While taking a cab to the airport yesterday, the cabbie asked me the most horrifying question:
"Why aren't you married?"
Good question, Mr. Overly-Inquisitive-Cab-Driver. I don't know... let's see... I'm too picky? Too ugly? Too fat? Bossy? How about, "I never really wanted to be married?"
There. There's a good answer. Oh no. Don't do it. Here it comes... the horrible look of pity from the curious cabbie.
Poor, poor alone me.
It seems like I've committed a crime against society. I just turned the dreaded 39, and I've never been married. What? How dare I not settle down? How dare I not want a man to take care of me?
It seems like it's better to have failed in a previous marriage then to have never walked down the aisle. At least then I wouldn't be a spinster. Yes. That's the box I had to check on my mortgage application in 2005 when I bought my home... by myself.
I'm not afraid of changing the oil in my lawn mower, trying to fix a leaky sink or tackling renovation projects. Yesterday, when I called a roofing contractor for a free estimate on squirrel removal from my attic (see? I DO have a family!), I was met with the same ole poor, pretty un-husbanded woman cabbie routine. I simply stated to the roof man that I want my wooden soffit boards removed and replaced with aluminum venting soffits that will hopefully create an impenetrable barrier for the squirrels.
He said, in monotone-contractor-speak, "Um, ma'am, I think it'll be easier if I just speak to your husband about the problem."
The problem? I bite my tongue. Um, yes. Hold on. I'd love to talk to him too! Now let's see... where did I put him???
I get this a lot. I'm lucky enough to have a crazy career in television, travel the world and meet interesting people, but I somehow always seem to disappoint.
"Oh, you're attractive, funny, play guitar, ride a motorcycle and produce television... then WHY aren't you married???"
To be honest -- and I want to be honest -- marriage just hasn't presented itself to me. A couple of guys in my past have tried to hint around at the subject, but I'm guessing I probably gave them a look of horror.
Don't get me wrong. I date. I love. I just don't have the ring right now to prove to you that I do. Maybe I will in the future? Who knows. So, what is wrong with me? Why am I not married?
I'm not like my girlfriends. I don't dream longingly of my wedding day. The dress. The gaggle of girls surrounding me. The gifts. The giggles. I guess my career and my independence get in the way. On the bright side, if I want to paint my walls purple, have too many beers on a Tuesday or quit my job... then dammit, I can do it. I don't have to convince anyone but myself.
But every now and then, it sure would be nice for someone to help me carry my luggage. Someone I wouldn't have to tip. Like right now.
While getting out of the taxi and shuffling around to the trunk, the cabbie happily declared, "Well, I hope you get married really soon, young lady!" I bit my bloody, swollen tongue again and asked him why.
"Then you can start having babies!"
Oh my! Really? I'm late for my life... er... um flight.
Kristin Graham is a television producer and former Oprah Winfrey Show producer who lies about her age whenever she wants to.