Great Gripe-Off: Single vs. Married
More Complaints from Marrieds
Many complain that being married means taking on more weighty matters at times. And an ill or depressed spouse just doesn't compute with some single friends, frustrating their married friends. "This past New Year's, a pal asked me what we did, and I said, 'Nothing, we had to stay home -- Matt had a bad stomach flu, and I had to take care of him,'" says Kelly, 31, in Voorhees, New Jersey. "And her response was, 'Well at least you had someone to stay home with.' Yes. Well. He did have the flu." Similarly, Belinda, in Maplewood, New Jersey, had to nurture her husband through a tough work situation. "Doug didn't get the promotion he was expecting, and it was just devastating," she says. "I had to cancel a night out, and you would have thought I was backing out of a car deal, it was such a scandal. Hello, we can have sushi anytime -- when my family needs me, I'm there first."
Not surprisingly, a lot of gripes from marrieds center around the lack of understanding they feel singles have for their obligations to children. For those who have kids, the lack of understanding from those who don't can be utterly frustrating. "I've got six kids, and single friends don't seem to comprehend that a babysitter -- or two, for this brood -- is expensive, and I don't have $12 to spend on a cocktail," says Barb, 35, in Cincinnati. "If I invite friends over for dinner, they don't understand that they can no longer be 'fashionably late,'" says Margie, 37, who has a 2-year-old in Cambridge, Massachusetts. "Arrive at eight, and I have to run upstairs to put the baby to bed. I feel like a crappy hostess."
And of course, there are broken promises. "I love these insincere offers to babysit," says Kelly, 29, in Tallahassee, Florida. "I understand if you can't make it last-minute, but pull out that calendar and make a date if you really mean it. Otherwise, stop offering."
One of the sweetest gripes comes from a guy -- Marty, 34, in Falls Church, Virginia. "There's this attitude that the wife has to be the old ball-and-chain. If I want to leave a night out and be with her, all I get is groans and teasing. It's a stupid attitude -- I wouldn't have married someone that I couldn't wait to come home to." Mike, in Kentucky, agrees: "Sorry, but belching guys with barbecue sauce on their fingers are no match for a glass of wine and a wife in a silky red teddy." (Sigh. Do these guys have brothers?)