Over my 4-day Thanksgiving break celebrated at my parent’s place in New Jersey, I witnessed many reminders of the circle of life. While I was away, my friend gave birth to a bouncing baby boy (congrats!) and sadly, my parents’ friend died after a 6-month battle with cancer. And, as I sat at the Thanksgiving table, my father gave thanks for his health while I gave thanks to the number of job interviews I’ve been landing over the last few weeks. That, too, reminded me of evolution: Dad worries about being in good health while I worry about where my next job will take me.
But, even before Thanksgiving, I had a stark reminder of what stage in life I am in, or should I say, supposed to be in. My dear friends throw a “Pre-Thanksgiving” Party every year with turkey, stuffing, and the whole 9 yards. It’s always a tradition I look forward to each year. When they began hosting it about 10 years ago, it was just a small group of us having dinner in their living room. Now, they rent out a hall and host 100 people! Why has it grown so much? Well, besides being social people, my friends’ families have grown. They are all married with one, two, sometimes three children. Talk about watching the circle of life before my very eyes!
And then there’s me. The single friend. I refer to myself as the “oddball” at these type of affairs. I get a lot of questions including, “Do you have children?” or “Do you have a husband?” I always respond “no” and get the look.
You know that look.
It’s one mixed with surprise, sadness, and pity.
Occasionally, people offer to set me up – and I always gladly accept the offer – but no one ever comes through. They’re too busy driving their kids to soccer practice and swimming lessons.
But where do you fit into that circle when you are married with kids? Somehow, I find my way. And I’m doing ok in the process, even if I am the oddball!