The Sign Around My Neck Reads “Married”

Friendship, Göteborg, Sweden

Yesterday something boiled down to an ugly truth that made me cry.

My husband and I were planning on attending an event with another single friend.  When my husband asked the friend if he’d like to hang out with us before the event, the friend replied, “I thought about it, but when I realized that you were the only other ones going, I didn’t want to hang out with the married people.”

Huh.

I guess I’m wearing an invisible sign that says “I forgot how to have fun” or “Warning!  I’ll make you an awkward third wheel!”

This isn’t the case with every single friend of mine, but I was beginning to recognize the pattern.

Dear single friends:

I’m sorry for turning down a string of past invitations.  Sometimes I took the easy way out and claimed date night with my man, other times I really did have pre-existing commitments.  I can do better at accepting your invites.

I love you.  I want you.  And I don’t need to spend every spare minute with my husband (though I love him to pieces).

I want to be at the girls’ nights.  I want a sporadic evening at the beach.

Please, pretty please, don’t just assume I’m already busy doing something, or that James and I are a self-sustaining duo.  Because we’re not.

I forgive you.  I know the avoidance wasn’t mean-spirited.  I promise to do better, too.  It’s a journey for all of us.

With love and friendship,

Elise

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About Elise

Elise Stephens began her career in writing at age six, illustrating her own story books and concocting wild adventures. Stephens counts authors Neil Gaiman, C.S. Lewis, and Margaret Atwood among her literary mentors, and has studied under Orson Scott Card. She dreams often of finding new ways to weave timeless truths into her stories. Her novels include Moonlight and Oranges (2011), Forecast (2013), and Guardian of the Gold Breathers (2015), a finalist for the INDIEFAB Book of the Year. She lives in Seattle with her family. Follow her on Twitter @elisestephens and Author Elise Stephens on Facebook.

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