Singleness, like grief, goes through stages. After decades of serial dating, okay, just years of being associated with a significant other, singleness was this new phenomena in my life, not all together unpleasant, just strangely revealing, like the time in 4th grade when a peer revealed the truth that eating with your mouth open was uncouth. Between bites of corn and mashed potatoes, a girl across the round table subjected me to my most vivid account of public humiliation in my childhood years. Before that point, I never even realized that I did eat with my mouth open, but the sudden realization made total sense once it quickly processed through my fourth grade mind, and I secretly cursed my parents for working so much in order to put food on our table, but forgetting to teach me that that food need not be displayed as it was being masticated.
Having boyfriends was normal, and normal was a nice security blanket. It never occurred to me that I could stop the cycle of perpetual coupledom by choice. Everyone seemed to be in the season of singleness because of lack of options, limbo between boyfriends, or well, just because they were constant ladies in waiting – waiting for the next prince charming to prove himself authentically sweet. Why would anyone choose to be single? Don’t be fooled. I am not of the man-hating variety. I don’t burn bras or read Ms. Magazine. I happen to adore men deeply. My two best friends are men, my brothers actually, and I’ve never actually been blatantly heartbroken. So for the record, choosing singleness had nothing to do with bitterness toward the stubble-faced species.
Like suddenly understanding a social faux pas involving food at the tender age of 10, at 21 I suddenly understood my social codependency involving men. It dawned on me that despite the lure of having banquet dates secured, and the security of feeling needed and desired, there was this subtle aching in me to be unattached. I wanted to find who I was apart from the identity of so and so’s girlfriend. Was it possible to be happy and single? Happy and single? In the same sentence? It sounded like an oxymoron, but it fit the way Plush Rapper oddly fits together in this age where Pink is the new Blue for men. There was an unexplored path of singleness off the beaten road that was waiting for my footprints.
To be continued…