Dear Mom, friend who recently got engaged, cat-calling guy standing behind me at Chase bank and Rabbi who I recently saw at Yom Kippur services, among others:
Stop asking me why I'm still single.
As if being single is something to be so massively ashamed of that I might as well wear a t-shirt that says "someone who loves me very much went to Paris and got me this shirt because I'm still single."
Or a crime. Who would have thought that not finding anyone worthy of sharing the other half of a love seat with you while you feed each other fried artichoke hearts and laugh like chipmunks over "Modern Family" is worthy of doing time in the state penitentiary?
You say it like there's something seriously wrong with me; something that's been accumulating for a while and I didn't work hard enough to prevent, like gingivitis. It's as if you're about to dazzle me with a gorgeous compliment, and then you take it back. You rip it right out of my hands like a molten hot chocolate chip cookie, fresh out of the oven, at 2 a.m.. Here's what you sound like when you ask me that question:
Jennifer, I'm so proud of your promotion at work. But honey, why are you still single?
I'm so happy that I'm not single! But don't worry Jen, I'm sure you'll find someone. I was talking to [insert friend's fiancés name] and he totally could not fathom how you could STILL be single.
Girl, you're too pretty to be standing in line here, all by yourself. There's no way you're still single?
Jennifer, oy vey, I haven't seen you since your mouth was covered in braces and your face in pimples at age 13, how could a mensch like yourself still be single?
Maybe it's some kind of twisted SAT question: If X=3 and Y=12, solve why Jen is still single in the equation: X + SingleJen=Y
Are you looking for me to rattle off a list of all the things wrong with me or my actions on first dates? You know, I was feeling pretty fine and dandy about myself today, but since you asked, I'm probably still single because:
I'm too driven in my career and I spend more time smooching my computer than I do humans.
Maybe I'm too open on first dates with the things I say, like my stance on ObamaCare and how I owe a ridiculous amount of money in late fines to the New York Public Library.
I guess I'm a bit clumsy. But not in an 'aww, she's so cute, someone go get a mop and clean up her spilt glass of Pino,' kind of way. But in an 'Umm, I hope you didn't love that button-down Ralph Lauren shirt you're wearing because I don't think Steak Sauce comes out easily, and I'm sorry,' way.
I don't like to play games other than Battleship and Blackjack, so when I don't wait five hours before texting him back or pay for dinner on the second date, I can hear the self-help dating books screaming at me on the top of their lungs. But I just don't care.
Maybe you should start putting yourself out there more, you say, on repeat -- as if you don't appreciate my couch-plopping Saturday night specials, go to some local single events or pick up a new hobby.
So, mom... engaged friend... creepy stranger on the Subway ... Rabbi Yehuda, listen up:
Just because I'm in my mid-to-upper 20's doesn't mean that I need to be six months away from slipping an engagement ring on my finger. It doesn't mean I need to have the job with the 401K, the boyfriend who calls me 'Babe' and the second floor walkup apartment on the Upper East Side. It means one thing and one thing only: I still have a few more years to figure it all out.
So leave me alone.
But just stop asking me why I'm still single.
And while you're at it, stop asking if you can set me up with your cousin's best friend who you would never, ever, date and who likes to pick his nose an excessive amount, but maybe I'd like him.
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