertain themselves. Women on the other hand are eager to do those things for themselves. I have been married for nearly 40 years to a good man, I could not have chosen anyone better. But I have days, especially since retirement, that I feel marriage is an advantage for men, not women. Wifes spend a ton of time taking care of men, and very little time taking care of themselves. This is especially true if you live a farm life. You don’t get to 40 years without an incredible amount of compromise. Somedays compromise feels like gradual disappearance of one’s self. I applaud (with a standing ovation) Suzanne’s independence, her happiness with her life, her willingness to take responsibility for all of that. Hooray for Suzanne, you go girl!

  17. 11-23

    You are so funny, Suzanne! I’ve always heard it “don’t leave a JOB unless you already have another one”! And a man can certainly be a woman’s “job”!

    You seem to be doing so much just by your self! Good for you! :sun:

  18. 11-23

    LOL, I really enjoyed this post. I find so many women are afraid to take on certain things that would have been otherwise considered a man’s job. They probably can’t imagine how you can run that farm by yourself. Amazing what you can find yourself capable of when you just get after it. Good for you!

  19. 11-23

    I think people don’t think/talk/notice us & what we’re doing as much we think they do. Yes, we get a few comments but the vast majority really don’t think about other people – we’re all too worried about ourselves & what others think of us. :o)

    Here’s a true story to illustrate this.
    My son wore hats from birth until he was about 12 yrs old – everywhere he went. He was never seen without a hat pulled down over his eyes or cockeyed on his head. He did get a few comments (mainly from old ladies who thought he was rude for wearing them). When he was 12 he just quit, didn’t say anything to anyone. I noticed a few weeks after he quit when we weren’t searching the house for his hat every time we went out the door. NOT ONE OTHER PERSON ever noticed. Not even his dad. I asked him why he quit & he said he wanted to see if anyone would notice.

    We volunteered together at a food bank & so we asked his favorite co-worker (basically his adopted grandmother) if she noticed anything different about him. She couldn’t figure it out, we had to tell her. After we laughed a little over it a little she gave him some very good advice. She said, ‘Now see, we spend so much time worrying over what other people think & really they never even notice most of the time.’

    And it’s true. No one noticed the change until he pointed it out to them himself, except his mother!

  20. 11-23

    I’m so glad you found your “center” and are enjoying life. Our go-around on this planet is too short.

  21. 11-23

    There’s an old saying that goes, “It takes a hell of a man, to replace no man.” I kind of like that saying.

  22. 11-23

    (All of the above photos were taken by Jerry Waters, who is just a friend.)

    Keep telling everyone that. :lol:

  23. 11-23

    Some things are better not said.
    I must protect the privacy and live with myself and I want to be fit for myself to know!!!!!!

  24. 11-23

    Ha,Sheila Z I had that T-shirt too! I agree with Kathy about husbands, I have been married 46+ years to a good man, but I wouldn’t go lookin’ to do it again. I saw a funny t-shirt today that says:
    “I Dream of a Better World Where Chickens Can Cross the Road Without Having Their Motives Questioned.”
    Ill send you the link Suzanne, just in case you want one for Christmas!

  25. 11-24

    I agree men do take a lot of work. I think there is nothing wrong with you not being attached to anyone. I’m not sure why people feel the need to have to think everyone has to be with someone. It does not always work out. But if you are happy with yourself and you are doing what you love. It is possible that one day someone can come into your life who will just fit in it like he is suppose to be there. Its kind of like winning the lottery it could happen one day when you least expect it. lol. But until then you are one busy woman who has a lot of people men and woman in your life. I think you are happy where you are in life and that its enough for you. Do not ever be sorry for not being out there looking for the next spouse or live in. You never have to explain to anyone including us why you do not have a man in your life. Its your business and your choice. Morgan is right you are married to your farm. :) So enjoy every moment of it.

  26. 11-24

    I like the way Diane put it: don’t ever be sorry for living your life your way! I think it bothers some women when other women make different choices because it forces them to look at their OWN choices. I used to get that a lot about not having kids; people, mostly women, just couldn’t believe that I didn’t want kids, and they told me I was going to get the “baby craving” any day (as if they knew me better than I know myself). Well, I’m 48 now and I haven’t had that baby craving yet! Live your life the way you want to and don’t let anybody tell you it’s not okay.

