Saturday, January 07, 2006

Gloating Married People

I know I usually don't write more than one post in one day, but this one was getting to me, and I had discussed it recently with girls who agreed.

My friends and I recently got together with some married friends of ours. You know, a few months into the marriage, when their husbands have something else to do, and suddenly the girls realize that there are other people out there. No! I am NOT bitter--but it's dumb when they make themselves sound like they are doing us the biggest favor, "My husband is out tonight, so I figured it would nice to call YOU to get together. See? I'm not like those other girls, I actually call you. [I could really be doing something else...]" Thank you, you're welcome, don't do me any favors. Suddenly they're Lindsay Lohan because they got married. "Oooh, I got a phone call from Lindsay Lohan!" That's exciting --only to the people who actually like her.

So we're in the car. The two of them are in the back seat, and suddenly are roaring with laughter. "What's so funny?" I asked. "Oh, nothing, just married people stuff," one answered with what I call an 'a**hole' smile. It was that moment that I was SO ready to strangle that one. It's different when your older siblings do it, who are 25 and whatever. But these are your buddies, who sat through high school with you, who are simply throwing it in your face, "I managed to get married during the 'Shidduch Crisis', and you did not!"

These are the girls who constantly refer to their husbands as, "my husband," and nothing else--so just in case you forgot that "Moishy" is her husband, you should remember. Remember that she has a husband, and you don't.

I know my readers, "Oh, you're so jealous..." No. Wrong. I have another married friend. We go out for pizza sometimes, she brings her baby, and often tells me about her in-laws. But there is NO GLOAT. There was never a time where I felt like yelling at her. There was never a time, and my friends can back me up on both situations, that this girl threw her marriage into anyone's face.

Thinking about it, I realize it's totally a maturity thing. The second girl takes marriage as a fact of life. She understood before she got married that it isn't all a show. It's not about the big party and wearing a white dress. She was SO not into her wedding prep. She understood that this about a marriage. It's a relationship that contains an inner structure of hard work, challenges, compromise, giving a lot of yourself, loving this other person, and all the other things about marriage that I believe the first girl seems oblivious to.

She seems to believe that marriage is all about the image, the aesthtics. She gets to wear a sheitel, so everyone knows she's married. She's wearing a ring, so everyone knows she's married. She has arm candy so everyone knows she's married. She should be friends with the kid who's waiting for her baby so she can walk down 13th aveneue wheeling a stroller, and it won't be "boring."


At 1/07/2006 5:09 PM, Blogger Semgirl said...

I am in a major rush will say more later..just wanted to totally agree with you about this. Like you can be in a playground, and there is a girl two years younger then 2 with a stroller and a snood, and she is the adult and you are you still the lil girl, even though you can be like a thousand times more experienced with toddlers then she is..

At 1/07/2006 6:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

At least they're not saying, "My husband is a putz...."

At 1/07/2006 7:05 PM, Anonymous Nathan Jacobs said...

I've seen those a**hole smiles before. But seriously, a couple of points:

(a) Have you ever discussed this with them before? I know it sounds weird, but did you ever say, "Look, this is how I feel when you do this, etc." Maybe they don't realize how they are coming across, and that it bothers you.

(b) Sometimes, they feel like their single friends aren't into them. In other words, they have a husband, kids, yet whenever you all get together, the singles are talking about their dates, and to them, it's boring! They're past that! You see, in high school, you had a lot to talk about because you were in the same boat, same teachers, same other kids, so there was always what to discuss. Now you're at different stages. So you have to reevaluate the friendships and ask, was our friendship based on common interests/personalities, or was it merely based on being in the same place at the same time?

Think about it.

At 1/07/2006 9:04 PM, Blogger Jewboy said...

Brilliant post. This indeed can be a problem. Personally, I try to avoid talking a lot about being married to unmarried friends and about my child to childless people. If they bring it up, fine, but it's nice to try to be sensitive. Nathan does make a good point that it might be a good thing to speak to them about it, because they may not realize they are being offensive.

At 1/07/2006 10:07 PM, Blogger Elisheva said...

Totally grat post! And well put. I have to agree that it is totally a maturity thing. I know exactly what you mean. We all experienced it.

What I say to myself at these times is that these girls are simply immature and like N Jacobs said, they have no clue how they come across. They simply never thought aobut it, just like they never thought about anything seriously in their lives.

So like in a way that mkes it better because then I realize that immature and as not nice as they are, they don't at all mean to hurt, they just don't think. I think they would be like horrified if they knew they were hurting us their own freinds. So like while bringing it up straight out might be too uncomfortable and also then it might put them on the defensive and they'll just say we are just jealous, still the hurt isn't strong when i remind myself that these girls simply don't think and have no clue about how thier actions affect people.

Still I do try to hang around with the other type more. Wish there were more in that category...


At 1/08/2006 8:34 AM, Anonymous Y.C. Kaufman said...

Totally agree with Elisheva, and just wanted to add that it could also be that these immature girls have troubles in their marriages. Not necessarily anything major or earth-shattering, but trouble enough to the point where their comfort is to try to act condescendingly towards their unmarried friends. Just something else to think about when hearing these kids gloat.

And to expound on Michelle's point, when someone who's immature has a conception of marriage that is a fancy chasunah, gifts, onlysimchas etc. without considering all the inevitable challenges that come with marriage, it's hard for me to imagine that such a person has a perfect marriage. Even if they'll act like it is when talking to their single friends.

