I entered single-hood three? four years? ago (hey, when you are at the end of your dating rope, these things kind of just run together). I wrote “The Disadvantages of Being Single” (which got an overwhelming response) at the beginning of this journey, and now that I’m a more seasoned veteran, I’d like to add a few more points:
11. You feel like all that are left by now are the curds: You know, the part of the milk that people want last, but they feel guilty throwing it out, so they try to sell it as cottage cheese, and you buy it, thinking you might actually eat it someday, but it just sits in your fridge and molds? Everyone you meet seems to have some kind of major RED FLAG: you perceive they drink too much, they have a gambling problem, too close to their mother still, etc. Other girls are repulsed by them because of their arrogant attitude (that you don’t pick up until the third date), they have a gross habit of never brushing their teeth, you realize you can’t stand the stench of their feet. And, while you have spent all of this time thinking you are a normal person and a pretty good catch, you kind of start feeling bad about yourself, because….what if now you are considered the curds too?
12. Explaining to people why you are single: Like my friend Peggy pointed out, for some reason, it’s more acceptable to be divorced and single, than just single. Because divorce is becoming a social norm, we are never too shocked anymore when we find out our best friend’s parents are going through it, and we are so proud of our friend when she tells us all the freeing and fun excursions she’s been on since becoming divorced. But, when we tell people we are just “single”, they give us some kind of strange stare and slowly start backing away, as if “single” is a disease they could catch. Like, shouldn’t I get some credit for screening out potential life suckers, maintaining integrity to myself, for being independent and not bending to social norms that I don’t need someone to leech onto?
13. You always get the shaft on group excursions: Being single is great because you can go where you want, when you want to, and you don’t have to worry about disrupting anyone else’s schedule. The downfall is, when you go on group excursions with non-single people, you always get the shaft in room choices, meal choices, setting choices, etc.–because there are two of them, and only one of you. Like, whenever I go anywhere, it’s always just assumed that I get the sofa sleeper, and everyone else who is coupled off gets the nice, luxurious king sized beds, Jacuzzi tubs, and while everyone in the group is splitting the same amount of money to stay in the hotel, I still get the sofa sleeper with the pole that wedges under your back all night, the noise of the screaming tween soccer boys who run up and down the hall all night, and the soft glow of the emergency light in the kitchen.
14. There’s no one to attribute new love songs to: I think music brings a quality to life unlike any other, and when I hear a good song, I’m known to listen to it on full blast over and over and over again (and often times miss my exit on the highway because I’m so focused on singing). Like, LOVED Ed Sheeran’s Thinking Out Loud. And, Dan + Shay’s ‘From the Ground Up’. I’ve even sometimes have gone back to my Edwin McCain ‘I’ll Be’, or Haley Rhinehart’s Extra Gum commercial, ‘Falling in Love With You’ (a for sure tear jerker). When you have a significant other, it’s always super romantic when these songs come out so that you can gaze into each other’s eyes and sing them to each other and fall even more in love, and you send parts of the lyrics to each other in text messages when you are missing each other. And, when you are single, you got no one to sing to (other than the dog), so you just kind of hope that someday, you can prescribe that great song to someone else someday, whenever that ends up being, but until then, you just belt it, emptily.
15. Transportation can be dicey: No girl should ever walk anywhere by herself at night. Because most of your single-social-activities take place at night, getting to and fro places can often require a little bit of planning. Your non single friends arrive together, and if you ask them to walk you to your car that is on the other side of the concert venue, then it’s inconvenient for them (and, you know they just spent all that together, listening to romantic music, so they are eager to get home and be alone). So, you either burden your non-single friends, or you walk to your car by yourself, the whole way crossing your fingers and praying some creepy homeless rapist doesn’t pull you down the dark alley.
