Great Gripe-Off: Single vs. Married
Who Has It Easier: Singles or Marrieds?
There's a bigger divide than girls against boys; it's the one between single folks and their married friends. For those who haven't walked down the aisle, it can feel like the state of holy matrimony has declared war on anything fun or spontaneous. On the other side of the fence, it seems like all you did was take the next logical developmental step, and now your old friends hate you. And never the twain shall meet?
"Sometimes it feels like my not being married makes me an alien," sighs Lisa, 28, in Toms River, New Jersey. "I don't mind being a third wheel at brunch. I'm not going to steal the married men if you invite me to a party. Just invite me, for heaven's sake."
And for marrieds, the single life can seem like the most self-indulgent state possible -- one that can evoke both envy and hostility. "Single people are just so... so... so well-rested," complains Elizabeth, 43, a mother of two in Los Angeles. "I'll tell you a secret: Sometimes, if I've got unmarried houseguests, I send in one of the kids to wake them up at an ungodly hour, and then pretend I knew nothing about it. Heh. Sweet dreams."
In some cases, a toxic cocktail of misunderstandings wrought by differing paths in life can mess up long-term friendships. "I've got an old, old buddy who just isn't into my 2-year-old," says Anna, 27, in San Francisco. "That was already a problem, and then she got in a huge fight with my husband and now hates him -- and hates me for not standing up for her. I still love her, but that's two big hurdles. We're losing touch, and soon we won't talk at all. I hate it, but it's a classic case of growing apart."
And we thought that breakin' up was hard to do.