A bold question if ever there was one.
You would be surprised how very many times I have been asked this. I believed and assumed (until writing this) that the question was born from a person's deep courage that (unfortunately) overflowed into words. But since finishing writing this post (on paper), I have circled back and concluded that maybe it isn't a surplus of courage but a deficit of tact.
Whatever attribute that is present or absent when asking something so personal, my response is fairly standard. I reel.
I can't manage to say, "Oh that's private" or "How dare you." Instead, I typically am so taken aback and startled that I generally give an honest, though halting, answer, not because my audience deserves to know, but because the only thing that comes to the surface is the truth.
But, if I weren't taken aback this is the sort of real-life moment I could relate as my answer.
Because I am a grown woman who leaves work after a hard day to go buy a chocolate chip cookie and coffee. But I can't simply buy a cookie and coffee. Life makes it much more complex than a simple money for goods transaction.
While in line, a person managed to sidle up behind me in my blind spot and stand questionably close- so close that his musky cologne wafted over alerting me. The scent said "There is a man nearby," so I can only assume the cologne was doing it's job announcing an aura of male-ness.
As I stepped up in line to order a chocolate chip cookie, I caught sight of him in the corner of my eye and it caused me to jump a little. (He was in fact standing that close. Had he been a ninja, I would be dead.)
And this is how I recovered after jumping.
Me: Oh! I'm sorry.
I looked at the man and noticed he is very attractive. This observation typically ends all chances of a coherent conversation.
Me: I smelled you before I saw you there.
Let that sentence that I really said out-loud hover in the air and
A feeling of horror passed over my body. Yes, I said what I heard myself say.
Him: (weak smile) Ah ha.
I stepped forward and started to order.
Me to the barista: I'd like a chocolate chip cookie.
I noticed now that the barista is also attractive and realized how juvenile I sounded at this very moment in time.
Me turning to the smelly man: But that's a good thing. I mean, it's a good smell.
Me turning to the barista: And I'd like a cup of coffee
Barista: What size would you like? 12 oz.... 14 oz?
Me: Of cookie?
Me: Oh. I'd like a 12 oz coffee and a 16 oz cookie (joking).
I apologized to the man behind me a second or third time.
I gave the barista another "help me" and "did that really happen?" look.
Barista said telepathically: Yes, that really did happen. Walk away now.
I and slink away to find a seat.
Yes world, I say whatever comes to mind instead of mindfully flirting.
I eat cookies after work and lick the chocolate from my fingers in public.
I attempt to be complimentary but instead tell men they smell and forget to tack on the oh-so-important word "good" until it is essentially too late.
You may find that adorable. That's fine. It is a true representation of my daily life. I can say my personality and ability to stumble over words when ruffled gives me plenty of reasons to laugh. It's good that I am able to laugh at myself while keeping my dignity.
But if you are asking me why I am still single, then that, the above story, is now "The Answer."
I'm going to rehearse it so it comes out smoothly.
Thank you so much for taking such a keen interest in my life, but really, stop asking.
The people who need to know why, know already. And if you have to ask instead of me telling you voluntarily, then you aren't on my emotional life VIP list.