16. You can’t blame irrelevant unnecessary purchases on someone else: When you have a significant other and you share bank accounts, it’s really easy to rationalize to yourself that the reason you have no money is due to their spending habits; THEY are eating out too much, THEY are socializing too long, THEY are purchasing too many songs on iTunes, and you have no need to change your spending habits, because you can blame it all on someone else. However, when you are single, all charges come from you (unless, of course, your credit card gets confiscated). Whenever I look at my credit card statement, my first thought is, “There’s NO way all of those charges came from me”, and then I look at the list, and I remember, “Oh yes, I did eat Chick Fil A twice in one day”, “Oh yes, I did buy that candy at the gas station the last time I filled up”, “Oh yes, I did actually buy those T-Swift and J-Tim and J-Bieb and S-Dog albums on iTunes”. Yup, call on me–there is no one else to blame for my debt other than myself.
17. No one will wake you up if you sleep through your alarm: I mean, I never quite get the same kind of sleep sharing a bed with someone than when I sleep by myself, because inevitably, that person always kicks you, steals the covers, lets out some displeasing odors that interrupts your own slumber. But, the downside is that there is not a second human being to make sure you are awake and getting ready for the day. In the five years I’ve worked at my job, I’ve probably slept through my alarm once (but still made it to work on time), but it’s always a looming thought in my head as I lay my pillow on my bed each night–which is why I set at least 10 alarms. If I had a significant other, this stress could be alleviated (but then again, I’d add on the stress of their presence whilst I’m sleeping).
18. Your life is often a big, fat UNKNOWN: Many of my friends are “starting to settle down” and are buying their own houses, etc. etc., and the thought that always goes through my head is, “Well I could spend my hard, earned cash on a dinky little condo, OR I could wait to see what kind of financial situation I am in when I meet my Prince Charming. I mean, I hope he’s rich, so it’s kind of a waste for me to dump my money on something unsatisfactory if he will be able to provide something better”, but then time passes, there is still no Prince Charming, people are still buying houses and “settling down”, getting dogs, having babies, and because you are so utterly single, there is nothing in the foreseeable future that says your life will be settling down soon, too. Like, if I were married, I might be able to better predict how long I’d stay at my job, what I’d be doing for the holiday season, if I could get a dog (and have someone else take it out during the day whilst I’m working). But, everything is just a big, fat UNKNOWN, which makes planning for the future a little difficult.
19. The airport can be inconvenient: I love, love, love traveling, but sometimes, doing the solo-traveling thing can be a little inconvenient, like when your Frontier flight is delayed 3 hours, and you really, really want to take a nap, but you can’t quite seem to prop your feet up comfortably on your suitcase (of course, if you have a significant other, you could lay your head in their lap, of course, whilst listening to romantic songs that remind you of each other). Or, you really, really have to use the bathroom, and you don’t want to drag your luggage on those dirty floors that have strange color spots, but you also hear those blaring announcements about “DO NOT LEAVE YOUR STUFF UNATTENDED OR YOU WILL BE DETAINED”, so you are forced to drag your luggage on those floors. I mean, I personally like to stroll a while before I sit down for a long duration, and it would be really nice if I had a significant other I could stage at the end of the concourse and we could pretend to run towards each other and end in a long embrace. But alas, I am stuck, looking like a fool, walking in circles, belting out those love songs to myself.
20. Why cook?: I walked into a cooking store today and saw all these death-trap-looking-cooking contraptions (to which, I found out were called “whisks”, and “basters”, and “sieves”). Now, if I did any cooking whatsoever, I’d totally know what all of these gadgets were, but since I’m single, I really see no point in cooking. I have to pre-plan before I go to the grocery store (its inevitable that I’ll forget something). I have to cut the stuff up, wait 15-20 minutes for the water to boil (mostly because I forget to turn the stove on), put the stuff in the oven, wait for it to cook, eat, and do the dishes. So, overall, I might spend 45 minutes making something that I scarf down in 2 minutes. No thank you. I’ll stick to my popcorn and bag o’ carrots for dinner (sorry future husband).
21.It’s lonely: Don’t get me wrong; I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my singledom-hood and all the things that have come out of it. But, there certainly are times that being the only single person you know is just very, very lonely; everyone else you know is already paired up and responsible to take care of someone else. You totally understand when your friends can’t hang out on the weekends, because they have commitments to their significant others, or why your parents can’t answer your phone call because they are spending time together. You certainly don’t blame any of these people for having to put you on the back burner, but sometimes, it would just be nice to have someone to hug you at the end of the day and tell you everything is going to be alright.