If being single were a medical affliction, I’d be “terminal”. There would be medication put in pill jars that indicated what day of the week it was. Friday would call for a horse-sized pill, coated in asbestos that could only be swallowed with the aid of Two Buck Chuck and a re-watching of The Goonies. Alas, and thankfully, being single isn’t a medical issue, because given the current state of our healthcare system, I’d definitely have a preexisting condition.
To tell someone that you don’t have a mate is to be a sea captain without one of the same name. People look at you strangely. First, they assess if you have all your vital appendages. Two arms. Check. Two legs. Check. Eyes. Ears. Nose. Lips. Check. Check. Check. Check. Then, when everything seems to be there, they think, “Then why is he single? Oh, he must not have a penis.”
I have a penis (arguably the first and last time that phrase will be shouted out on HelloGiggles)!
It seems as a culture, we like to ask two questions: what do you do for a living and are you in a relationship? The reality of the situation is people are more interested in the question: who do you do for a living? It seems unfathomable to people in healthy and functioning partnerships that you don’t have what they have. They see you as a starving pooch, pawing at window sills for a slurp of broth and their union is that warm feeling in both of their tum tums inviting you to lap up their contentment. Why aren’t you eating?! Why aren’t you dating someone!? The people in your lives demand to know why!
Best friend: “Are you, ya know, gay and confused about it?
Mom: “You can tell me what’s on your mind.”
Dad of a single male: “Play the field. Get more ass than the Wrigley Field bleachers.”
Dad of a single female: “Good. I like you perpetually virginal.”
Grandmother: “It’s because you’re too skinny. I’ll make you a sandwich.”
Person at work: “I can fix you up with someone. You have a lot in common. She/he’s lonely too and has aspirations for many cats.”
What people in relationships fail to realize is that being single isn’t necessarily a bad or life-threatening affliction. We’re conditioned to find “the one” from the earliest of ages, in between learning about where poop goes and why water is wet. A kid comes to the realization that if mommy and daddy didn’t find each other in the throes of passion, they’d be just another tailed swimmer who met their demise in a wadded up piece of Kleenex. Love exists outside of the realm of a classification system.
There’s nothing funnier then telling someone you’re single and seeing them look immediately uncomfortable at the admission. It’s like they’ve literally seen you with your fly down, booger in nostril and remembered that one time in grade school when the class ferret did his business on your LA Gear’s. Instead, they politely nod and file away in their mental Rolodex that you may or may not be an axe murderer because of your lack of a spouse. Yes, it’s gotten that bad in the current dating climate. Being single is a considered a death wish for either you or the general public. Sound the alarm!
What couples fail to realize is that we judge their unions just as harshly as they view our situation. Their relationship is often a barometer for what we don’t want. There’s nothing worse than being in the company of a couple who absolutely loathe one another, yet are hanging on by the thinnest of heartstrings for fear that they will have to return to the dating circuit. They’d rather have someone to hate than have no one at all.
So the next time you’re judged for being single, or turn up a quizzical eyebrow when you meet someone that is, just remember they didn’t just tell you that they only had a week to live. There’s nothing wrong with being a free agent.
As for me…I’m broke AND single. I’ve got real problems. Cue the Beyoncé.
Featured image via: theantisocialmedia.com