But then, like the ants that keep coming back in my kitchen despite my repeated attempts to murder them with bleach, the word "single-ism" crawled all over my goodwill like those 20-times-their-body-weight-carrying sons of bitches on a forgotten cupcake.
I couldn't shake the feeling: It seems unfair that individuals who have already found the loves of their lives also get rewarded with lavish showers, parties and tax breaks.
As a single, 28-year-old girl who is not -- and has never been -- engaged, my only option if I want a new sheet set, accent rug or non-stick frying pan is to buy it myself. I don't get to walk around Target with a scanner gun ticking expensive household items off my wish list. I don't get to invite friends over for mimosas and cheese cubes and be presented with gifts from said list. Instead I -- with my single income -- get to live in an apartment where people fuck hookers outside my bedroom window and I routinely find empty bottles of gin and women's earrings in the parking lot -- true story.
And I know this sounds bitter; it's not supposed to. I never thought I'd still be single at 28, but here I am, and it's really not as bad as I'd imagined; in fact, I like to think of it as an adventure. Is it possible that I'll still be single at 38, 48, 58? I suppose, and my thoughts and feelings about that possibility revise themselves every day. Regardless, I know I'll survive (and hey, I might even be awesome).
But I still cannot abide a society that not only punishes but seems to frown upon people who, through choice or circumstance, end up remaining single. Case in point: Ever notice that when discussing someone who's maybe a little "different" or possibly "crazy," one of the first things people say is, "Well, he/she has never been married," as though this indicates some sort of fucked-up personal failing?
And this greater societal belief, that there's something inherently wrong with being single, has rubbed off on our traditions so that we reward people for finding love and companionship and ignore people who do what takes some real goddamn courage: Slog through life, deal with plodding day-to-day bullshit, solve problems, overcome sadness and insecurities, grieve, cry, scream, laugh and never stop trying, all on their own, with no one to rely on but themselves.
That's not to say that if the opportunity for love and a shared life presented itself, I wouldn't jump on it. (Another thing that takes some fucking balls: Loving again after you've been burned.) But in the meantime, I propose that once a year on -- what's today? -- June 10, single people should get wasted with all their single friends, pat each other on the back and say, "Congratulations, you melancholy fuck, you fucking made it."
And then the next day, we'll all get some goddamn coffee and go print off our friends' registries at Target.
(Note: I do not intend to make it sound as though I believe marriage is a solution to one's problems, and I would much rather be single than in a fucked-up relationship. I am simply tired of being made to feel that I've somehow failed because I'm not married.)