If you don’t hear from me for the rest of the summer*, I’m sorry. I’m probably passed out in front of an open bar at some function hall or other, the remains of a tray of gin and tonics scattered about my prone body. This is because I’m spending the whole entire summer at weddings, or else at a baby shower. (Less gin at baby showers, and more’s the pity. That’s really when we need it.)

This brings me to my next point: If you’re getting married or engaged, or moving in with a boyfriend, or having a baby, don’t tell me about it. I am so serious. I am sick and tired of all you people and your mental health and your relationships and your growing up and whatnot. It’s making me feel much more emotionally crippled than I normally feel. It’s like being a little person and standing in front of one of those fun house mirrors that makes you look squatty.

Yesterday, I actually snapped. I was out at drinks with a bunch of my friends — two of whom are married, to each other, and one of whom has recently started dating a handsome Italian anthropologist that she met online — and one of them started telling me about a girl we know who’s getting engaged.

“Her ring is gorgeous,” she said. “It’s an orange diamond” — at this, I kicked my only single friend at the table and whispered zircon — “with all these little diamond chips around it. It would look great on you.”

“Well, that’s pretty hypothetical, since it’s obvious that I’m never going to need an engagement ring.”

“Oh, no! That’s not true…”

“Oh, yes! It probably is, given that I haven’t dated a man for longer than two months since I graduated from college nearly ten years ago. And don’t tell me there’s someone for everyone, because there clearly isn’t. Just do me this one favor: Don’t tell me any more stories about people getting engaged, falling in love, or having babies. Call me when someone gets a rash. I don’t need reassurance. I need schadenfreude.”

In other news, I think “schadenfreude” would be an excellent name for a cat. I’d get a couple, to facilitate the crazy spinsterness, but I’m allergic.

* There’s not a chance in hell of that happening. I can’t afford therapy. Lucky you!

Published by Jen Hubley Luckwaldt

I'm a freelance writer and editor.

10 thoughts on “Schadenfreude

  1. My Dear JennieSmash,

    I am here to reassure you that all of your friends walking around married or engaged and telling you how wonderful their life is and how stable they are, ARE LYING TO YOU!!!!! I never needed therapy until AFTER I got married. Really, you are living in the best of the two worlds.

  2. When the right person comes along
    you will know it. Until then, live vicariously and enjoy it.

    I know this while happen because I am an Irish romantic.

  3. I think that’s a lovely idea, but there’s really no guarantee that the right person will come along at all. I know lots of people, some even older than me — gasp! — who never met the One at all.

    Better advice would be to figure out how to be happy without all that. Not that that’s an easy thing either.

  4. There’s no such thing as a “perfect” relationship. They take work. Even the best of them require compromise and dedication.

    But the only difference between a relationship that lasts and one that doesn’t is that you fight for it. When you just want to walk away, one of you has to say no.

    Living alone can be ok, though. No one drinks the last of the milk and puts the carton back. No one’s in the bathroom when you wake up. No one bitches if you come home drunk and loud at all hours.

    If you really want to find someone there’s always

  5. I’ve tried Match, as well as about four different other online dating services. I’ve also tried getting fixed up by my friends, meeting friends of friends, meeting guys at bars or events and just giving up. None of these have resulted in my winding up in any kind of a workable relationship.

    I’d really encourage those of you who have been lucky enough to find mates to be a bit easier on those of us who haven’t. It’s not lack of will, or willingness to work. It’s just luck.

  6. Yeah, I wasn’t trying to imply that you wouldn’t stick with the right person, because the first thing is definately being lucky enough to find that someone who’s worth fighting for.

    And I certainly didn’t mean to come off as all high and mighty about it. I just didn’t want you to subscribe to the notion that once you find the right person everything else is just rainbows and puppy dogs. It may solve some “problems” in your life, but it easily creates just as many.

    Frankly, I don’t know you well enough to infer anything about you or your dating habits. But I do know that no one can think any less of you because you aren’t in a “serious” relationship. Don’t forget that half of all marriages today are going to end in divorce, and the younger you are when you get married the more likely you are to get divorced. Just keep in mind, a few years from now when you’re drinking with the same friends, but on different nights because they’re no longer on speaking terms, that “I told you so” is a tacky thing to say unless you’re buying the drinks.

    As for match, I blame my research department. Had I taken two seconds to google “ complaints” I’d have had a hundred and seventy-nine thousand reasons to change my endorsement. You watch the TV ads and they make it sound like the bestest thing for dating since automakers took out the stick shift.

  7. I’m right there with you! I just went to a wedding this weekend and I have one to go to every month all summer! They’re ALL out of town so there goes any chance of getting away for a vacation this year!

  8. I suggest J-Date, only because I want to see if you can trick them into believing you’re Jewish.

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