Updated: Sep 6
I ain't calling no names, but 'someone' got the notion that home of the Star-Spangled Banner is no longer fit to be called 'great'! Though from where I sit, this island girl thinks the 'Land of the Free' is just fine. But then again, my time there is usually brief. I shop, eat, take in the sites, and make my way back home. I don't have to live there, so what do I know? My two days of visitation is not to be compared to someone else's lifetime occupancy!
I suppose it is the same when, as a single, I try to juxtapose my life to that of a married person. While I can't speak for the other side, I believe it's fair to say all married women were once single, but it's not quite the same thing vice-versa. Marriage, I'm sure, is not to be confused with such 'situation-ships' like that of Weekend at Tiffany's or The Graduate having a moment with the infamous Mrs. Robinson. I am all but certain, saying "I Do" presents very different dynamics. Okurr!
You only hear what you understand
Let me give you a scenario. To most kids, it feels like grown-ups say the most perplexing things! As a child, I, for one, never understood the expressions told by older people. It often felt like their words hung an 'out of order' sign around every fun childhood activity. Honestly, I don't think that as I grew, it changed either. In fact, the lingo just got more oxymoronic. Though, when it comes to the superstitions surrounding weddings and marriage, I don't know if they make a difference, should you comply or not.
All I know is, "Something old, something new, something borrowed something blue" will not ensure endless bliss. Nor does 'Wednesday is the "best day" to marry, though Monday is for wealth and Tuesday is for health' give you a detailed itinerary of dates and times when 'better or worse' may come into effect. I have no clue who implemented the practice of catching the bride's bouquet or why it means that you're next (initializing gag reflex). I just wish it would stop. I can't speak for the rest of you'll, but my rusty-ole butt is no puppy show. No matter how hyped the crowd is when 'Single Ladies' start to play, I'm not about to fall down over some flowers in the name superstition.
In my mind, finally understanding my childhood idioms was like unlocking the Matrix. However, some things in adulthood have me stumped. Like why does 'he who wants all, gets none' implies that it's almost a sin to 'seek more'. Though I think the 'wanting' is not the real crime. In my opinion, the catch-22 is when you're continually looking for 'better' when what one has, still works. That's the very definition of never being satisfied. To make something 'great again' suggests two things. One that it was great before and two, now it's not. In this case, like the proverbial kid, I have to ask, "How can you re-create something that already is?" I mean, if it ain't dead, why are you trying to resurrect it? Contrary to popular belief, single-hood, even more than its benefits, has a purpose. That bird in the hand remains more valuable than the one in the bush. Believe that.
I know what I want & I want it now!
When we get to the heart of the matter, it's apparent that you can't be both single and married simultaneously. You can only be one or the other, and the way things are looking, you'd better chose your struggle wisely.
'You can’t have your cake and eat it too', simply means you can’t eat the cake and expect to have it. Or better yet, you can’t spend your money and still keep it.
Just as parking your body in a garage won't make you a car, calling yourself 'the Missus' to a man absent of matrimony will not make you a wife. Yes, it's a tough pill to swallow, but no matter how close you and homie are, you are single until you are married. Even if you live with him, when your application form asks your marital status, you check 'single'. There is no 'box' labelled cohabitation or 'main chick'.
At some point, if not in all my relationships, I felt and acted as if I was entitled to some benefits that don't come at the girlfriend level. Then I read a meme that on the surface was hilarious, but the stark facts were low-key embarrassing. See exhibit A: We just got engaged (single). I live with my boyfriend, and we have kids (still single). We've been together for 15-years (super single). I call his mother 'mum' (and she calls you, s-i-n-g-l-e). My kids call him dad (and the survey says...DING.... single). We have a joint bank account (SIN-G-LE!!). He has credit in my name (oh, stupid AND single). While I did have a good laugh, I have to admit that thang hit me hard. It was like getting a shock from a defibrillator that knocked me out and brought me back at the same time.
'Single' is NOT a Cuss' Word
Being desirous of the next level is not a bad thing. Even so, the 'he who wants all' clause, in this case, does not make you thirsty. It becomes a problem when the thirst becomes all-consuming. I think 'the ring' has many of us so distracted that we have not entirely given way to the here and now, better known as the 'present.' Our minds are so caught up in everything else that we haven't really given ourselves a fair chance at enjoying these coveted solo moments. I've stopped trying to make everything sound so deep. Life can be simple. So in my time 'alone,' I've come up with what I deem my top five perks of being single:
✤ There is no-one to give you grief about being selfish. Society would like to make you think that being selfish is a bad thing. It is absolutely not. This is the time in your life that you can be unapologetic about putting yourself first. Back in the day, I was able to pick-up everything and move to another country. I didn't have to seek permission or consider who the decision was effecting. I was able to do what was in my best interest, without regret.
✤ You don't have to compromise on what you like. If you have spent any time in a relationship, you know, as well as I do, you end up doing a whole bunch of stuff in the name of 'give-and-take' or the next alleged cuss word 'compromise.' As a single, it'll always be about you. I can be fat if I want, skinny if I wish. Cook or don't cook, and the value of my womanhood won't be up for debate.
✤ Everything is always where you left it. Confession: this chick has some really anal-retentive tendencies. Yea, I already know, I'm not for everyone. That won't change the fact that I like everything in its place, though. I also get that organization isn't always idyllic, but in my world, having structure is necessary for function.
✤ I don't have to pick a side of the bed. This may not be important to everyone, but personally, I like sleeping like a starfish. There is nothing like rolling over to the cool-side of the bed (island people problems). Plus, there is no one to fight for the covers. Picture it, 'silence,' and hours of uninterrupted sleep.
✤ I get to pursue purpose. Over the years, I've learned to be honest with me. With that said, had I been married before now, I would be frustrated, lost, and unfulfilled. Probably wondering about all the what-ifs. Despite the hiccups, I was able to find and seek God-to know beyond the shadow of a doubt what He has created me to be. This was the place where I learned that I am enough (as much as is necessary) because I said so! To live in that stride is priceless.
One is NOT the Loneliest Number
It's up to you to decide whether you want to savour the cake, or whether you want to marvel at it. But you can't have both. At least not at the same time. All's I'm saying is be 'present' at every stage in your life because, just like childhood, it'll all be over in a flash. Then suddenly you'll find yourself 'adulting' but wishing to be a kid again. Don't be that married woman, 'acting' like she's single. That's not a good look.
In order to survive these 'single' years unscathed and tainted by the 'there must be something wrong with her' tinge, own your position. Stand confidently and be proud like how Uncle Sam's Commander and Chief be unapologetic on Twitter. Master your life, make being single look so good that everyone asks you, "Who you wearing?" Give your single years an Oscar-worthy performance! Whatever role you feel most compelled to play in the movie of your life, remember, you can't be both on stage and in the audience too. Being single never went out of style, it just depends on how you accessorize.