I was recently out in a group setting (because that’s what cool people do), where we began to discuss our hobbies. After everyone shared what one thing they were good at, the conversation turned to television shows. Netflix-this. Hulu-that. A jam session about current television could not end without mentioning NBC’s hit This Is Us, and naturally, everyone chimed in their opinion. One person said they couldn’t watch it because it made them cry, and I cut off someone else who started to gush about the latest episode, stating that I had yet to catch up. As we laughed and joked, the natural progression of the conversation should have turned to other hobbies like bird-watching, or scrapbooking, but it took a bit of an odd turn:
Person (turning to me, with head titled to the side in confusion): Michelle, do you like “This Is Us?”
Me (thinking that the previous conversation already established this): Um, yes?
Person: I just thought that you wouldn’t like it. Because it’s like, about families. And people in relationships, and marriage. And I know you’re not married, so I didn’t think you could relate. I mean, I remember when I was single, I couldn’t relate to stuff like that. But now that I have a husband, and a child, I. HAVE. AN. US.
Me: Um, no… I still like the show?
For those who are unaware, This Is Us centers around a family of three siblings, their parents, and a myriad of relationships that go along with BEING A HUMAN BEING. This show is not about a young unicorn, living in an alternate universe where everyone can reproduce on their own. I’m trying to tell you that it’s relatable to every single person on this Earth who breathes air. I never went to medical school, but Grey’s Anatomy is my favorite show. I don’t need to be a third-year resident to enjoy sex-crazed doctors on a weekly basis. For this person to suggest that I couldn’t enjoy a show about people who were in relationships because I was not in one, is part of a larger epidemic of people feeling sad for the “Single Person”.
Newsflash: We are not sad little souls, who need you to come check on us every couple of days. Well, there might be a few, but the majority of us don’t need to be handled like the ASPCA cats you see in those Sarah McLaughlin commercials. Let’s even reign in our demographic here- if you know someone over the age of 30 who is still single, you don’t need to feel sorry for them. We don’t need care packages and special parking spaces at the mall ( though that would be nice, since the kids get all the perks). I cannot even wrap my head around how many times I’ve relayed the fact that I’m single to people, and then the look on their faces turn from pleasant to sheer confusion: Why? Did you just get out of a relationship? Do you live in a bad neighborhood? Have you tried Match? Do you go to church? Do you ever go out? What about that one guy? Have you tried waking up in the morning, and going to bed at night? Do you have standards? Have you considered lowering them?
The sense of disdain and bewilderment put upon many a single person is quite surprising, but not shocking. Now, I’m just speaking of those who look at single people and demand an explanation as to why they are still on Tinder, or even worse, try to suggest what you might do differently to be in their shoes. My happily-ever committed lovebirds, here’s what single people are sick of hearing- we just can’t figure how to say it without sounding like an asshole:
- “Enjoy being single”: I have enjoyed it. For 37 years. It’s been super fun. I’d much rather be in a healthy, positive, and fun relationship. And question, are you NOT having fun? Are you enjoying yourself, committed person?? You are not selling this whole “relationship” thing very well. I wouldn’t say that being single or married is more fun than the other- who you are as a person dictates your happiness. All single people aren’t running around, riding mechanical bulls at happy hour, and all married people don’t sit in the house making to-do lists. Case in point, my best friend and her husband have two awesome kids, a great marriage, and still find time to be their “cool” selves. They don’t patronize their single friends- they understand that who you are as a person dictates your happiness, regardless of your relationship status.
- “It’ll happen for you”: Thanks, Carol, I really appreciate it. I don’t think I could go on this quest for finding true love without your wonderful insight. But hey, what if “IT” doesn’t happen for me? Or my friend? Or brother? We’ll be okay, right? We can still conduct ourselves as happy human beings, even if that elusive relationship never comes. Whenever someone tells a friend of mine “hey, if it could happen for me, it’ll happen for you”, I want to scream! Is that close to saying something along the lines of ” so easy, a caveman can do it”? Again, thanks for the vote of confidence, Carol.
- “I wish I could trade places with you!”: So you want to break up with your boyfriend, or divorce your husband, and live my life of hoping I don’t get a questionable photograph via text from my latest date? I thought you were supposed to be hyping up this relationship concept- are you that miserable? You’re not doing a very good job, buddy.
- “When you stop looking, that’s when it’ll happen”: This only works when I’m trying to find my keys. I stopped looking for a relationship 472 times. Hasn’t happened yet- stop lying to your friends…
- “I never knew what life was, until I got married/had a kid/got boo’d up”: So you weren’t alive before you had little Jimmy? You’re telling me you weren’t “whole” until you met Tyrone? Being in a relationship, getting married, or having kids enhances and enriches your life, but you did have one before they came along. Does this mean my life means nothing if I don’t have any of these things? No it doesn’t, it just means WE’RE LEADING DIFFERENT LIVES.
If I ever get married, it’s going to be pretty dope. It’ll bring another element to my life that was never there, but that life is still nothing to be scoffed at. Not all single people are sad. Not all married people ask dumb questions like the person who questioned my television preferences. We all lead our own individual lives, and determine what makes us happy, whether it involves husbands, kids, or rolling around your king-size bed by yourself, for all of eternity. Now let me get back to watching This Is Us. Hopefully I can follow along…
-KEEP IT A HOT MESS