I have been married for six years now, so I am growing foggy on domestic developments in North America. Is it still awful to be over 25 and unmarried at big family gatherings, or are married uncles and aunts too cowed by the new possibilities to ask about your love lives?
Uncle Herb: So, you got a fella yet?
Auntie May: Now, Herbert, these are modern times. You can't assume Mary Beth has a fella. She could have a female friend. Or female friends. Or a female friend who used to be a fella.
Uncle Herb: So, Patrick, whadaya think about the Lions' chances?
Goodness, that does not sound much better. What we really want from relations is reticence, or at least questions about things from our public lives, like "Anything interesting in your work this year, darling?" If your aunts and uncles dearly want to know if you have a fella yet--and do uncles really want to know?--surely they can ask your mother when you're out of earshot.
Every American Thanksgiving I sponsor a little competition for Single readers. In short, every participant gets a point for every reference made to her Singleness by her relations during Thanksgiving Dinner. Basically the time-frame is from the arrival of the first guest to bed-time. This is particularly fun when all the Single sisters in one family play together. (They all get a point if the remark is addressed to all of them together.) If it were me, I would carry around a little notebook and pencil and secretly mark each dinnertime comment under cover of the table.
After dinner, when you are safe in what I hope is the sanctuary of your room, see if you can recall the pertinent remarks or questions made, and give examples with your score here in the Thursday combox. I am five hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time, but I will enjoy reading them all on Friday morning. Meanwhile, when I get home from Polish class (that's about 4 PM EST), I will be monitoring the combox so as to provide a listening ear to anyone who flees the kitchen long enough to pour their annoyance into the blog. Obviously I can't live-blog readers' Thanksgivings, but I will be on hand until about 7 PM EST.
Remember that you are not alone, and all over the USA, Single women will be put in the spotlight by their nearest and dearest.