Valentine’s Day means that all of the lovely people around me will be focused on romance. As a cashier and a single mother, this means that the volume of questions will increase. My regulars have gotten so close to me that they feel completely comfortable asking questions that many would consider rude.
“Are you married?” No.
“Do you have a boyfriend?” No.
“Do you want one?” Meh.
I had one gentleman come through my line with his adult daughter the other day. When he started tickling my taste buds by describing the meal he was preparing to cook his daughter loudly announced “My dad needs a new girlfriend so he can cook for her. Do you know anyone?”
I couldn’t help but laugh at the sheepish expression on the gentleman’s face. Either Daughter saw my lack of a wedding band or they were one of the many who have inquired about my relationship status over the months.
It has gotten to the point where I jokingly refer to some of my male customers as my harem. It’s hard not to think of them that way when so many like to sneak up and surprise me with friendly hugs! A shift does not go by where I don’t receive at least one.
I have been given phone numbers on everything imaginable. A few have included little declarations about just why I should call (and assuring me that they were serious).
While I never call the numbers, I keep every single one of those notes. When I stumble upon my little collection I smile.
The hardest part of being single is fielding one particular question: “Why?”
How do you tell someone that you’re content with your singleness when the whole world seems obsessed with romance? That you’ve not seriously looked for a relationship in years because you’re happy to go home to an empty house?
I usually just shrug and say “I don’t know.” It’s the truth, in a way. I honestly don’t know what to tell them.
While normally it doesn’t bug me, Valentine’s Day is the worst. Upon the day of romance I am usually looked upon by my beloved customers with well-meaning pity.
That’s okay. Their concern just tells me they care.
For now I need to get dressed, head to work, and deal with a stream of customers focused on love and relationships. My boss will doubtless have something silly for me to wear (she’s discovered that I’m the only one aside from her willing to dress up on holidays) while my customers invariably try to hook me up.
Oddly enough, I’m looking forward to it.
How do you handle being single in a coupled world? Please share your stories in the comments below.