They say, that if you really want to know something, you should look within. I disagree. I figure, if everyone is as good as lying-to-themselves as I am, there's really no point to it. This was perhaps the crux of our last long conversation, J & I. The conversation, as all conversations between single-women-of-a-certain-age was about many things but it all boiled down to an analysis of what-are-we-doing-wrong, why-are-we-still-single? Now, J is a little older than I am (yes, I can hear her wince as she reads this) but the fact is both of us are now officially on the wrong side of twenty-five. We've both returned to assorted motherlands complete with mothers who feel that its their moral obligation to convince, connive, 'con' us towards marital bliss. And we both wonder how ironic it is that for the first time in so-many-years our wants are somewhat synchronized with our mothers, but the raw material is all wrong. But it can't just be 'kismet' says J, not-as-good-looking, incredibly-boring, and somewhat-stupid women all around us are happily settled into the role of wife and mother, and yet here we are a very 'good' package sitting around on the shelf waiting for Mr. Right while idly toying with Mr. Wrong. Why-us, she asks. Well, I say. Given that introspection is pointless - remember opinion about lying-self - let us engage in active extrospection instead. I, I decide, will examine why 'J' is still un-wed, and she will do the same for me.
And many-days later, after constantly reminding each other, I present my version of:
Top 10 Reasons why 'J' is still single:
1. No-Time-No-Time: Looking for a relationship, my loves, is not easy. It requires miles of time-consuming effort on every woman's part. You need to get out, and socialize. See and be-seen. You cannot be buried in miles of paperwork and tons of legalese and expect Mr. Right to crawl out from under your desk with a big smile and chocolate-chip-cookie. Because Mr. Right doesn't do that sort of thing. Mr. Right demands that you drop-whatever-it-is-you're-doing (even if you're concocting the ultimate scheme to save the world from the exigencies of Lord V) and chase after him. And 'J' has not taken out the time to do that.
2. Silly-Expectations-of-Mr-Right: Somehow, you have always expected that Mr. Right will be, well, 'right'. Silly girl. You should have known all along that chances were that any of the jerks you turned down in the not-so-recent past were 'right' all along. The truth is that instead of looking for Mr. Right, you should have concentrated on turning yourself into Ms. Right. Remember Mr. Finance, J? Well chances are he wasn't a crazy commitment phobic jerk, the truth is you might have been crazy-clingy-chick. So what if he called you once a week, and you guys met up whenever your busy schedules allowed? The truth is, what he really needed was yet-more-space. That is why he decided to abandon you for a girl he-had-never-met, in-another-country. The issue was never with him, it was with you.
3. An-Unreasonable-Attraction-to-Mr-Wrong: List down all the men who have hovered in and around the background of your life beginning with the Lawyer-Wannabe-Actor and ending with Mr. Finance (or maybe Insecure-Rishta-Boy, if you want to give him that distinction). Has any of them been worth the time and effort you invested in them? Think also about yesterday's (or was it today's) Sleazy-Married man. If you're not careful, he could be the 'n-th' Mr. Wrong. Remember this, and stay-far-far-away.
4. Obsession-with-Your-Career: Your mom has probably told you this already, but you're far too obsessed with being successful. Why are you not - like other good girls out there - spending your days and nights picking out the perfect shade of nailpolish to wear with the perfect clothes to the perfect party on the perfect night where Mr. Perfect will propose? There are many ways to skin a cat my love (why-oh-why-would-anyone-want-to-skin-a-cat-I-ask) and if you want to make money, marry a rich man.
5. Remember-that-Tragic-Past: You say that childhood traumas have made you, insecure, difficult to please and generally not-an-easy person-to-get-to-know. I don't disagree with that, but I think you need to look out the window and see the million-and-one annoying women we know who are all of that (and more) sans childhood trauma. That being the case, stop worrying about it and concentrate on impressing Mr. Right with your wit, charm and intelligence. Or failing that bash him on the head, take him to nearest cave and send a secret note to the nearest moulvi. Remember the cat, J, remember the cat.
6. Not-as-pretty-as-my-sister-syndrome: I suppose it sucks having a pretty sister (not that I would know, thankfully my brother is not-in-the-least-bit-pretty) but I don't suppose anything I say can convince you that you're actually much prettier than she is (even though the truth is you are). Or failing that impress you with the trite homily about beauty-and-the-beholder. So, since you're clearly not going to listen to truth, here's some advice straight from the therapists couch: buy some good make-up, move on!
7. Little-Ms-Virtuous-Image: Now I know you as well as anyone else out there does (possibly better) and I know that this image does not fit. At all. Unfortunately, most people out there see what you're at pains to project. Although I do not, under any circumstances expect you to join the slut-parade, a little bit of loosening up would prevent men from staring at you with awestruck eyes and scurrying away shell-shocked when you do deign to flirt with them.
8. Stop-Intimidating-the-Target-Audience: Let's face it. They're never going to be as smart as you. Making them realize it is not the way to go. Pander to their little egos. You know, the obligatory, 'Yes Darling's along with *pat* on the head goes a long way with the male of the species. Do not stare them down, argue with them, remind them that-they-were-dropped-on-their-heads-when-they-were-very-young.
9. Jenny-Whines: A lot! :P
10. You're-too-Good-for-Them: You may now disregard every one of the above. The only one reason that you're still single is because you were far-far too good to throw yourself away of any of the idiots you have had the misfortune to come across thus far. Chances are, the right guy is right around the corner. Chances are he's around somebody else's corner right now and he needs a good kick-in-the-ass to get him to come your way. Whatever it is, it really doesn't matter. The reason you're still single is because YOU want to be. And because you have still not found any one who tempts you into sharing any of that wonderful-ness with someone else. I say screw it, stop obsessing about Mr. Right and focus on Mr. Right-Now instead! ;)