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?