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Those awkward moments..

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LilBlackCat posted 9/25/2018 17:10 PM

Where having an SO would of really made a world of difference...

I went to a family event this past weekend, and there was a moment where being without a significant other.. really glared into my face.

When food was ready, women were gathering plates and food for their kids and husbands/boyfriends.. I was the only guy up there doing the same.. and it was awkward.. and I could tell the women felt that way as well.. cause they were all chatty till I walked up and grabbed an empty plate and started putting it together..

They didn't give me any dirty looks or anything like that, it was more the looks and gestures of pity.. which isn't much better.

What are moments you guys experienced, where not having someone... just made things awkward and crappy.

Heart posted 9/25/2018 18:05 PM

Woman here ....and so much is awkward right now. Planning any type of gathering. I feel like I have to beg, plead, etc and if itís a couple and one of the two canít go... you can forget one going without the other. I end up going to so many things alone that itís unreal. But I can guarantee when my divorce is final and I start dating, suddenly they are going to want to do things.
This past weekend I went to a fair alone and had a fabulous time.
Now going alone has its own treats such as doing the things you want to do, not waiting on anyone else and not having to explain yourself to anyone.

WhoTheBleep posted 9/25/2018 18:13 PM

I'm still reveling in my alone-ness. I go to the beach alone. I go to happy hours alone. I see plenty of other folks there, alone, too. When it really hits me is just when I see families together doing ordinary things, like loading up their car for an outing together. All getting into the same car...I get little pangs in my gut. Sigh...not my path anymore.

Snapdragon posted 9/25/2018 20:47 PM

My first thought was, "why are the men sitting around waiting to be served?" You could rally the men to get up there and pitch in with making plates for their children and getting everyone served or making their own plates.

Rally partners when you feel awkward so you don't feel alone. Ask someone to help you. "Hey, Uncle Joe, wanna come help me make my kids' plates? I don't have enough hands." Doing it with a happy face helps a lot. Don't look pathetic and all woe-is-me. It then becomes a mutual project of familial cooperation, not Uncle Joe bestowing a favor on the poor pathetic single father.

Yes, there are a lot of awkward moments. But, if you look around you will also see a lot of moments when you think...dang, I'm glad that isn't ME! LOL For example, when I was married I never saw the end of anything. Concerts, movie credits, sporting events, etc. My ex had to leave early to get out before getting caught up in all the exiting traffic. It pissed me off completely. He didn't care. Now, I stay for every encore, funny out-takes during the credits, the last play in the game, etc. I watch other couples have the same issue of one wanting to leave and the other wanting to stay. I enjoy that I can do what *I* want!!! No compromising my own pleasure anymore.

Yes, there are times it is awkward that I don't have a partner. I've been the third wheel or fifth wheel many times. But, I've found that if *I* am cool with it then others are, as well. I don't bring up the fact that I feel odd so as not to make them even think about it. The sensitivity does decrease over time. I don't have to care about anyone but myself anymore. That is incredibly freeing!!

nomudnolotus posted 9/26/2018 06:22 AM

We have no family gatherings where women make men's plates! The women in my family would kick their asses if they expected that. Women aren't servants!

That being said, sorry you're feeling awkward. :(

EvenKeel posted 9/26/2018 07:46 AM

They didn't give me any dirty looks or anything like that, it was more the looks and gestures of pity

Maybe you are misinterpreting the looks because if this is true:
When food was ready, women were gathering plates and food for their kids and husbands/boyfriends.. I was the only guy up there doing the same
and no other men in your family (M or D) step up and sometimes take turns getting their kiddos set up (OR their OWN plate) then it sounds like the woman of the family were probably just in awe that a man actually did it.

Sorry - but like some of the others stated most men would get their heads ripped off if they were sitting around expected someone to 'take care of them and their kiddos' just because she is a female.

Please don't feel bad about this...sounds like some of the folks in your family need brought into this century and you are just the strong person to show them the way.