  27. 11-24

    Yeah, and Amen! This is NOT about being anti-male and, for heaven’s sake, not about being anti-marriage. This is about finding oneself, being content with oneself, and taking care of oneself. I was a child bride of 18 years old and remained married 37 years happily until husand took off with a 29-year-0ld. I have learned very well to stand on my own. I am not opposed to relationsh9p…not hunting one…but I will NEVER have the dependence I once had on another person. I am the better for it. C.

  28. 11-24

    Tsk Tsk! It is the drive for people to search for and desire mates that keeps the romanace book industry alive. You of all people should know that! We all want others to be like us that way we know what do is okay. So if I am married, I want you to want to be married to – it validates me. I am comfortable enough with myself and my choices that I am also happy for what ever choices you make.

  29. 11-25

    Haha! You are right, men sure do need a lot of attention. Good for you for putting yourself first :yes:

  30. 11-26

    I don’t think everyone is suited for a relationship, for one reason or the other. People watch too much TV/movies and subscribe to pop culture that says that being desirable is a big part of being successful. I often pine to think of how the world might be a better place without television.

    I’m sorry your relationships didn’t work out. They can be very fulfilling. I feel lucky to have a wonderful relationship with my husband, who is very helpful and loving and supportive of me.

    Still, you have your children, and I’m sure they will bring you a lifetime of happiness. It had a good outcome!

  31. 11-26

    You’ve been good enough to share with us your voyage of self-discovery this past year, as you’ve found strength, abilities, and self-reliance in yourself that you wouldn’t have if you’d been in a relationship. It has been like watching you blossom.

    It seems to me that the best relationships are between two people who don’t need each other, who are each complete within themselves, and who are together simply because they like it that way. Those relationships seem to happen to people who aren’t looking for a mate, because they are content with themselves.

    You’ve learned some lessons from being in relationships. Now is your season to learn lessons from being with yourself. Some people never have that, and some people feel uneasy at the thought. I think that enjoying your own company is a great gift.

  32. 11-28

    Hey Suzanne,
    Loved this post. Nice to hear that you are content with your life and your relationship choices. What I’ve seen is that the moment you’ve become comfortable with yourself is the moment someone just crosses your path that is also comfortable with himself and is just as likely not looking for anyone either…remember, the best combination is two happily single people that meet up and become a happy pair.

  33. 11-29

    I understand what you are saying, in other words, been there and done that! Yes women do seem to have the most to say about it, and it hurts the most when you thought they were your friends. Live and learn. You are right again when you said that you needed to be happy with YOU first, how can you understand how to be happy with someone else until you learn to be happy with you? The residue left from a past relationship may need to heal, or simply evaporate.
    When and if, you are ready, something will happen and you will probably not be looking for it when it happens! If you are never ready because you are so happy with your very full and active life, that is okay too!!! It does not matter what others think. Have enjoyed watching you grow!! Love your warning label too!!! I hope that everyone who reads your post thinks before they speak of anyone, it is easy to make a judgement when you are on the outside looking in.

  34. 3-15

    The Bible clearly states that the woman was made for the man, and not that the man was made for the woman (1 Cor. 11:9); I would like to encourage us to ponder that very carefully. Romantic involvement aside, men can be very useful to have around, as Suzanne has come to realize, so let’s not throw them out of our lives entirely. I don’t like male-bashers since I have boys, and I have a wonderful husband. I truly know I’m blessed. If he were to pass, then I wouldn’t get remarried. I would be too busy with other pursuits, and besides, no one would be able to surpass him, so why bother? Anyway, it is very true that you can’t love someone else if you don’t love yourself. I’m glad you are have come into your own Suzanne. When you are “desperate” for a man, the wrong one always seems to be available. That is my experience. I’m amused and find it kind of ironic that women are shocked about other women picking on them for not having a man when a lot of women are taught this behavior through stories that flood bookshelves from a certain industry that encourages the “I need a man” mentality. Just sayin’.

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