Laura is a friend of mine who is slightly older (not by much), and is married with three kiddos. She’s funny, smart and hell bent on finding me a man. And recently she opened my eyes to a conspiracy theory that just might cross the line from conspiracy to reality.
Her theory? That my family is in cahoots to keep me single for their own selfish gain.
At first, I denied that it could be true. “Laura, my family loves me! They want me to be happy, whether married or single. They want me to find love and joy in all aspects of life.” Right?
But then my friend started to point out specific reasons why my being in a relationship might prove detrimental to my family’s everyday plans. And, I won’t lie, she had some really good points.
Laura: “How will they get their addresses every year?”
Case in point: Near the end of every calendar year, I update a list of addresses for my whole family and send it out. It’s really not a huge deal. I enjoy doing it because it gives me a chance to reach out to every single aunt, uncle and cousin at least once a year. Besides, who doesn’t love a current list of addresses just in time to write Christmas cards? If, however, I were in a relationship, we all know what would happen. I’d be swamped with make out sessions, accepting flower deliveries, practicing signing my new last name — how would I ever have time to update the address book?! The family would be lost. Christmas would be ruined. Wedding invitations would be sent to old addresses, leading to decades-long family feuds. Laura could have a point here.
Laura: “Who will babysit all your siblings’ kids?”
Case in point: This past New Year’s Eve, the plans were for everyone to stay at my sister’s house and play games until midnight. For this homebody and board game lover, this sounded heavenly! Then — while making multi-colored friendship bracelets with my niece — I heard everyone getting their coats on and heading to the door. The next thing I knew, I was alone with three kids making popcorn, watching Brave (an amazing film, mind you!), and actually having one of the best New Year’s Eves I’ve ever had. Regardless of whether I enjoyed it, I was tricked. And I was tricked good. Laura is really onto something here.
Laura: “Who will plan the next family reunion?”
Case in point: This past summer, my extended family got together somewhere on the temporarily-unfrozen tundra of Canada to eat, eat and eat some more. (There was also some cliff diving and bonfire burning and Russian singing and water balloon tossing and did I mention eating?) I was the pseudo brain child of this reunion and I loved every minute of it! (Okay, okay, except for the inevitable family drama that ensues anytime anyone tries to plan anything in a big family. But it all worked out.) Even though I loved it, one might wonder if it would’ve ever happened had I not taken the plunge and planned it — if I had, say, been too busy planning a fun backyard wedding with my fiance?
“But Laura,” I insisted, “I actually don’t mind doing that stuff. I love my family!”
So, I’m left to wonder if my family, my flesh and blood are secretly meeting in darkened cellars, holding KRS (“Keep Ruth Single”) meetings. I imagine a huge, Law-&-Order-esque white board, with assignments for each family member — each person playing their part to keep me both lonely and alone.
- Mom: Secure Ruth’s help in cleaning out the garage (for the fifth time). That should keep her single for a month or so.
- Brother: Set Ruth up on a blind date with a complete loser who only cares about money and talking about money and showing off his dumb, fancy car. That should get her angry enough to swear off men for at least a month.
- Sister: Ask Ruth to watch your kids for a couple weeks over the summer. We all know men aren’t gonna hit on her when she’s dragging around a bunch of screaming children.
And the saddest part of Laura’s conspiracy theory is that — if, in fact, it is true — it’s working. Because guess who’s alone right now, sitting on her couch, blogging about this very topic? Me.
Laura might be right. Who knows? But most of this is written in jest. Because, trust me, my parents would love one hundred more grandbabies, and that alone is reason enough for them to not sabotage my dating life. And I’m sure the rest of my family would love for me to transition my writing into something a little less embarrassing, like a mom blog.
So as much as I don’t believe Laura’s conspiracy theory, it does get me thinking about dating sabotage in general. Have you ever experienced it? Or worse, have you ever been the instigator? Because sometimes it’s just not easy when your brother — who you adore watching football and drinking beer with — suddenly has a girlfriend. And sometimes it’s not easy when your best friend — who is your gossip confidant and regular Friday night wing woman — suddenly has a boyfriend. We all want the best for them, but, somewhere deep down, perhaps we also want the best for us. And that includes the circle of friends and family we’re used to having around — without those pesky significant others getting in the way.
I mean, I’d never sabotage a friend’s relationship chances. Would you?