What Do You Say To 'Smug Marrieds'?

Ah, the holidays. Time to see family, and, if you're single, hear those words that may cause you to feel, as we say, stabby: "Why aren't you married yet?" But it's not just meddling mothers who ask — friends who've tied the knot can be even worse. Reports the San Jose Mercury News, the "smug marrieds" are just one of the many hazards to be faced at the holidays. Alesandra Valenzuela, of San Jose, CA, is 34 and single. She says her married friends got back from their honeymoon and were "all proud of themselves." She laments, "They acted like they had all of their pieces together and I was stuck eating frozen pizza and living in a house with laundry on the floor. Something changed." Stacy Kaiser, an L.A. psychotherapist, says that women who have put their careers ahead of getting married are not off the hook. "There is almost a pity there [from married women]... they look down at the single woman as they think, 'I'm tired of that and I don't have to do that anymore.'"



It's been ten years since Helen Fielding wrote about the "smug marrieds" in Bridget Jones's Diary, but they haven't gone away. Says 27-year-old Tara Sanders of El Cerrito, CA: "There is this feeling that they know better than you because they've managed to get married. But if I really wanted to, I could just go to Vegas and get drunk and find someone. It's not that hard."

So, how should one respond to well-meaning friends who question our marital status — er, lack thereof? We'd really like a great, definitive answer. When someone says "When are you getting married," should we laugh and say, "Hell if I know!" Change the subject? Shake our head and sigh, "I'm just so busy right now"? Reply, "I'm on the market, know any single hotties?"

Married Yet? [San Jose Mercury News, via Star Tribune]