At 1/08/2006 9:35 AM, Blogger Tamara said...

Hi, first time reading your blog.

First, I'm guessing these friends of yours are also about 20 years old. If so, that is a BIG part of the maturity level. I am not frum, but know the community and the traditions fairly well. These young women are learning how to be married young women. In a shidduch situation, I presume this takes extra time because both husband and wife are still learning and discovering eachother. It must be challenging or awkward the first year (if not longer), so maybe they don't know how to communicate any differently. On the other hand, if it makes you feel any better, this happens in the secular world too.

I'm 32, not married yet. I have many friends who are now married, with kids, or pregnant. Friendships change, that's a part of growing up, a part of life. One can not expect a friendship from high school to remain the same for all time. Embrace ALL that post high school life has to offer. This means learning how to reshape friendships, like when a good friend gets married. Inevitablly, some of the girls you were close to before will grow distant, and that's ok, because the only constant thing in life is change.

At 1/08/2006 5:13 PM, Blogger Mata Hari said...

"married people stuff"?
you're kidding me, right?
she actually said that with a straight face?
this is not a friend

At 1/08/2006 5:50 PM, Blogger Y.Y. said...

believe me
there is no reason to gloat when married life just gets tougher and harder

At 1/09/2006 2:19 PM, Blogger Moochy said...

The problem in one word = Inconsiderate .
The solution in one word = Confrontation.

Nice blog!!

At 1/09/2006 3:44 PM, Anonymous Shmuel said...

I think you should not keep this post on the blog. It's a shaileh of loshen hora because the people who are part of this story or any of the other stories that you write, might get onto the blog, and then put 2+2 together and realize "Hey! That's me she's talking about!" Even if someone did do something bad to you, or something similar to that, I don't think you should post it. It's really not going to be good if the people you are writing about get onto the blog. Your blog is good none the less, but I think you should kkep it positive so you don't get into the shaileh of busha or loshon hora.

At 1/09/2006 7:00 PM, Anonymous shira said...

Great Post! Sooooo well put and to the point.

At 1/10/2006 12:09 PM, Anonymous Essie said...

Nathan J is right. Some friendships are only based upon that the 2 people are in the same situation. A real friend would not treat you like that. Many friendships do (and should) dissolve when the 2 people go their separate ways.

At 1/10/2006 8:05 PM, Blogger Michelle said...

NJacobs-Interesting points, and well put.
Some people might be able to handle that, but those are the people who don't do it. I think most people that gloat do so on purpose to shove it into everypne else's faces.

As for the second thing you said, I don't talk about dating too much in general, and I usually try to avoid the topic amongst my married friends out of courtesy for them. Besides that, I'd feel like an idiot talking about it in front of them, because it's so old for them.

At 1/10/2006 8:05 PM, Blogger Michelle said...

NJacobs-Interesting points, and well put.
Some people might be able to handle that, but those are the people who don't do it. I think most people that gloat do so on purpose to shove it into everypne else's faces.

As for the second thing you said, I don't talk about dating too much in general, and I usually try to avoid the topic amongst my married friends out of courtesy for them. Besides that, I'd feel like an idiot talking about it in front of them, because it's so old for them.

At 1/12/2006 2:45 PM, Anonymous Tina Epstein said...

Ok, you don't know me--I just picked you out of the Best Blog category and read this. I've been married for 20 yrs., my oldest son is in Israel at yeshiva...oh, wait a old are you?? How tall are you?? Would you keep a kosher house?? Do you have a sense of humor (methinks you do)? I started out to tell you in a few months, your friend is going to discover that HER HUSBAND snores--it was so cute in the first couple of months...and HER HUSBAND will not pick up his clothes...and HER HUSBAND burps loud. That's not to say mine does all those, but reality is going to hit and one night she'll be thinking of YOU in your own place, eating in bed if you like, dating guys who dote on you, sleeping with the tv on. I've been single and married. I'm very happily married, but marriage is work--a job you work at every day to make it good. Don't hang out with these friends--they don't sound too much like friends to me. (And rest assured she's keeping his flatulence problem to herself...) Tina

At 1/12/2006 6:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Me make flatulence a lot and me wife no mind.

At 1/14/2006 5:04 PM, Blogger Semgirl said...

Michelle, listen to Tina she seems to know what she is talking about. And definitely dont socialize or associate with girls or M-ladies that dont make you feel good about yourself.

You dont need these losers you are describing.

At 1/17/2006 7:37 AM, Blogger Pragmatician said...

Heard from unmarried girl
"how weird,when in company of unmarried friends, married girls suddenly remember the need to discuss sheitlers(wigs).When I overhear them talking between themsleves they talk about the weather, but when I'm around there's always somethign with the sheitlers..."

At 2/09/2006 5:13 PM, Anonymous Chani said...

I think all those people are right-she really doesn't realize that what she's doing is hurtful. I think you should tell her straight out next time she says something that bothers/hurts you.

At 8/26/2007 11:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You sound like a really jealous person!!! Did you ever think that maybe these girls were not acting this way to be mean or hurtful. Maybe they always wanted to get married to have someone to share their lives with and have a family with. I'm sure they dont mean to be hurtful when they refer to their husbands by "my husband". I know that I tend to refer to my husband as just that because I am so used to being with people who dont know my husband that I tend to forget when I am with people that do know him. I have a friend that was upset by it and asked me not to say that anymore. I would try very hard to remember but every once in a while i would forget who i was talking to. I dont think it is fair to say what others are thinking when saying things like that.


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