On fake wedding rings.

by mssinglemama on June 13, 2008

1. Tell toddler you are going to make him toast for breakfast.

2. Sit him on the counter or the table so he can’t move or run away.

3. When toddler says, “Toeeess?” answer with, “Toes??? You want to eat my toes???!!! NOOOOOO! Please, please, please don’t eat my toes!!!”

4. Jump up and down acting like your toes are in jeopardy of being eaten. When toddler takes a break from cracking up, say, “So, you want to eat toast right?”

5. Toddler will say, “No! Toes!!!!”

6. Repeat jumping and protesting. Remember to look like you’re genuinely in fear for your toes. Hide toes under table or hold them in hands. Toddler will laugh until he spits up his toast.

Also see How to Get Toddler into the Bath.

How do you make your kids laugh? Really laugh…
1. Tell toddler you are going to make him toast for breakfast.

2. Sit him on the counter or the table so he can’t move or run away.

3. When toddler says, “Toeeess?” answer with, “Toes??? You want to eat my toes???!!! NOOOOOO! Please, please, please don’t eat my toes!!!”

4. Jump up and down acting like your toes are in jeopardy of being eaten. When toddler takes a break from cracking up, say, “So, you want to eat toast right?”

5. Toddler will say, “No! Toes!!!!”

6. Repeat jumping and protesting. Remember to look like you’re genuinely in fear for your toes. Hide toes under table or hold them in hands. Toddler will laugh until he spits up his toast.

Also see How to Get Toddler into the Bath.

How do you make your kids laugh? Really laugh…
1. Tell toddler you are going to make him toast for breakfast.

2. Sit him on the counter or the table so he can’t move or run away.

3. When toddler says, “Toeeess?” answer with, “Toes??? You want to eat my toes???!!! NOOOOOO! Please, please, please don’t eat my toes!!!”

4. Jump up and down acting like your toes are in jeopardy of being eaten. When toddler takes a break from cracking up, say, “So, you want to eat toast right?”

5. Toddler will say, “No! Toes!!!!”

6. Repeat jumping and protesting. Remember to look like you’re genuinely in fear for your toes. Hide toes under table or hold them in hands. Toddler will laugh until he spits up his toast.

Also see How to Get Toddler into the Bath.

How do you make your kids laugh? Really laugh…
I didn’t realize what a passionate and proud single parent I’ve become until I read this. And now, Kristin is linking to this blog from hers! Hello everyone!

I thought I would give this topic it’s own post so that the controversy isn’t trickling all over the place in other posts.

Here’s the issue that’s got everyone in a tizzy (or maybe just me). Kristin, a working single mom, wears a wedding ring during corporate sales calls to make the right impression. God forbid they find out she is a single mom:

The bottom line of my job is that I need to make people like me. If they like and trust me, they’ll be more likely to buy my product….It’s not that I lie and say that I’m married, but the ring creates the assumption that I am… I don’t wonder whether my prospective customer thinks I have left my kid at home with an incompetent babysitter while I flit around the Pacific Coast in pinstripes. The bottom line of my job is that I need to make people like me. If they like and trust me, they’ll be more likely to buy my product.

Maybe I’m living in a bubble, but I’ve never been the recipient of any nasty stares because my wedding finger is bare. What gives? Why hasn’t anyone ever given me the “You’re a single mom” stink eye? And when I say never, I mean never. Because I’d remember it, I’m sure an experience like that would leave a mark. Maybe I have been but am just oblivious to them.

So these stereotypes are out there? Still? In corporate board rooms? Weird.

If I put a ring on in meetings will it advance my career? That was a hypotehtical question (hi, co-workers) because I’d never, ever do it. Kristen and I are clearly different people and we all have our personal choices. This isn’t an attack on her, this isn’t a judgement. I just think we need to talk about this…

Why do some of us, in this day and age, feel compelled to hide the fact that we are single moms in business situations?

Has being a single mom ever hurt your career?

Has anyone ever said anything to you in public or in a work meeting to put you down because you are as single parent?

P.S. I’ve officially apologized to Kristin for saying this all made me want to puke. Didn’t mean to offend or attack anyone. And Kristin, I hope you have a fantastic weekend with your new man! I noticed you were looking for something to call him, I prefer “Man Person.” It’s what I called my first post-divorce boyfriend.

