The day before yesterday was National Old Maids’ Day. (Who on earth thinks up these “holidays”?) Learning that it was my special day reminded me of an odd recent experience. A man I didn’t know wanted to friend me on Facebook. I sent him a message asking how we knew each other. He replied that he didn’t know me personally but that he had found me on Facebook and was interested in making friends.
He added that he was actually looking for someone to marry, explaining that he was a widower in the army with two small children.
I am always a little suspicious of men who “find” me on Facebook. I have heard stories about individuals who who say online that they are in search of romance but whose real motives are to worm their way into the confidence and finances of the women they befriend.
This man looked more genuine than most. His timeline featured photos of him with the children, and he sounded nice. (Of course, he would, if he were in the confidence game.)
On the other hand, despite saying that he “liked” me, he obviously hadn’t done a lot of research about me. He asked what I did for a living and whether I had any children; that information isn’t hard to find on my Facebook profile and/or website.
So I compromised. I told him that I wasn’t really interested in getting married, particularly not within the next few months. I agreed to be his Facebook friend, however. Perhaps, I suggested, as I got to know him a little I could find a him a suitable girlfriend.
I didn’t hear back from him, which didn’t bother me—until an odd question occurred to me.
What if this guy was on the level and represented my last chance to get married and have children (albeit stepchildren)?
When I was younger assumed that I would marry and have children someday. It’s fairly certain now—although of course nothing in the world is absolutely certain—that I won’t.
In general, I’m happy with my old-maid existence. I have friends and family whom I love and who love me. I work hard but love my work. I don’t have any romance per se in my life, but, frankly. it has been so long since I was in a romantic relationship that I don’t miss it all that much.
Every once in a while I think it would be nice to have someone to grow old with—or even someone a little taller than I (that category includes most of the adults in the world) to reach things on high shelves in the house.
I’m hardly ever lonely, however. And since I wasn’t really fabulous at the give and take of romance when I was young it’s hard to believe that I would be much better now. I certainly can’t imagine getting involved with a total stranger. My best relationships always started out as friendships.
Still … it’s odd to realize that I will always be an old maid without ever having chosen to be one.
I recognize that I am over the hill. I just don’t remember climbing up.