Singleness. Not all it’s cracked up to be. It’s not a Hallmark holiday movie. Nor is it a 529 page girl meets boy novel where the down-on-her-luck girl meets a model-like man and marries him in a castle. Or maybe that’s the Hallmark movie. And for someone in my circle, singleness is not some reality TV show night on the town re-playing high school drama on the big stage.
Instead, it’s full of weirdness. Beyond awkward moments. And lots of pretty great moments, too.
But the awkward parts, that’s what you tell your friends about. Your married with 2.5 children and a dog, friends. They’re the friends you text in the middle of your most excruciatingly awkward moments.
And in Minnesota, a true Midwestern state, singles are hard to come by because everyone gets married at age 20. So, those of us left at the dwindling single’s table at wedding receptions, we inquire about friends’ husbands’ single friends. There are none. So, people tell us to “go online.” Some friend of a friend or sister-in-law of a neighbor met her man on “name the dating site.com.” It’s 2014, the age of the internet. So, you go online.
And it’s one freak-show profile picture after another. Pictures that rival Awkward Family Photo albums. Men that you didn’t know existed. And not in a good way. Your friends tell you you’re being too picky. That you can’t expect an Abercrombie model. But really, it’s like…
When your friends see the photos of your “matches,” they laugh. Hard. They express their condolences and tell you to try again. You do. It’s not much better. In fact, it is worse than you imagined. And you already imagined the worst.
You hear about a single’s event. You sign up and go, paying a small price for what you hope will yield fun and new friends. The minute you sign in and write your name on a “Hello, my name is” tag, you regret your presence. For before you awaits a room full of singles. Your parents’ age. But you think to yourself, “maybe more people will show up…how bad can it get?” Bad. Really bad. You lie and leave early, but not after having to mingle with men older than your dad…and you don’t even meet any cool single girls in your boat. Because there are none.
You’re in an odd stage. Too old for the college groups. Too young for the widow crowd. You work a lot, drained of your energy and charisma, too tired to join clubs and add to your plate. Homebodies tend to like to stay home and do homie things. You know you’re going to be all right. That no matter what, you’ll survive. Even perfect strangers tell you so. “Oh, are you married? Do you have kids?” Your “Nope,” causes them to answer with a “Well, you’ll find someone” as they wink at you like they’ve got a hoard of men stashed somewhere just waiting to descend on you. Their sincerity makes you wonder though.
Will you? Will you find someone? A normal someone without weird hobbies or bathroom selfies?
Because, it’s about time.