I found this in my drafts folder. I apologize if it’s already been posted.
Far be it from me to believe that I’m perfect, or that every single single person out there is perfect yet unappreciated, like an artist before his era. Hey, we’re only human.
But the world abounds with people who look at us and immediately realize what the problem is. The range can be from “you’re too picky” to “your table manners stink,” but in every case the speaker is dismayingly certain. My favorite is when people presume to know how I behave on dates. (“You need to talk more,” “you need to ask more questions,” “you need to be yourself,” “you need to restrain your humor until he knows you better,” and so on.)
But sometimes the criticism is leveled at something personal or lifestyle-related. And that’s where it gets disturbing. I don’t mind criticism on my character, because it can always use input. But don’t you dare try to take my hobbies from me in the name of marriage!
That’s why I find this list by the Curious Jew disturbing. Let’s just take an example:
“You’re too well read.”
So, in theory, if she gave up reading, she would be married?
And what would she do then? Could she start reading again, or would that lead to divorce?
For that matter, if she very much enjoys reading, are you seriously telling her to abandon a great joy of her existence based on the theory that marriage will replace it?
If you take any item on the list and reverse it, it’s almost an immediate reductio ad absurdum argument.
“You need to smile more.”
“So you’re saying I could have married any of the guys I dated if I’d have smiled at them more?”
“Well no but what I mean is that…”
Yes, do tell.
(Then there are the alte newlyweds who suddenly perceive why it took them so long to get married. “I didn’t really want to get married.” “So you could have been happily married already to one of the guys you previously went out with? Yes? So where does your current husband fall in the spectrum of men you could have married: is he near the top or the bottom?”)
Look folks, I have no objection to hearing theories on why I’m not married yet. But first say them aloud to yourself and try to phrase it so that you don’t sound so silly.