Under the Influence

Single Lady vs. Kid's Birthday Party

For the last few years, I've been keeping two lists in my head. The first is a very long list called, "Reasons Being a Single Lady is Awesome!"

It includes such gems as:

5. Three-straight nights eating pizza for dinner

22. Six-straight weeks watching "Gilmore Girls"

29. Peeing with the bathroom door open

47. Cereal and wine for dinner

There is another, much shorter list, "Reasons being a Single Lady Sucks Balls." The top of this list reads:

1. Walking down dark alleys

2. Checking to see if your tail lights work

3. Attending children's birthday parties

Liz Marsh
Liz Marsh

Nothing points out just how single and childless I am when showing up solo to a kid's birthday party. First of all, how is one supposed to know birthday party protocol when it comes to children? I tend to treat it like a bastard version of an adult birthday party.

Walk in 30 minutes "fashionably" late, awkwardly holding out a bottle of wine in the direction of the child's grandmother, whom you have never met but is inexplicably greeting guests. She looks at you with equal parts confusion and disapproval as you squeak, "it's not for (insert child's name here)," lest she think you're encouraging under-underage alcoholism.

Once that uncomfortable moment passes, the birthday child runs up carrying a toy dinosaur. You must try to playfully charm the child without scaring the crap out of the kid.


Inevitably, as soon as the child realizes they don't really know the adult who just ROARED at them, they burst into tears and run back to the safe embrace of a parent. Even though the parent will laugh and tell you it's no big deal, you have now managed to make yourself feel like the biggest asshole in the room.

There is no winning this game. Now the child, the parents and grandma all feel your awkwardness.

So to all the single ladies and non-moms out there, here's my advice: Stop trying. Remember that being a childless single lady is awesome, you don't have to impress a sugar-jacked 4 year old. You just do you.

When the party talk turns to potty training or day-care tuition, just go ahead and mention "Batman vs. Superman" again. And when there's a pause in the conversation for everyone to look adoringly on their beautiful children, go ahead and look adoringly onto your beautiful mimosa.

Read more Liz Marsh: coloradodaily.com/columnists.