{ 4 trackbacks }

On fake wedding rings. | Wedding Tips Today
June 13, 2008 at 8:40 am
To Fake Ring It or Not « Modern Single Momma
June 16, 2008 at 2:45 am
On Forgiveness…
August 24, 2008 at 1:53 am
Someone just called me the L-word.
April 17, 2009 at 10:43 pm

{ 43 comments… read them below or add one }

debra June 13, 2008 at 8:51 am

I work for a Fortune 10 company, very traditional, very old school. I’ve been divorced for just over a year, and I have certainly seen a difference in the way I have been treated in some circumstances at work when the wedding ring was no longer there. I don’t think it is a single mom thing, I think it is a single woman thing. Though the majority of men I work with, both inside the company as well as vendors and consultants behave professionally, there are those who are definately more attentive to a woman without a wedding band, and the attention is less than professional. Putting myself in Kristen’s shoes, were I in a direct sales position, I might consider wearing a wedding band…..as twisted as it is, most people, men and women, treat a single woman differently than a married one. I’m not sure if it is a trust, likeability or respect issue, but I have certainly experienced a difference.


Sadie June 13, 2008 at 9:14 am

There is absolutely a difference in the way I am treated by clients when I wear a wedding band and when I don’t. Like Kristen, I am in outside sales and have to meet new people all the time for my job. Whether it’s right or wrong, most people identify best with people like themselves…they feel most comfortable if they think I am “like them,” and sadly, most decision makers are the formulaic white and middle-aged, married with kids demographic. Even worse, if male clients know you are a single mother, some of them are inappropriate or forward. I have taken to keeping a fake wedding ring in my car and sliding it on before I meet with some of these clients, simply because it DOES keep transactions more professional. Is it messed up? Yes. Am I going to change it by proudly ‘declaring’ my unmarried status? No. So I do what I can to earn my paycheck with the least amount of hassle. Frankly, people who’ve never done it have NO IDEA how hard sales is. That’s why it’s lucrative.


Jason June 13, 2008 at 9:20 am

First – I am a long time friend and reader of Kristen’s – but I am bit taken aback by the wedding ring. I live in the corporate world, meet everyday with women, both on client side and in power sales, and it never even occurs to me to glance at their ring finger, or ,unless it drifts into personal life, whether they even have kids or not.

Yes trust is important in building successful business relationships – but is it really that tainted by the idea of the salesperson being a single mom?

I would hope the people that are impressed by this fact, along with ultimately the quality of the product or service being sold, is ultimately who you would want to do business with anyway.



McKessidy June 13, 2008 at 9:49 am

I agree with the lady repliers on this one. Although I don’t know that for me it’s so much about the single mom, piece, just about the SINGLE piece. I’m not in sales, but I work with a lot of men….with fresh blood coming in all the time. I tried a couple of times to date within my office, and really, it just went badly. (Lesson learned.) I am a professional, and want my coworkers and peers to view me a such. Somehow, sliding a band onto my left ring finger sends the sudden message of “what you are thinking? Yeah, don’t verbalize it this time.”

And yes, I HAVE been the recipient of bad single mama vibe in my personal life. (NEVER professional, but given my career, that’s not surprising.) I’ve gotten horrific stinky eyes, and verbal comments (pointed and subtle) more than once. Even if I don’t care for the person, they still really hurt. I talk about it a little more over at iheart on my blog.


Kristin June 13, 2008 at 10:06 am

Hey Ms. Single Mama. Your apology was accepted, and I appreciate your vantage point. I get it, I do. I’m not saying I’m right, just doing what’s right for me.

I wouldn’t have linked here if I thought you were an a**hole. I’m kind of surprised by the controversy; usually I’m benign and wholly uncontroversial.

Anyway, I think your writing is great and I’m glad I discovered it in all of this.


Groovymommy June 13, 2008 at 10:13 am

Maybe it does make a difference to the customers Kristin’s working with, or maybe they don’t even notice. Who knows? Hey, maybe just wearing the wedding ring makes Kristin feel more confident or acts as a lucky charm for her. She even says:

“I realize this is a bit of a crutch for me, and time and distance will give me confidence to place the ring back in its rightful home in my disgruntled jewelry box.”

