I didn’t think I would be doing another post this soon…yes, yes, yes, I know I promised y’all a couple of stories but a girl can only do so much! Well, the truth is, work has not been so bad this week. Very few clients. Which, honestly, I’m not complaining about! 🙂 I like having a reprieve in the middle of the work day to take a nap or catch up with my reading or something. Maybe listen to my favorite music. I have been neglecting my playlists of late… Not cool. Also, the boss has been away so I’ve kinda been the Acting Boss and probably will be for the next couple of weeks… Maaaaan, I love being the boss!! I can just sit at my machine and churn out a post and I look like I’m doing some serious work! Plus, oh, what a joy delegation is!! The person who invented delegation should be crowned king of the world. Must’ve been on cleverly lazy bastard…. I wanna be a boss forever and ever. (As long as there is a similar reflection in my pay slip, of course.)
Anyway, I was talking to a friend recently and I found out she has a new boyfriend. We’ve been single for a while now, me and her. Of course I was ecstatic for her. She’s the sort of person who is uncomfortable with the whole being single thing. So I congratulate her and I’m all happy for her and she tells me “Just hang in there love, you’ll get one too….” O____o Now, if you have read any of my other posts, you know that I’m a single, twenty-something year old working girl and truthfully, I have been single for a very long time… Longer than I even care to admit to some people because some of them tend to give you the stinky eye like ‘Is something wrong with you? Why have you been single for that long???’ Sigh. My issues with relationships are many and varied…. the most obvious being the usual ‘Once bitten, twice shy’ shtick. Oh, that alone would make up a blog by itself. I probably will talk about them one day. Or not. Maybe. I don’t know… 🙂 My issue right now is these people who think a woman cannot be single and happy. Yes, a woman. Y’all know a woman is judged more harshly than a man…. A man under the same circumstances would be considered a baller. A player. A lucky bastard.. He’d get pats on his back and women would continously throw their knickers at him. He’d be the envy of his friends… It’s almost like it’s a misnomer…. Single and happy??? The two of them apparently cancel each other out. Why does a girl being single cancel out all her other accomplishments? Why is being a single woman a taboo? My friend went on ahead to tell me, ‘Aki usijali, utapata tu…’ (Loosely translated to mean “Don’t worry, you’ll find one eventually”!!! (I shot her several times, and in slow-motion too, in my head, just so you know. And I’m not even ashamed to admit it out loud)
If you were to ask me about myself, I’d say I am a (mostly) confident woman who has a pretty good life, full of meaningful work, a good support network of wonderful friends, and a loving family. My career is going well, I got a promotion, I’m making good money…… basically, I like where I am right now and I wouldn’t really want to change much in my life… OK, so I could stand to lose a few pounds…. Of course, so yeah, I would probably rub that magic lamp hard to change that. But since things don’t work that way, I’m eating much healthier nowadays and hitting the gym in between and I’m fairly certain that I will shed those stupid pounds, if I am patient enough. And patient I am… See, I grew up in a large family….almost the size of a football team really, so patience was not a virtue rather, pretty much a necessity. Unlike my mum who doesn’t seem to understand that the damn weight does not melt away overnight! She’s on my case like a thong up a big ass! MY big ass. I understand her concern, I really do, I just wish she could go about it in a less obnoxious way. I get weary sometimes just thinking about it. Bah!
So, to sum it up, I am a single woman approaching her thirty’s with no kids. I am just going to pause for a second to let that sink in, and to let you think about the images and feelings that spring to mind when you hear that phrase. I bet a number of you think I am either:
- Standing in a crotch-grazing leopard-print dress, in high heels (they HAVE to be high heels. I always wear high heels.) at a bar yelling extremely loudly, with a slightly-to-very-crazy look in my eyes, “I LOVE being single! I never want a relationship! Relationships are for the weak! Look at HOW MUCH FUN I AM HAVING!!” OR
- Sitting in my pajamas, inhaling a tub of ice cream while watching When Harry Met Sally and sobbing about how lonely and empty my life is. (Ok, so I do eat ice cream on occasion. Chocolate too, though not much of late…but I categorically deny ever watching that movie and I never sob while eating ice cream. We all know there’s love to be found at the bottom of the tub, right? Right? Come ooooon…right?)
You couldn’t be further from the truth if that is the imagery you had. Most of the time, I am perfectly happy with the way things are. I love my work (on most days when my good ‘ol boss is not being
an ass a beast of burden) and I love my family. I like taking care of my nieces and nephews and quite frankly, it works out very well for me. I get to have the healing company of children and best of all, I get to return them to their owners at the end of the day… That is a win-win situation right there, if you ask me! But nobody is asking me, I guess. Sigh. Sadly, society seems too intent upon reminding me that my life is not complete until I make a walk down the aisle and/or/then have babies. One of the hardest thing nowadays about being single at this age is not actually being single, it is having to put up with the constant bombardment of comments and pressure to “find someone” and “be happy” (with the inference that if you are single, you must be very miserable). And what’s worse is, most of these comments come from women themselves! Like if you are married and have children, it suddenly makes you exponentially superior to my single self! It’s almost like being single is analogous to some sort of flesh-eating disease that, if unchecked, will eventually consume you in some god-awful way. Oh, and the absolute worst are the ones who think they magically have the right to tell you it’s your fault you’re single because they are partnered. Things like “You don’t put yourself out there…. You need to get out more…. You need to stop being so career-minded… You need to lower your standards a little bit…” Lady, if I put myself out there any further, I’ll fall off the damn ledge!!