Heart posted 9/26/2018 08:54 AM

Donít feel bad at all.
I love fixing my partner food a plate of food. It isnít anything to do with oh I am female, let me serve my man. Itís a loving thing to do for someone you care about. If anything, I see other men wishing they had someone to do this loving act for them. Itís a two way street. Just like when there is something heavy and he carries it for me. Itís a partnership.

Twinsmom posted 9/26/2018 09:37 AM

I totally agree with Snapdragon. If you are at ease with it other people will take their cue from you. I have done plenty of things with married friends and I might feel awkward inside but I try to smile and put people at ease. I even make jokes sometimes about how ridiculous my situation is and this seems to help. When people realize that I seem to be OK with it, they are more relaxed around me.

Time does heal. You get used to it and learn how to cope. Hugs for you!

LilBlackCat posted 9/26/2018 11:46 AM

Oh no, I didn't let it get to me.. it was just a moment of awkwardness.. then all I really focused on was who (my kids) wanted what kind of tacos and how many.. Lol!

thebighurt posted 9/26/2018 12:59 PM

I'm glad it was only momentary for you, but your own family should not make you feel that way, especially after this long. Rather, it seems they would have chatted with you as well and kept it going. Rather unfeeling toward your circumstance or maybe just still feeling too awkward about it themselves. If you have gone to other things with the little ones, like school events, did you feel the same?

I'm with some others who ask why women are making plates for a H or SO. Maybe it's because anything I ever did was wrong according to xpos, but I still don't remember women doing that for them at events unless they were unable/temporarily disabled (which he often was and I got it wrong) from doing it themselves. Also the opposite, that on the rare occasions xpos ever did anything for me, he got it wrong because he professed to know more than I did what I wanted even when I told him what I wanted, so I would rather do my own.

I felt the way you did right after xpos left, even when gathering with single women friends. Couldn't help but think I shouldn't be there alone - that I was different - that I had been part of a couple and should not be there alone. Kind of went into my head and didn't really participate, as if I were in an out-of-body experience. Thankfully that passed rather quickly.

LBC, I hope the family events or other places you go with the kids don't continue to make you feel that way.

LilBlackCat posted 9/26/2018 13:15 PM

I'm with some others who ask why women are making plates for a H or SO.
I think this is a cultural thing.. cause back when I was with WW and there were such events.. WW was always like, sit down, I got this.. what do you want.. etc etc.. Same with kids..

I had not been to any large family gatherings like that since 2014.. and with my side of the family since like 2010.. So there's that as well..
There was a lot of family that kids (and me as well) didn't know.

To me it's just something that had to come and pass I guess..

All I know is that I pigged out horribly LMAO!!

[This message edited by LilBlackCat at 1:17 PM, September 26th (Wednesday)]

thebighurt posted 9/26/2018 13:29 PM

LOL glad there was lots there to enjoy!

I realize I know nothing of your culture, but if this is the norm and gatherings get rather large, I would think that there would be more than one instance where a male would attend alone with kids. Whether in your instance or if the W has gone to another event, maybe with one of the kids, or just not feeling well.

These days the calendars can get very full just about every non-work day. I know my DS and DDIL are often at different places with one or more of the kids, so it would seem your appearance at the table to fix plates wouldn't be such a surprise around their circles.

heartbroken_kk posted 9/26/2018 15:53 PM

I could really use an SO just to have an extra pair of hands.

I'm building a tiny house. I'm living in it now, and it's really just a shed on a trailer. I have so many things I need to do. It's hard to do construction solo. Ever task takes twice as long, I need to fish a piece of wire through a hole and I can't push and pull at the same time on opposite sides of a wall.... stuff like that. I figure it out but my progress just stalls...

Yesterday, I found some 16' long trex deck boards for free on craigslist. I went to get them to bring them home, so I could use them as the floor for a shed/canopy thing I'm going to put my workshop in so it wont have a dirt/mud floor.