I hate to see women fall into a judgmental trap of criticizing Kristin for not being “out and proud” about her single mom status in a professional setting. Is there anything wrong with being a single mom? No. Is there anything wrong with pretending to be married if you perceive it as protection from something? In my opinion, no, not really.


JustPeachy June 13, 2008 at 10:20 am

I am a professional single mom who has had successful careers in two male-dominated fields (once as a single gal, and now as a divorced single mom).

As a single gal in the sales/direct face of the company to clients, there were times when it got a little personal and forward. A sense of humor & a wry smile were all it ever took to put us back on the professional track. It would have NEVER even crossed my mind as a SINGLE WOMAN to wear a wedding ring — and I think it’s a comment as much on the way single moms see themselves as anything else that this issue has even gotten press. Did you wear a wedding ring to do sales BEFORE you had a child? Probably not.

As a divorced single mom in a professional career within a highly-male, highly-conservative field, I do not think it would ever occur to any of my clients to question my status. When we do talk personally they are surprised to learn I have chldren 10 years apart — but as to my marital status, it wouldn’t OCCUR to them to care.

The ONLY time this has ever become an issue is when I am invited to “couples only” types of trips, dinners, galas, etc. It’s awkward because I am not dating — but I pull in a male friend, everyone figures out we’re not married, and the event continues.

I do get the single mom “stink eye” from other SAHM’s in my children’s school — but that’s probably the unique nature of my “upscale” suburbia special level of not-heaven.


Kimberly June 13, 2008 at 11:26 am

I agree with Debra, I think it’s a single woman thing not a single mom thing. I’m a single, childless woman in a senior position at a NGO and I frequently experience discrimination and very inappropriate behavior in professional situations as a result. Prior to this job, I was in a senior position in a political office and expereienced the same. I too have switched the ring I usually wear on my left hand to my right to simplify my professional life at times. Is it cowardly? I don’t know, but I don’t think so. Would a husband make me better at my job? Hell no, and I would feel guilty giving this much to my job if I had a husband or child at home counting on me for things. So, I guess that’s why I don’t think it’s wrong.


Arya February 5, 2015 at 4:21 am

Pecefrt answer! That really gets to the heart of it!


T June 13, 2008 at 11:31 am

I also want to chime in on this. I don’t wear a ring but I do work in a male dominated field. They know I’m single and yeah, they can be a bit forward but thankfully, most of the time, they know I’m used to working with men. They pretty much treat me like one of the guys. The problem, I’ve found, is when their wives find out that I’m single. I’ve seen and felt some discomfort from the wives, until they know me better. I guess they assume since I’m single, I’m going to try to bed their husbands?!?!

So, yeah, I think it is more of a single woman thing and not a single mom thing. Just my .02.

Everyone is going to have some sort of judgment. Its just the way people are. Me? Personally, I can’t carry on like I’m married when I’m not. Nothing against anyone who can pull this off but you can read right through me!! 🙂


K June 13, 2008 at 2:03 pm

I have a friend who wears an old engagement ring to account for her lifestyle as well. It’s easier for her to get things done at meetings as she’s in sales as well and for some reason the ‘old boys club’ in sales seems to respect her more when they see a rock on her hand. She’s now single, but has contact with her ex-stepchildren and has to leave work early at times to pick them up. I understand that you don’t agree with that statement, but I even wear a ring when i’m travelling by myself. Sometimes we do these things to avoid the questions that may be asked of us if others feel that we’re not fit. Why not just avoid it? easier than starting a fight with someone who doesn’t matter to us.


mssinglemama June 13, 2008 at 2:56 pm

This is really fascinating – all of your perspectives. Right now I’m just happy, happy, happy that so far everyone is being nice.

So – here’s a question? What can we do about it – other than locking men in cages and throwing the keys away? Unless of course, they’re nice men like Jason.

And as Jason pointed out – usually in my experience business acquaintances are impressed by the fact that I’m as single mom.

