Where I grew up, being single is not really a thing people do. They marry their high school sweethearts and go on to have 19 babies in four years. Okay, that may be a slight exaggeration, but it’s really not too far off from Small-Town-Middle-Of-Nowhere-Canada where I live. (And that may be my town’s real name. You’d never know it wasn’t.)
My parents got married at 18 and 21. My little brother just got married a few weeks ago. He’s three years my junior, and at 23, has been with his wife since they were 16. In my mid-twenties, I’ve already been in more weddings than I have fingers.
Now that I’m “getting on in my twenties,” as my wise, older aunts like to remind me, it’s kind of expected that I find a suitable mate and settle down sooner rather than later…because it’s just what people do. My family is getting so desperate at my lack of a long term relationship that a couple months ago my mother told me that I should “go on those Internet things and find a nice guy.”
To paraphrased Julia Stiles in 10 Things I Hate About You, ummm…. have you seen the unwashed miscreants that live in this town?
So thanks Mom, but I’m good.
I honestly enjoy being single.
I get to make my own decisions about BIG! LIFE! THINGS! in which I don’t have to take someone else’s opinion into consideration.
A couple of years ago, I moved to Europe for a year. If I was in a relationship I doubt I would have ever even thought about doing that. I would have missed out on dancing on a table in a bar in Ireland, walking on beaches of Greece at sunset, making out with that cute Aussie after a night of far too many beers under the Eiffel Tower, and so many other moments that make me think, holy crap that was fun!
To this day, I have friends tell me they’re jealous of my year abroad, wishing they could have done that. I found a job, booked a flight and in no time at all…had taken off to do whatever it was I wanted to do. But they couldn’t, because they had to think about and make a decision with someone else in mind, and it’s just so much harder to organize two peoples lives day to day, let alone two lives moving halfway around the globe. Making your own decisions without having to think about what someone else wants to do makes for stellar life adventures!
There’s even beauty in the little things. There are no TV-remote wars, and you’re welcome to watch all of the educational tv you desire. (Reality tv counts as educational, since it’s about the REAL WORLD. I’m being worldly, not shallow.) Watching baseball, hockey, football, or some-other-sport-that-I-just-can’t-grasp-the-concept-of just isn’t as fun as watching a rose ceremony where you commiserate on twitter that the only possible explanation for him keeping the crazy one is that he is crazy as well. It’s just not the same watching it the next day when you already know who is going home thanks to the internet, which you googled on your laptop while silently wondering what the hell a down is and how it can be important when no one is ever sent to pack their belongings and leave immediately.
I can wake up to pee in the middle of the night and do not fear falling into the toilet in the dark because someone has left the seat up, and I can pee with the reckless abandon that one can only experience when he or she is single. The kind where you know with absolute certainty that you were the last one in your washroom, and you’re not going to find any surprises anywhere.
And, while I’m in the bathroom not falling into the toilet, I can sigh and think, man, I should really shave my legs in the morning, except I know that I’m gonna wear jeans tomorrow. So upon crawling back into bed, I set my alarm clock for 15 minutes later than I was going to get up, because shaving my legs can wait a day when I’m single. Or two. Or 27. And no one will ever know. More sleep, heck, I’d stay single just for that. Plus, I’m pretty sure that during the winter I could have easily won a leg hair growing contest. Show me someone who is in a long term relationship who has ever won that contest. Yeah, that’s what I thought.
Another single perk is that the cookie complex is obsolete. You know when you get to the end of a package of cookies and there is one left, and you’re all, damn, I should leave it because it’s polite, and don’t want to seem like a pig even though these are the best cookies I’ve ever eaten? So you both shy away from the cookie, but can’t buy more cookies because you haven’t finished the last cookies, so you’re stuck in a never ending cycle of not being able to eat cookies until one person finally takes the plunge and eats the damn cookie and then the other person gets mad because they wish that they’d been the one to eat the cookie. Not so much a problem when you’re single. You can totally eat all the cookies you want. You can finish off the package and no one is the wiser. Except the teenager bagging your groceries at your grocery store, but being a cougar isn’t really my style.
I can watch the movies I want to watch without having to try my luck at rock, paper, scissors. I can stay up until 3am reading a book that I just can’t put down with the lights on, or go dancing with my girlfriends at the drop of a hat. I don’t have to worry that a relative that I’ve never met is going to have a Happy Vasectomy Party the next day at which I’d have no idea what is appropriate conversation or if I should bring a gift. And, to top it off, I can eat all the Mexican food I want without thinking about any possible embarrassing consequences.
Do I want to be in a real grownup relationship with a nice guy who treats me well and who I can hold a decent conversation with? Would I like to meet someone who makes me laugh, and that I could someday spend the rest of my life with?
But, I’m not in any rush, and I’m definitely not willing to settle.
I’m hell bent on trying to be positive that Mr. Right will come along, enjoying my life and being young, happy and carefree instead of settling for Mr. Good Enough For Right Now and kicking myself later.
Besides, always getting the last cookie while watching reality tv, knowing you don’t have to shave your legs later sounds positively heavenly to me.