They are slippery, and bendy, and heavy. I have a small pickup with no lumber rack. I tried roping them in with the tailgate down and using ratchet tie downs and some rubberized mats, and I just could not make them stay in place long enough to get them tied in so friction would work.

I ended up having to unload everything half way through and start over with the tailgate up. They drooped over the cab and almost blocked my view so I couldn't see to drive. I figured out how to prop them up and managed to get home without a ticket or a wreck. And then I had to unload them so I could go to a work meeting the next morning.

So tired, so sore, so alone. But I muddle through. And I'm not having heated arguments about driving a ghetto looking jalopy with droopy boards in the dark, so at least there's that.

Phoenix1 posted 9/26/2018 16:25 PM

I look at those moments like this: I can let myself feel awkward because I am odd woman out, OR I can embrace it and own it! I decided long ago to embrace those moments and I feel more like, "Yep! I'm alone at this function and walking tall and feeling proud!"

Yes, I do have a SO, but we are more apart than together (more like a permanent part-time relationship) so I attend functions/events ALL the time by myself, or with other married couples (have done this for decades, actually). I simply do not even see any "awkwardness" any longer because, quite honestly, I don't give a rat's ass what other people think - pity, disgust, whatever. Don't.Care. I am there to enjoy myself, and that's just what I do.

HappyTree posted 9/27/2018 13:16 PM

That just sounds weird to me. Like, I don't want some man telling me what food I should be eating. I would hate for someone to make me a plate of food. And these women are also making plates for their kids? That just sounds so complicated.

LilBlackCat posted 9/27/2018 16:05 PM

Like, I don't want some man telling me what food I should be eating.
Well, this isn't the case.. The men and kids are asked what they want.

these women are also making plates for their kids?
Yes, it's like a cultural tradition. I guess..

HalfTime2017 posted 10/2/2018 17:13 PM

As a father of two young daughters, I do on occasion step into an awkward feeling moment. Like shopping for them in the little girls section (6 and 9). I know I shouldn't and it even gives me an opportunity to talk to some of the single moms, but it still does sometimes.

There have also been occasions where I would walk with my kids around the mall, and to have usually older white ladies approach me to ask if those are my kids. My children are mixed, but you can still tell their my kids. I'm sure no moms get random guys asking if those are her kids, but as a dad, I've gotten this on more than several occasions.

LilBlackCat posted 10/2/2018 18:39 PM

I do on occasion step into an awkward feeling moment. Like shopping for them
Yes, sometimes I go shopping for my daughters.. but without them.. cause they want everything and can never choose.. So wandering the teens women section I get weird looks sometimes.. mainly in larger stores where the women's section is also larger.

WhatsRight posted 10/2/2018 18:48 PM

I don't know if the cultural differences you are speaking of have to do with being "southern", but that definitely is how we do it in the south.

At least my family and every family that I know. We get the plates for the kids so they don't make a big mess or break something. And then we are just happy to fix a plate for our husband. We don't make him eat anything he doesn't want - like it was said, we ask what they would like.

Just like if we are cooking and needing to lift a heavy pot, a husband or SO would stand up and run over to help us.

It's not so much "waiting on" someone, as just enjoying serving someone that you love.

I.will.survive posted 10/2/2018 19:43 PM

It's not so much "waiting on" someone, as just enjoying serving someone that you love.

^^^ This! I'm southern as well, but when reading LilBlackCat's post, I just assumed he was Hispanic. Maybe you have mentioned that before LBC? Or maybe when you said cultural I assumed you were Latino because it sounded like my Mexican co-worker's gatherings because the women take care of the men and children in group events.

I remember when I was married and I buttered my husband's roll at the table while having dinner with co-workers. I didn't think twice about it because I was doing one for myself, I guess. They gave me such a hard time about it! I was just serving him, not waiting on him.

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