Wearing a ring to stave off inappropriate come ons is an entirely different issue – that I’m 100% fine with. We’re talking about wearing a ring to appear more trustworthy and responsible in a board room.


jennie June 13, 2008 at 3:00 pm

i have a slightly different perspective – i am a divorced single mom to a five year old boy, but i look extremely young. when i mention i have a child at all, i get stares, and the next inevitable question is “how old are you?” when i say my age (28), people get this relieved look on their face.

like kristin, i sometimes wear a ring on my left hand. it’s not a wedding ring, but is often mistaken for one, which does seem to make it more palatable for the average person to accept me as a parent.

as all single parents know, being the main or sole caregiver for a child is hard work, and you doubt yourself all the time, even when you shouldn’t. i think it’s great that there are so many people speaking out that have never experienced the judging of a stranger regarding this area of our lives, but i know that many of us still do, even in this day in age. and i know that personally, my self doubt is only increased when i have to field nosy, superior questions from complete strangers who seem to think that i am unable to be a parent for whatever preconceived hang ups they may personally have, and i am fine with doing what i can to keep that from happening.


Tamara June 13, 2008 at 6:22 pm

This is my first visit here, via Kristin, and I’m happy the discussion has remained civil. I think it’s an interesting distinction that you make here in the comments section, that you’re ok with single non-moms wearing rings to ward off unwanted advances, but not ok with single moms wearing a ring to instill trust and keep the focus on the task at hand. Aren’t the two things sort of coming towards the same point – that it’s still a pain in the ass to be a woman in the work place if you’re single, mom or not?

Thanks for the fascinating discussion.


the goddess anna June 13, 2008 at 6:46 pm

I’m here too via Kristen. I am not a single mother (although my husband’s military duties make me feel like one), but I do know about the looks and comments associated with pieces of metal and rock that may or may not be located on one’s left ring finger. I no longer wear the original band and diamond engagement ring that my husband gave me – the band cracked and the diamond was in a sharp setting. Instead, I now have a cushion-cut aquamarine white and yellow gold ring. It’s very pretty, but it does not scream “I’m married!” I don’t wear it often at all, as I massage, and sometimes my kids take it and hide it. Since I have three kids under 5 (including twins), when we’re out in public we stick out. I have had people ask where their Daddy is, am I planning on getting married, don’t I know that I should be married before having children, all sorts of rude things. Older women are the worst. I hate the looks. When I’m wearing my ring, I often get asked milder questions, but it’s still none of their business.

I think that whether a woman is single or not, mother or not, her hand jewelry is nobody else’s concern. I do, however, know that people will judge a woman by her left ring finger status, especially if she has kids… I’ve done it myself. For me, it’s important that I don’t wear my ring to work, but for others, it might help that they do. Ideally, we shouldn’t have to fudge marital status to function in the board room, but the realist in me says that’s how the bills will get paid.

Now that I’m done ranting, I’d like to thank you for making me think about this. I’m a bit more conscious of judging other women now, especially because I know what it’s like. Good stuff here. : )


mssinglemama June 13, 2008 at 9:26 pm

Jenie – I’m 29! And btw, just looked at your blog – your photography is astounding…beautiful. That self-doubt…something to first be aware of and then conquer. Because most of the stuff we face, these doubts are the same doubts married moms have, you know? But, because we’re single I think we tend to blow the doubts out of proportion. Hope that makes sense. Perhaps some of those looks are imagined too … I know I’ve gotten plenty of stares when Benjamin is throwing a tantrum in a store (lately these have all but stopped – thank god). But, anyway, they are staring at me as they would any mom, not because I’m a single mom.

Tamara – so glad to have you! And yes, civil is good because this is such an important topic. Outside of my two year marriage, I have always been single in the workplace, so maybe I’m just used to it and experienced in dealing with men’s comments or inuendos. At my current job, this never happens. We are way too busy to even go there … but in former jobs, yes, I’ve had issues with male co-workers, but it’s just something you have to deal with. The difference b/n wearing one at work versus in a club or on a plane are Kristen’s reasons for wearing it at work – to appear more trustworthy and reliable in the workplace. I think of the workplace as an area where your business and pleasure shouldn’t mix. But I’m not in sales….

