Tuesday, January 09, 2007

28 and Single (in case you were wondering)

Yesterday one of my clients pled guilty to a rule violation (it's when a probationer pleads guilty to just violating his probation rather than the new offense of breaking another law) and received a super good deal I'd worked out with the district attorney and probation officer. We've met a number of times, and I've talked with him and his girlfriend a lot. So after the hearing yesterday, his girlfriend says "Can I ask you a question now that it's all over?" I figured it was going to be some sticky legal question in whicy they essentially admitted guilt to another crime. Fortunately the question was much more innocous. "How old are you?" I always like to turn that question back around on people and make them guess. She guessed 22 or 23, making me wonder how nervous they must have felt with me being his court appointed attorney.

Speaking of age, I attended a different church this Sunday night and was informed of their singles group. Unfortunately it's for people 18-25; the pastor assured me I could pass for 25:) The church I've attended the most for the last year and a half or so also has a similarly aged singles group--18 to 20-something. And while I'm twenty-something (28 to be exact), I have very little in common with 18 year olds. Or 22 year olds for that matter.

And my single status isn't going otherwise unnoticed. My best friend left me an excited voicemail two weeks ago, asking me to call her. Turns out, she has the great idea of submitting me as a candidate for the next Bachelorette and needs some photos. And last week she called me about a guy she'd like to set me up with. He sounds like a Godly man and all of that good stuff, but get this: His ex-wife (who cheated on him) is married to my ex-brother-in-law (who isn't a very nice person either). And they have joint custody of children who are around my step-niece when she's at her father's house. Confused yet?

Work has been surprisingly silent as of late about my single status with the exception of the group discussion about it at the associates' dinner late this fall. We're enjoying our desserts when an attorney's wife asks me if I'm dating anyone. She then proceeds to ask me (as the others around us get quiet to listen) about the difficult of dating here, what qualities are important to me, and if I know this single attorney in town who might be a good match for me. Gosh, I'm glad that I'm not shy. Or sensitive about being unmarried. And in a way I appreciate the fact that people seem to care about me, and I guess that's the most obvious topic of discussion to some of my co-workers' spouses who only see me four or so times a year.

On NYE, Oz and I were questioned about our relationship, and we explained that we were just friends. So one of the girls asked me if I was dating anyone, and upon reflection, I realized that I've not been on a date since August or September. That is kind of a long time, although it's not unusual for me to take a break after a break-up and fully process things. The girl seemed shocked and basically asked me what was wrong with me; her drunk date (the former soldier) offered a suggestion or two. He then proceeded to tell us that he sent her to the emergency room on their third date (when they consummated their relationship). And for once, I knew to keep my mouth shut and didn't ask a single question.


Aaron said...

Of course we care about you! I even gave you a special mention on my blog today. But you already knew that. :)

s.j.s. said...

There are worse things than being single. Like, at least you are not in Iraq :)

Ella said...

The last thing you need is to be on the Bachelorette and have your entire love life documented.

And it's really only been about 3 months since you went on your last date. Nothing wrong with that.

Are there churches outside of your town, that have a 25-35 group?

Ally said...

Aaron: I don't doubt that people care about me. I just meant that perhaps I should just take these wives asking (every single time some of them see me) about my dating life as them caring about me instead of being annoyed. But thanks anyway!

s.j.s.: I agree. And didn't mean for this post to sound like I was upset about being single; you know better:)

ella: I agree with you, although another friend thinks I'm just perfect for the Bachelorette! Ha. You're right that it hasn't been all that long; I took a year off from dating once, and it was a very positive thing. The nearest place that has any more singles than Macon is Atlanta, so no not really. I guess in less metropolitan areas people just get married younger?

cdp said...

Dude, I so totally feel you on this one! Incidentally, I recently learned that my love life was the topic of a well-attended discussion at one of our pre-holiday office lunches (at which I was not present). Apparently a few people got wind of the McDreamy situation after eveyone around the office started discussing my blind date to the office Christmas party and no one seemed to understand why I hadn't fallen head over heels in love with him, so they all figured there must be someone else "serious" in my life. It just got better from there. Finally a very nice staff member spoke up on my behalf, explained that McDreamy is also a lawyer who practices here, knows a lot of people in my firm, and that maybe the reason I didn't go around discussing it is because I don't want our personal business to be public knowledge.

