Couples’ Night – Going From ‘Single Lady’ to ‘Smug Married’…

“In my heart, I will always be a single girl.”  

Check the uncomfortable heels, the short skirt and the sassy pose - a single lady pic fo sho...

Check the uncomfortable heels, the short skirt and the sassy pose – a single lady pic fo sho…I was on a cruise with other single ladies too..

This on point observation was offered by a married friend in my book club after she read one of my many, many, many single girl/lady blog posts a few years ago. I didn’t know quite what she meant at the time because I was not married, but now that I’m married, I do get it and I so agree…

Two weeks from today, I will have been married for a total of one year!!! Wow, my head is still spinning because I’m such a single lady in temperament, training and time lived on this earth. So in honor of my wedding anniversary, I have decided to devote three Sunday blog posts to going from a single lady to being a smug married. First of all, if you are unaware of the pop culture references I’m making when I say “single lady” and “smug married,” let me illuminate that for you. In many ways, Beyonce’s 2008 supa dupa hit song “Single Ladies: (Put a Ring on It)” captures one of the goals of many single women: getting a man to put a ring on it. “Smug Married” is a term from the wonderful 2001 movie “Bridget Jones’s Diary” in which Bridget, a true single lady, talks about her dislike of married people who see singlehood as a subservient state.

Now that I have defined those terms for you, let me get to the subject of today’s post: Couples’ Night. To date, I’ve been to three Couples’ Night/Excursions and each one makes me feel like I’m in elementary school. And I guess I am in elementary school of sorts. If being single was college, I would be Dr. Jackie and on a speaking tour. And if being married was college, I would be a kindergartener learning my colors and maybe my letters.

1. On my first Couples’ Night last September, three couples went to a club/restaurant type of establishment. I had been at a convention all day so I didn’t really feel like going out and if had been single, it would have been one of those nights that I would have stayed in. But since I’m now part of a team, I took one for the team literally and figuratively. I must confess, my look for the night was lackluster. I threw on some jeans, a cute but not slay-worthy top, some flats and headed out with the hubby. We ended up in Atlantic Station on the same weekend as the BET Hip Hop Awards. You already know. I felt like Mrs. Frump or President Obama in his mom jeans. And as I looked at the collective of us, mom jeanswe all looked pretty comfortable if you know what I mean or least suburban.

The club/restaurant was filled with young hotties whose skirts were short and heels were high. Lustrous hair flowing all the way to the floor it seemed was atop everyone’s head. And their makeup was shoot ready. In fact, I felt like I was an extra extra extra in a rap music video shoot except I didn’t make the cut. The next day on the way to church, I told my husband how I felt. He made some comment about how a 40-year-old woman shouldn’t look like they could star in a rap video and who wants that kind of woman anyway. I smiled with gratitude, but this is what I was thinking:

At this age, no, I don’t want to star in a rap music video, but I at least want to look like I could be asked…

Maybe it’s a stereotype, but coupled people tend to look comfortable. When a dude used to hit the gym a few times a week and be on the go, that same dude, once he gets married, starts finding excuses to not workout or stay at home because it’s less expensive. When a lady used to get hair done done on the regular and wear the latest, hottest outfits, that same lady, once she gets married, tries to hold out a little longer between hairdos to save some money and wears flat because heels hurt. My mom told me that my grandmother told her a few years after she got married that she needed to keep herself up so my father’s eyes wouldn’t stray. (TMI yes! But my mom heeded her advice.) The truth is: we all tend to get more comfortable, the older we get (single or married), but for some reason, being married seems to accelerate the process…

2. On our second Couples’ Night/Excursion, four couples traveled to Chateau Elan to celebrate Valentine’s Day or as some people say Single Awareness Day since Valentine’s Day is more of an event when you’re single. Even though it was meant to be a relaxing weekend, I must confess I was so nervous. Instead of spending just a few hours with couples, it was an overnight trip.  As I said before, I have a doctorate degree in being single. When you’re single and traveling with your girls, there are various behaviors and or conversation topics that are acceptable.  For example, if you want to go off by yourself and explore, that is perfectly acceptable on a single girl trip after all you are single. Or if you want to stay in one night and watch television, while not optimal, that’s cool too. And while we can talk about anything, inevitably, the conversation will shift to men and we compare notes, get updated, laugh about them, cry, swear them off, etc. But on a married couple trip, it seems like you must be grouped in two at all times. And no one really gets into the nitty gritty of their relationship because for the most part, what happens in a marriage stays in a marriage…It’s real pc and settled like….But I’ve only been on one couples trip so maybe I don’t know what I’m talking about yet…

3. My third Couples’ Night was last Saturday. It was a game night. Every couple had to bring a game. I, in true single lady form, brought my “Sex and the City” trivia game. Hey, what can I say? It was a nice night. There was a personal chef who cooked Asian food that rivals if not beats the best Asian food I’ve ever had. It was in a home so there was pressure to BET rap music video worthy. It wasn’t an overnight trip so there was no pressure to figure out what to do or talk about for hours and hours. But then we played a marriage game in which couple had to guess the favorite video, food, etc. of their mate to get points. (We did something like this in premarital counseling.) It was the last game of the night, and I thought everything was going pretty smoothly until then. When you’re single, you’re expected to be an expert on nobody but yourself. But as a married person, not only do you have to know yourself, you have to be an expert on someone else. I don’t know about you but I’m still figuring out myself. It was only 10 years ago that figured out that I’m a commitment-phobe in most areas of my life and that was only because of counseling. So hubby and I got three out of six questions right. That would be 50 on a test. An “F” in other words…Hey, we’ve only been married for months…

Since I pray I will be married for many more years and or until death ( 🙂 ), I hope to experience many more Couples’ Nights and learn all the rules of this new fraternity of sorts that I have joined…

But as today, I still feel more like a “single lady” than a “smug married.”

Any thoughts?

 

 

 

 

 

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11 thoughts on “Couples’ Night – Going From ‘Single Lady’ to ‘Smug Married’…

  1. Great post!! I can relate and had me lol. I have only been married 2 months but have already been to 2 couples nights. I have always felt like I did not belong so it was great reading somebody else can relate to my feelings. Look forward to reading more from yourblog.

    • Well, I’m so glad I’m not the only one Vicki…I guess more learning adventures await us 🙂 Congratulations on your wedding and your marriage !!!

  2. I think its such a delicate balance. Being around other married couples can be fun – and enriching! But I think one of the downfalls is that all of a sudden and as you previously stated, the marriage becomes super secretive. How do we then help others who wish to be married? How do we nurture healthy ways to talk about the own challenges of our own marriage without judgment? For about 3 years, we did a couples only New Years celebration, we’ve taken one cross-country trip with another couple and rented a cabin for the weekend with another. While I enjoyed all of these times and would likely do some of them again, I don’t particularly care for the “married only” club ;-).

  3. Excellent post, many will benefit. We’ve done some of those marriage enrichment things (I’ve never cared for them), and good for you for taking one for the team. In my experience, social needs for married couples change over time. Friends come and go–honor the marriage relationship first, but don’t limit yourself. Every woman needs a girl friend. Right now we practically jump in the arms of people we meet who don’t have grandchildren (we don’t).

  4. The most rewarding thing about mragiare is having a helpmate to do life with. Together we can laugh and cry; navigate the waters of those things which are both familiar and unknown; and learn from one another, while also helping to push one another towards new heights which may seem unreachable. Knowing that you have someone to talk through things with makes life so much richer.The most difficult thing about being married is quite simply learning to listen to and communicate with someone who is wired to communicate in a way that is nuanced and different from the way in which you are wired.