Anna – wow! Your husband is in the military? You must feel like a single mom. Can’t imagine having to miss my husband so badly and juggle all of this. My hats off to you, to your kids and especially to him. Again, I guess I’m just shocked that these stereotypes are so alive and well. So sad.

We’ll have to do something about that … each and every one of us.

There’s a great single parent community breaking down a lot of stigmas – iheartsingleparents.com. You should all check it out if you want to connect with professional single parents.

Thanks again everyone!


lwayswright June 13, 2008 at 11:05 pm

Your letter to your dad was beautiful! thanks for the comment on my blog. I miss my mom everyday! She was the rock in my life….my north star I guess! Nothing is the same without her here…I don’t think you ever really get over that stuff!


Valerie June 13, 2008 at 11:07 pm

I work in a social service agency and I have found that my client’s parents (I am a therapist for children) trust me more for being a single mom. They see me as a real person. Not some stereotypical authority figure. As for co-workers, they know how to act around women. I am saddened as a feminist that we are still struggling with this issue. My ex’s family did give me some grief for us not being married, and then completely splitting up when my son was 6 months old. I just try to be a strong representative of single motherhood and I am politically active.


Brittany June 14, 2008 at 2:56 am

I was a server (and single) for the first two years of my son’s life. And OH, the STARES. It was a fine dining restaurant, where we were given no more than 3 tables at a time and encouraged to turn first-timers into regulars by engaging in conversation. Which I did, and fairly successfully, which often led to chats about my son. Which often led to glances at my left hand. Which often led to THE STARES.

Over the two years during which I worked there, I became increasingly frustrated with the situation. I loved the job, loved my coworkers, loved most of my customers, HATED the stares. And sure, after the first few times, maybe I was hyper-sensitive. But then again, I had more than ample reason to feel sensitive about it. Like… THE STARES.

Trust me. They were real. And if I had ever doubted that, then I had as further evidence the so-called “words of wisdom” too often offered by strangers who had NO clue what my situation was and yet were happy to put in their two cents’ worth.

It. Was. Infuriating.

I’m now willing to admit (here, a year later, having been married and divorced in the interim) that this was a part of why we got married (or, why I got married). It was a wrong reason, ABSOLUTELY a wrong reason, but still a reason. And even here on the flip side, having seen that the grass is in fact slightly withered on the other side, I can’t say that I regret it.

Because honestly? I feel better as a single mom now because I can say that I WAS married. Is that stupid? Probably. Will I grow out of that? Hopefully. But I’m not going to pretend that it doesn’t feel better just because I’m afraid I’ll be judged. Because it does. Feel better. Which is exactly what I’d tell anyone who asked, unless they were giving me a dirty look.

In which case I might (or might not) flash my shiny non-gagement ring in their direction.


mssinglemama June 14, 2008 at 11:20 am

Brittany – I think it’s fantastic you can admit that you married, just to be married – so you didn’t have to feel ashamed any more. I’m sorry that it didn’t work out. And your description of those stares made my skin crawl. I am going to keep my eyes open from now on to see if I can catch one.

I’ve been wearing my I Heart Single Parents t-shirt around, really interesting to see people’s faces when they read it. I just think, I’m with Valerie, I want to change the way people perceive us and I’m happy to do it … because I have no fear of judgment (thank god). I’m lucky, I just think life is too short. I’m lucky to not have faced this in the workplace.

You guys might find this interesting – look what happened to Morgan when she wore her I Heart Single Parents t-shirt through the airport … a plethera of strangers jumped up to help her out while she tried to juggle her toddler and her luggage.



Cheryl June 14, 2008 at 11:26 am

I’ve done this a MILLION times since my daughter was born, and frankly, even while I was pregnant w/ her. And not just in business situations either.

Maybe it’s my age (41) or the business I work(ed) in (Public Relations), but I was raised to think that having a baby out of wedlock, or raising one alone period (unless you were a widow) was a “bad” or shameful thing.



mssinglemama June 14, 2008 at 11:37 am

Well? Is it a shameful thing?

Should we be ashamed?