I get the well-meaning questions as well. Of course, I also get the not-so-friendly vibe from some of our partners' wives. Being young and single in a firm full of married people has its downsides, doesn't it?

PS, three months isn't that long! (I went a year and a half without having a "date night", a pleasant conversation, or any sort of intimacy (physical or otherwise) with The Ex.) You're smart to take awhile to process the last break-up. Being single is a choice - trust me, we all know that you could have a boyfriend if it's what you wanted. There's no point in lowering your standards or manufacturing interest in some random person just so you can be in a relationship. It takes a much stronger person to be happy, and whole, on your own.

Okay I am really rambling today. Sorry!

Accidentally Me said...

I feel like you would be asking for trouble if you lied about your age to get into a church group...there is just something wrong with that.

This is, I think, sort of a cultural thing. In the South and Midwest, for example, people get married really young, and women who reach their late 20's unhitched are seen as "old maids"...at least by some people. On the coasts, though, it is really abnormal for people to get married before, say 25...and it is really common to see 33-36 year olds getting married for the first time.

I think it is also much more comfortable for women to be single, especially professional ones. So...long and short, I guess, is that you can move here if you start to get overly irritated by people there!!!

Mr. Guinness said...

You make me chuckle. As I've been trying to convince folks of for the past 62 years of my existence (ok, call it 58, assuming I never learned to argue until I was four);
"There is no life guard on the gene pool! Be VERY careful!

Ally said...

Mr. Guinness: Welcome! I love the quote "There is no life guard on the gene pool." Excellent!

AM: That's not a bad suggestion:) And I definitely share your thought about LYING about my age to join a church group. Plus I'd feel like a babysitter!

Cindy: Thank you for the long comment and for sharing your experience. I'm sure you know exactly what I'm talking about given our similarities. You make so grateful that our staff only has a caring interest in my love life. Thank goodness there was one staff member who had the sense to put an end to the speculation. As for being the only single attorney at my firm, I do see a downside. Mainly that they don't think I'm "invested" or "settled" here. Oh well.

Anonymous said...

I agree--no TV shows for a date!!

I'm 28 too! (November)

She had to go to the ER on their third date? OMG!

There is nothing wrong with no dates and no boyfriends!!

Croaker said...

Going on a lot of dates doesn't mean you are getting anywhere in finding a relationship. Take your time and do what feels right to you.

Right now I enjoy going out with all my friends and I don't even bother looking for a date.

GreenLineBoy said...

Funny singles group story. Singles can mean so many different things. I lead a single mens group at my church and we range from 23 to 33. Last year, we brought the group to a singles retreat in NH with a bunch of other churches. We quickly learned that single to them meant 45 and divorced. They should have been clearer in their brochure.

Ally said...

GLB: I've found these single events sometimes includes divorced and very very bitter (to the point I know you're bitter and just met you).

Croaker: I agree. I'd rather not go on another date until it's the right person. Sounds like you're in a good place.

FC&F: I try not to think about why she had to go to the ER....I'm sure those doctors have seen it all though!

brookem said...

I'm a little late on replying but wanted to say I totally empathize with how you feel.

bethyanne212 said...

Well I guess it is a good thing that I am not the only one in the present state of being 28 (almost 29) and single. As many others have mentioned there are much worse things to be. I have done the dating thing this past year and honestly don't know how anyone survives it. I think I went for an entire month and never paid for my own dinner as many co workers would tell the story. I was not really that bad. Best of luck in your searches.

Anonymous said...

this is odd. I am 28, too. And I am a lawyer too. I don´t want to get married...life is so interesting...I can´t explain. There is so many great things rather than get married and have kids...I really don´t understand. Why people want to get married? And for the record...I have some guys that are really interested on me...But I am not interested in all that staff!