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Single at Christmas
Life’s too short to spend with gross people...
I luckily have a family who has accepted the fact that I’m here at 40 years old and have NEVER brought a man to any holiday dinner in my entire life. My father told me when I was in my early 20’s to not bring any man around unless it had already been 2-3 years and we were becoming serious — which has never happened. I don’t think any man can deal with me longer than around 18-ish months…(and vice versa)
There are still those extended family members who love to have the “how I financed my frozen eggs” conversations. And, though no one has said it to my face, I’m sure they’re all wondering why I’m not married or have kids or any of those things they think everyone is supposed to have done by this age… This year alone, I have watched at least five Holiday movies where the female is pretending she has a boyfriend/fiance or has to find a boyfriend by Christmas eve… I even saw a play where the storyline somehow had these women trying to get engaged before Christmas which was in 3 days (it was Jane Austen themed, so I guess, expected). I love a predictable Christmas movie, but this storyline is tired and archaic and will just keep many generations of women believing that we have to go along with this nonsense every single year until we die.
Also, let’s be clear — I am not some bah humbug anti-romance person. I am a Leo, and I am stupidly a hopeless romantic who wants it all to work out happily ever after, but in like, a realistic non-cheesy/non-cringey sort of way. Part of my personality is this weirdly logical emotionally mature person, who won’t put my needs second to anyone — but the majority of my personality is this confused people pleaser who wonders why people don’t like me enough to want to spend every waking breath with me. I think it’s what the last guy I dated meant when he said I was “difficult,” — because even I don’t know which one of me you’re gonna get today.
So I put together a list of what I would say if someone at the Christmas dinner table asked me why I am single (which I invite you to borrow, or steal, or make your own and use, if you need it):
Reasons I choose to be single:
The dating pool is a straight up travesty. I don’t want to generalize here, but if anyone has been on the apps in the last few years, you know what I mean. Swiping is the worst thing that’s ever happened to the human race, and keeps these dudes forcing a silent competition for attention they don’t deserve. Life’s too short to spend with gross people.
I am too tired to investigate if a guy is a liar or not, and the dinner table needs to know that the percentage of liars (regardless of gender) has risen to ridiculous heights. I recently went down a rabbit hole of trying to figure out if someone was lying to me — which I’m pretty sure he is, and yet he STILL keeps asking me to hang out like I’m an idiot and don’t see what he’s doing. My therapist says if the flag is leaning red, just call it red and gtfo — like, stop with the rationalizing and giving the benefit of the doubt, because no. Again, Life’s too short to spend with gross people.
I know what I want, and can tell pretty quickly if he ain’t it. Again, after like five questions with a guy, it's pretty clear if he’s even close to the mark — and I just don’t feel like settling and being mad about it later. (or having to deal with a divorce and splitting my shit with someone I super hate) Therapist always reminds me, it's MUCH harder to undo a bad marriage than it is to just take it slow and make sure the guy is THE GUY.
I’ve been close to what I thought was “marrying the guy” a few times before, but have always followed my gut feeling — and that bitch has never let me down. I’ve managed to look back a few years later and realized I’m dodging bullets like Keanu in The Matrix, and frankly, I’m proud of that (even though my back is starting to hurt). The thought of having to split my shit after a divorce with someone who maybe hasn’t worked as hard as I have to get the little I have, makes my stomach hurt. I once had a boyfriend move into my apartment in Hollywood, to which he made NO contributions except his own clothes, and would invite people over to see HIS apartment in HOLLYWOOD and accidentally erase shows from the TiVo that were MINE. I imagined a lifetime of this and immediately broke up with him, and THANK GOD.
I need a dude who will just let me be my weird self — the one dude that I still unfortunately think about/miss, once made a comment about my doc martens being the most hideous things he’s ever seen, and for whatever reason I stupidly packed them up and put them in storage for months. And a while later, I realized — if a dude is that shallow that he has to make comments like that, he’s gonna have MORE comments to make when he sees how really fucking weird I actually am, and I ain’t got time for that. Like come on, I need a dude who’ll wear matching Christmas onesies with me and my cat — get over yourself!
Bitch, I’m 40! (She says with a kick) And I’m starting to wonder if I’ve ever actually been in actual love before. There are only TWO (out of like 500) guys that have come close to giving me that butterfly feeling, and they weren’t even that nice or treated me that great. I thought at the time, Oh THIS IS LOVE, but then afterwards — I realized I loved the IDEA of them, and not actually who they were or what they had to offer me/our relationship (and usually, my love for them was for their songwriting and talent abilities, which therapist says is NOT a gage for a good relationship….LOL, which I’m still working on)
These are just some rough ideas — I’m sure you can tailor some of these to work for your situation, or you can just say, “Well, Aunt So-and-So, I’ve always modeled my life after you and it seems like you hate your husband….” I’m sure after explaining all this to the dinner table, everyone will be almost finished with their meals and just staring at you completely appalled. Hopefully they’ve had like six glasses of wine and won’t remember any of the details of what you’ve said — and maybe they’ll even just mosey away to find dessert or smoke a cigarette or something. The truth is, we don’t owe anyone an explanation for why we’re single (or childless), even if it’s just because you’d rather spend your time at home hanging out with your cat and listening to loud rock music.
Feel free to leave me any ideas in the comments I’ve missed that might work in this situation…