Just throwing that out there. I of course, think there’s nothing to be ashamed about. I felt more ashamed when I was living the lie that was my marriage. Gosh … I feel like there is so much here that we’re all discovering about ourselves.


greenbeanmama June 14, 2008 at 2:41 pm

I know I felt ashamed. I was never married so there was the whole “illegitimate” factor… I look at you Alaina and you are a beautiful, strong, confident woman. Having that confidence about who you are as a person deeply embedded I think helps with feeling totally ok with being a single mom. For people without that rock solid self worth, it’s easier to let what other people think (or at least what we think they’re thinking) be influential in how we feel about our life situation.

I have come to find through my friends at iHeart, that it’s ok to be a single mom, in fact it might be even better than being married in many cases! I don’t have that shame anymore knowing that I’m not alone. It’s done so much for me. This sounds like a shameless plug, but really it’s just the truth! I’m ok with being a single mom to an awesome kid! I don’t need to find a partner to complete me!


Curtis June 15, 2008 at 1:03 pm

You obviously need to get laid instead of polluting the Internet with your banal drivel. You’re so boring!


jessimonster June 15, 2008 at 11:32 pm

Ha ha ha. I wear a fake wedding ring when I’m doing active duty Army stuff, not because I’m ashamed of being a single mom, but because less of my male battle buddies will sexually harass me if they think I’m married. It doesn’t solve the entire problem, but it probably cuts it in half.
I have gotten a few comments from people. When I was pregnant and shopping for new bras a sales woman actually asked me when I was going to get married. “I’m not”, I said, as if it was the most bizarre question anyone could have asked.
“You’re not?” she replied.
“No,” I shot back “You see a ring on this finger?” She said something then about not wanting to assume anything, and I said “Well you assumed I wasn’t married, why? And why does it matter? Do I need a man’s permission to have a baby?”
That was the worst thing. I did not buy any bras that day. What the hell? Does that sort of tactic earn her a comission often? I don’t know.
Other than that, sometimes people at work will say something about “Well does your husband _____?” and I’ll just reply as frankly and politely as I can “Oh, I’m single. But I _______.” The older women sometimes seem uncomfortable about this, but most of the people around there are pretty cool. Its a military environment, after all. They’re all used to unconventional families.


SKL June 16, 2008 at 1:23 am

I have never had a ring, so the thought of wearing one has never crossed my mind.

But, I have found myself in defensive situations once people realize I’m a single mom. For me, I can deflect some of that by letting people know my kids are adopted, but I still get married fathers (99.9% of the folks at and above my level in my industry) who think (a) shame on me for not providing my kids with a father / being a SAHM and (b) obviously my work is going to be part-time and half-assed for the next 20 years or so. So, I generally avoid mention of my kids around male professionals. Should I feel guilty for keeping quiet rather than carrying the banner for single motherhood? I don’t think so. I am not a politician or an evangelist, just a mother who happens to be single. I like to keep my life as simple as I can, and I feel that’s my moral right.

Ms single mom, I noticed that you declared that YOU have never felt judged in professional circles for being a single mom, but I feel that means you are in no position to judge the coping mechanisms of those of us who have. I’m glad you are in a work environment that’s open to your single motherhood. My industry is apparently exactly opposite. Maybe just listen to what’s happening with other women and file it away in case you have a similar problem later.


mssinglemama June 16, 2008 at 7:45 am

Thank you so much Green Bean Mama, Jessie and SKL for sharing.

And don’t feel guilty about it. Don’t consider this something you can do for all single mothers (although it is) think of it as something you can do for yourself.

Imagine how free you would feel if you weren’t scared of what other people thought.

Here’s a quote I found this weekend:

Be who you are say what you feel
Because those who mind don’t matter
And those who matter don’t mind.

-Dr. Seuss

It can’t be a coincidence that I’ve never had a dirty look before. I will be writing more about this later this week – so please stay tuned, okay? I really think this is such an important discussion topic.

Chins up ladies! YOU are AMAZING.


Lance June 16, 2008 at 12:50 pm

Here’s a perspective from a single male. I’m not in sales, but I do come in contact with people outside my company on a daily basis. I’m sort of a face-to-face recruiter. If I met an attractive (presumably) single woman during the course of business, I would hit on her. I would be fairly forward about it, too, but not creepy or aggressive. If she had a ring on, I would not hit on her. Full disclosure: I’m also a budding social artist.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong or dishonorable about wearing a ring to avoid this. It’s your business, and if it helps you professionally, by all means do it. I wear earrings when I go out at night, but when I know I’m meeting with superiors or outsiders, I’ll take them out. There’s a bit of stigmas attached to guys who wear earrings. Kind of the same thing.