So what compels people to make such hurtful or patronizing remarks to single women? Is it because they really think they’re doing us a service? Do they really believe my life is empty? Or are they trying to justify their own life choices? There’s probably more than one answer to that question, but with the divorce rate at about 50 percent, what is it about marriage that still compels people, especially women, to feel that it is the end-all-be-all of happiness and success? And why is it these partnered people have the right to comment on my single status yet I, on the other hand, am not allowed to comment on the absolutely appaling state of some of their relationships? I have a friend who’s engaged yet she (Yes, she. Pick your jaw from the floor) cheats on the hapless dude left, right and center. With exes, with younger men, with work colleagues, with the one who got away (but somehow managed to come back now that she’s engaged to be hitched), damn, just about everything in trousers! Yet I am not allowed to comment on that! Why should it be acceptable for me to be asked “Why are you still single?”, yet it isn’t okay for me to ask “Why have you settled for him? Why are you stuck with her? Were you so afraid of being alone?” What is with the double standards people? Are we so besotted by the idea of being partnered that we believe any relationship or marriage, no matter how dysfunctional, is better than being single? Also, why should the fact that I am single overshadow my accomplishments. Why should it eclipse the fact that I work hard, I have bought my own car or my own piece of land or that I’m constructing a commercial building that is likely gonna get me a good and stable income? Why should the fact that my vagina has not squeezed out any life form eclipse the fact that I am helping to educate my siblings? Why should the fact that my uterus has not housed any life be a reason for someone, anyone to pity me or worse, feel superior to me?? Do not get me wrong, I am not anti-love or anti-marriage or anti-babies. I believe in love. I believe in its power and its healing. And I absolutely adore babies… I am not saying that being single is THE BEST THING EVER!!…. No! Being single has it’s challenges. Yes, we do get sad and lonely days…and there are probably things like businesses or investments that would be so much easier done as a couple than as a single person…. There is the companionship. Someone to sit, and hold hands with, in the dark with when KPLC are misbehaving… And the sex… Oh, dear God, THE SEX!! I miss the sex… That’s probably the single biggest thing I hate about being not being in a relationship. I love sex but I am not into casual sex. Or one-night stands or friends-with-benefits type of situations. I believe that sex is an intimate thing that should be shared by two (or more, depending on how freaky y’all are! hihihi.) people in a commitment of some sort. Of course, on one of those really bad nights being driven by the dry spell, I have considered changing my mind about it…but I haven’t so far…. But I do not feel the need to rush into a relationship right now. I do not feel the need to have children right now. And, if I can be brutally honest, I am quite, very certain that I probably won’t have children. My biological clock seems to have either stopped or malfunctioned. Maybe I never had one to begin with, it was probably assigned to someone else….whatever the reason, I do not feel the need to terrorize my genitals just to prove something to anyone. I have never been a woman who dreams of the white dress or a big wedding and honestly, the idea of marriage scares the holy bejezuz out of me! I know I am not ready for that kind of commitment right now. I want to live alone for now….travel the world. Explore. Not have to explain myself or my actions to anyone. Or be responsible for anyone’s well-being. Or anyone’s feelings… I am probably not emotionally mature for it either…. One friend told me that I was being selfish for thinking that way. She said a woman’s duty (DUTY??? WTH??) is to settle down and raise a family. When I told her I didn’t think I would ever want or have children, she practically got the vapors and fainted! We had to get the find the smelling salts to revive her.
I find that I have learnt to thrive in, and enjoy, the alone-ness. (Not loneliness! That would just be anti-social) and I am quite content and fulfilled whether a relationship ever happens or not. Of course I would love to be in a relationship one day (once I get over my phobias) and I would love to give my all to my partner in an extraordinary way…but I am not going to let the fact that I am not in one right now dictate how I live the rest of my life…. If it happens, it happens. If not, *shrugs* I would be glad for the day when I can talk about the challenges of being a single person without being judged as miserable or bitter, or to be able to talk about and share my happiness and accomplishments without someone thinking (or saying) “Yes, but you don’t have a man.” I am not making some kind of feminist statement or something here, though it probably wouldn’t matter if I was anyway…
I would like people to please stop trying to live my life for me. Stop projecting their expectations of life on me. I do not want to have a boyfriend or a husband simply as an accessory….because it is expected of me. I want to have the right person, at the right time. And right now is not the right time for me. There may never be a right time or that right person and if that’s the case, I will deal with it then. I wish we could all remember that life isn’t a competitive sport and happiness CAN be found in many places, not just in relationships and marriages and motherhood. I can be single AND happy…. Please let me be.
I would like to bury my head in the sand and act like this piece is going to go down well with everyone. The truth is, I am likely going to be labeled as a bitter single woman who’s unable to find love and is therefore lashing out at all the not-single people. Knowing that I am anything but bitter or miserable yet will likely be labeled so makes me extremely sad but hey, opinions are like a**holes, everyone has one. And they have the right to have one too, no matter how asinine. I hope y’all have a wonderful weekend.