Emotionally, I’ve been on strug mode as of late. If you believe in the notion that there’s a season for everything, this would be the Season of Dafuq, First-World Edition. You know, one of those periods in life where you realize you have a roof over your head, some discretionary cash in the bank before the bills arrive, an allegedly steady paycheck, and your health but, in melodramatic fashion, “everything is wrong!”
Yeah, that was me every other day for a good couple of weeks before I realized dis tew much –“dis” being the 3-month-old food baby growing in my belly from emotionally eating, not to mention recognizing that behavior wasn’t getting me any closer to my goals, the most immediate of which being fitting into a size 12 for my friend’s wedding next weekend.
And that brings me to my first-world problem: I’m chronically single. I know it, my friends, family, and co-workers know it, hell, you probably even know it thanks to this article and that one too. Not once has that stopped me from being genuinely excited for my friend’s upcoming nuptials, or my two MN girls who recently got engaged, or my friend and one of our newest columnists who recently connected with an old boo. In fact, I seem to want to talk about people’s weddings more than they do. But I can’t lie and say their unions haven’t heightened the awareness of my singleness — not that I forgot or anything. It’s just these types of announcements always lead back to a “so what’s up with you, when are you getting married?” kind of interrogation and I’m running out of deflecting jokes about how “you know I’m crazy” while going home at night and trying to convince myself I’m really not.
“It’s just not normal” I kept repeating to my best friend last night about being seven years a single slave (and that’s probably being generous). When she didn’t respond, I thought the phone died. Instead, she told me she’d logged on to MadameNoire to see what kind of articles we’d been posting lately because she didn’t understand this world of boo’d up women I was referring to. “I don’t know any women who’ve been single as long as I have, so often,” I told her. ”I do!” she retorted, and then proceeded to say the names of the five closest women to her, all of whom are apparently in my same boat.
That’s when, in my 2 am delirium, I had to admit perspective is a bish. While I didn’t find comfort in the fact that other women I know by association are also enduring restless, lonely nights, there is something to be said for exaggerating the experiences of a select few to be the norm. Everybody is not dating, engaged, or married; that’s just a fact. Those closest to me might be settling down for the long haul but there are still a slew of women out there single and struggling to mingle which means my issue actually isn’t all that specific to me at all.
Thinking on that point actually made me even happier for those around me. Just a couple of weeks ago when our #RelationshipGoals columnist told me she was dating again, I told her she better act right. “This is bigger than you!” I said half-facetiously, thinking about the Mary Jane-esque stereotype every single Black woman in media is dying to debunk. It wasn’t until last night, though, that I realized all the recent couplings around me are bigger than them as well. I’m not supposed to work with three successful, intelligent Black women in their 20s with rings on their fingers and another three in loving long-term relationships. The fact that 5/6 are loved by Black men is practically equivalent to a unicorn citing in this day and age –that’s if, in the words of church folks, you want to believe the word of the enemy. And while I’m running my mouth, let me go ahead and point out that three of the four Black men in my office are dating or married to Black women and the forty-something Black woman in another department will celebrate 20 years of marriage to a Black man next year. Two sets of close friends of mine are celebrating one-year anniversaries this month; last month my friend who just got her doctorate also marked her four-year wedding anniversary, and in March one of my best guy friends will jump the broom.
I could sit here with my simple self and question why I’m not one of them or take pride in the fact that instead of feeling like a statistic, my personal and professional circles are living, breathing (and happy) examples of the falsehood of such stats. You know the ones that tell us Black women aren’t desirable, nor lovable — and certainly not by Black men. I don’t just know one or two people who disprove those claims, it’s to the point now that so many Black women around me have gotten or are getting snatched up, I have become the outlier. And in a strange way, that makes me happy.