In fact, I sort of admire Kristen for being so savvy; it implies a high level of social intelligence. She knows how to play the game.

Great post and comments!


Jennifer June 16, 2008 at 12:55 pm

The “fake wedding ring at work” thing isn’t only for single mothers, but can apply to any single woman. Molloy’s Women’s Dress for Success book points out that when you wear a wedding ring to work, you are saying “I’m here for business and for nothing else.” (Molloy didn’t just dream up the advice he gives in the book either, he based it on a lot of research and sampling of the opinions of both men and women in many corporate offices.)

The workplace isn’t a meet-market or place to find Mister Right. It’s a place to get your work done, so just put on the ring so everyone can focus on work and not on who might be available.


K June 16, 2008 at 2:52 pm

Thanks for stopping by my blog as well 🙂 Very interesting discussion. I look forward to reading more about you 🙂


jessimonster June 17, 2008 at 3:02 pm

K’s point is a good one. I haven’t worn a fake wedding ring since my son was born. I wore one when I was deployed a few years ago. I will do it again if I’m ever deployed again (and I made that vow long before I got pregnant). This is simply to reduce the amount of sexual harassment I experience as a female soldier. It has nothing to do with my child.
At the same time, I don’t think not wearing a wedding ring means you’re looking for action. You shouldn’t have to wear a wedding ring to show the world you’re not hitting on someone. I don’t see men doing that. We shouldn’t have to pretend we’re married to have an excuse for not being interested. If we’re not interested, we’re not interested, married or no. Saying single women should wear a ring to show that they aren’t interested in dating in the work place is kind of like saying single women will open their legs for any dude who looks at them sideways, and the only way to prevent their foolish promiscuity is to marry them off. I’m not participating in that stereotype, thank you very much.
K’s comment makes me think that maybe I shouldn’t wear the fake wedding ring when I am deployed. After all, adultery is so common in the military that half the men don’t care if they see a ring on a woman’s finger, they’re going to hit on her anyhow. And I don’t want to perpetuate that stereotype that single women are looking for men no matter what they are doing by hiding the fact that I am single in an attempt to get respect. But a deployment is different than civillian work. The rules are different. I’m thinking of my safety (yes, sexual harassment does escalate to sexual assault, even in the military), K and Molloy are just thinking of cowering under the yoke of oppressive, archaic and sexist ideals that it is high time we as a society did away with. Just because I don’t have a ring on my finger doesn’t mean I want to sleep with any of my coworkers. Yuck.


jessimonster June 17, 2008 at 3:04 pm

Oops, sorry. It was Jennifer’s post, not K’s. These can be a little confusing.


Lance June 17, 2008 at 6:16 pm

Jessimonster, naive question here, but is sexual harassment more prevalent in the military than in the regular corporate world? I was never in the military (although I’m from a military family) so I don’t know. If it is, why do you think this is? Certainly an interesting question. I’m wondering if it’s because there are a lot of younger people in the enlisted ranks…

IMO, I don’t think single women who wear wedding rings to ward off advances are cowering, they’re simply making a social choice. I don’t see it much different from wearing sexually suggestive clothes (eg pushup bra) versus regular clothes when you go out on the town. If you dress a certain way, you’re going to be approached by men. That’s the nature and the reality of dating these days.


dadshouse June 18, 2008 at 3:08 am

Is no one else bothered by the comment about locking men in cages and throwing the keys away?

Sorry… but we’re not all creeps.


mssinglemama June 18, 2008 at 7:30 am

I don’t think they’re bothered b/c it was a joke, I love men way too much to lock them up in cages!!!


Barbara June 18, 2008 at 3:43 pm

Wow…nice to see you have decided to take the high road and make snippy comments about Kristen’s personal life (“man friend.”) Really…it’s one thing to take issue with the wedding ring if you must. But personal attacks are not cool. How is a woman supposed to feel comfortable in the world at large as a single mom when she isn’t even supported from those who walk the road with her? You don’t know Kristen. You don’t know where she is in her walk as a single mama. Apparently you have the strength to pick up the banner and lead the single mama charge. Not everyone does, or even wants to. That is their prerogative and doesn’t make them deserving of your judgment. Yes, advise her to be proud of being a smart, beautiful, amazing single mom who is doing it all on her own. Don’t kick her down just because she might not yet be strong enough to realize how awesome that is and stand proudly. Kristen is a great person and just a normal mama trying to find her way like the rest of us. If the wedding ring gives her security…so what. If you don’t like the fact she feels the need to have it, you need to support her–not judge her. Judgment is what makes people feel the need for crutches like this in the first place.


mssinglemama June 18, 2008 at 6:37 pm

Barbara – if I could just clarify – I use the term Man Person to describe my non-boyfriends until they become boyfriends. I was responding to a post she had written about not knowing just what to call the new man in her life.

Man person, as in “Who him? Oh, he’s my man person.” I have never been a fan of the word boyfriend. Anyway it’s a term I’ve used on this blog a lot. I can see how it would be offensive on first read – so thanks for pointing that out.

And thanks for your comment!


Goodparenting Blog June 19, 2008 at 6:36 am

Single parents often face various kind of social problems and taunts, which effect not only them but also their child. The best approach for this is to understand the truth and face it.


Jim Everson July 8, 2008 at 12:56 pm

OK, so maybe this post has gone cold, but just yesterday I noticed a waitress who took her wedding ring OFF and then went on to flirt with customers in the hopes of getting better tips. Just thought this behavior related to this discussion. More insight after I’ve had a nap.


Prasant February 4, 2015 at 5:29 am

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jonb July 8, 2008 at 9:42 pm

I talked to my girlfriend about this and she definitely wears a ring on her finger at work. she lives in small town in the country whereas i live in the city. at the school wear she teaches everyone is miserably married and has sticks up their asses. they frown upon her being a single mom and she does get treated differently. but since we got together they are nicer to her now because she made a good catch. nevermind that she is intelligent, georgeous, and a hell of a teacher. arrrggg, small town bs.


Meg May 1, 2009 at 2:13 pm

I’m not a single mom…my daughters dad and I have been together for 3 years (she is 19 mos) but yes there is a difference. David didn’t propose until my lil h was almost 4 months. And granted, I look younger than I am. So I got the “YOU have a kid?!” A lot. And until he presented me with a to-die-for rock, I got some flack from society (not necessarily in my preofessional life; I worked with some awesome people at the time) I lived in a small town, so it was inevitable.once they found out I was a mom, the automatic next question was “are you married?” No. “Well when are you getting married?” When we are ready to get married! Almost ALL of my friends who have kids are single moms and totally rock it, man. I think anymore though, the people who see single moms as irresponsible and think they are desperate for men and incompetent are few and far between. And its because of people like the ones who comment here or just take charge, like this site. Keep up the good work! Ya totally rock.


Emma September 26, 2014 at 1:15 am

Seriously? I don’t care about the men on the prowl in my male dominated field.

I do care about how people perceive my capabilities. And to be painfully honest, I am not nearly as productive as a single mother of two children under the age of five as I was in a partnered relationship. I can’t afford extra child care costs associated with working late or traveling when every penny already goes to childcare. But do I want my colleagues to know that I strapped until my children are both in elementary school? No. I don’t want them to know about the daily challenges that I face just getting three of us out the door each day, or making the ends meet each month.

I am preparing to be on the job market this time next year. And so, I am on the market for something to replace my wedding ring on THAT finger. I want my future employer to know that I have a family because I want to work in a family-friendly environment. But I also don’t want to be discriminated against because of some of the very real impossibilities that come with being a single mother. I’ll cross those impossible bridges when I come to them. And I will cross them on my own, without anyone knowing how damn difficult it is to do anything outside of regular daycare hours.

With a ring on my finger, we can focus on my qualifications and not my personal challenges that will be somewhat eased with a better paycheck.

Oh yes, and for those of us with biracial children, we DO get that scornful, knowing glare from nosy strangers looking for a wedding band. Every. single. day.


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